Milder autumn temperatures may have meant lower electricity bills, but it’s still a good idea to watch your bills if you’re on a variable rate electricity plan. That’s TXU Energy’s advice to consumers across Texas who may see those savings evaporate now that colder temperatures are starting to take hold for the season. The company promotes keeping an eye on the type of electricity plan you’re on to avoid unpleasant — and unexpected — surprises with your bills this winter.
According to TXU Energy, even though your electricity consumption may have been down in recent months, your rates could have increased with no advance warning if you’re on a variable rate plan. A number of these plans may lead to higher costs this winter because the low introductory rates they offer may not last.
TXU Energy doesn’t offer variable rate electricity plans. As reported earlier this year, the company has observed that some retail electricity providers across the state have been increasing the rates of these types of plans — as much as 200 percent or more. These types of variable rate increases have continued through the autumn months — with rates as high as 23 cents per kWh by September. But, affected customers may not have noticed these pricing spikes due to lower overall consumption this fall. Examples of variable pricing increases* as of August through November 2011 include:
- Up more than 200 percent by the third bill (Flower Mound, Texas).
- Up more than 190 percent by the third bill (Coppell, Texas).
- Up more than 110 percent since signing on (Dallas).
- Up more than 95 percent over seven months – almost double the starting rate (Houston).
- Up more than 75 percent after three consecutive increases (Dallas).
- Up more than 70 percent since signing on (Houston).
The company also cautions Texans to pay attention to when their contract terms end, because some retailers move customers to variable rate plans once their terms expire.
The TXU Energy No Vari-a-BULL Sweepstakes
To build awareness for the risks and realities of variable rate plans, TXU Energy has launched the TXU Energy No Vari-a-BULL Sweepstakes. The contest offers Texas electricity customers the chance to win a Chevrolet Volt, a plug-in electric vehicle with an extended range for driving.
Customers have a few ways to enter the sweepstakes: they can switch to a TXU Energy electricity plan, or they can share their wild ride experiences with variable rate electricity plans via the sweepstakes tab on TXU Energy’s Facebook page. Participants can also earn an extra chance to win if five of their Facebook friends also enter by sharing their own variable rate stories. The deadline for entering is Dec. 31, 2011. Texas residents age 21 and over who live in a deregulated electricity market area can enter.
In addition to the Volt, TXU Energy will award the grand prize winner $5,000 to help offset the costs of taxes and the optional installation of a home charging station. Full sweepstakes details, including other ways to enter, are available via the sweepstakes tab at facebook.com/txuenergy. No purchase is necessary to enter or win.
* Pricing referenced is for 1,000 kWh/month.
About TXU Energy
TXU Energy is a market-leading competitive retail electricity provider, powering the lives of more Texans than any other retailer. TXU Energy offers a variety of innovative products and solutions, allowing both its residential and business customers to choose options that best meet their needs, including exceptional customer service, competitively priced electricity service plans, innovative energy efficiency options, renewable energy programs and other electricity-related products and services. Visit txu.com for more information about TXU Energy. REP #10004.