Over the past decade, several families have started to question whether their usual energy providers in Texas are good enough. They have searched for, and found, alternative options that give them exactly what they want. So, how do you go about doing that, and when you find what you want, how do you make the switch?
Read on to learn how to find a better energy contract in your state and what your next steps will be once you find it. We also suggest who we think is one of the leading energy providers in Texas for you to investigate.
Finding Better Energy Providers in Texas
Texas has a great many electric services and sometimes the options can get a bit overwhelming. On top of this, the deregulated Texas energy market means you have many choices.
This lack of regulation allows for a lot of competition, meaning you can often find potential savings if you shop around for different plans. Switching to a new provider now and then can benefit you, but that process starts with researching which provider to go with.
This can take several steps even if you know what you are doing and have the right information available to you. This section will expand on what you need to do to help you make informed decisions as you switch.
Calculating Your Energy Needs
Look into your monthly kWh usage over the past few years. Remember to not only look at the previous month but also your pattern of electricity use as the year goes by. This will tend to fluctuate due to shifting weather, giving you an average of how much your energy will cost you over the year.
You can then compare this information to any electricity plans different companies offer. It should give you an approximate amount you will likely spend.
If you plan to change any of your appliances, try to factor this in too. The last thing you want is to choose one plan, only for it to cost a lot more or less than you had budgeted for.
Another thing you will also need to consider is any plan to work from home in the future. Whether you intend to go freelance or believe your workplace will shift in that direction, it could impact how much you need to heat or cool the area.
Working Out What Plan Features You Need
On top of the basic costs listed above, you can investigate what other features you will need in your plan. Examples of electricity plan options you might want to investigate include:
Fixed or variable rate plans. Depending on your finances, you may be more comfortable with a fixed rate you can budget for. Then again, you might be more comfortable picking up a lower rate that runs the risk of going up later.
Green energy options. If you have an interest in green energy policies, you may want to see how they impact the cost of your plan.
Reviewing Your Payment History
Make sure to have detailed records of the payments you make to your old energy company. You can sometimes use these when discussing options with a new provider to prove you always pay your bills on time. This might make them more likely to offer you discounts based on a legacy of loyalty to whichever company you choose.
You should also do this so you can know the times you may have been late with payment. These can sometimes affect your credit score, meaning a company may charge you or be hesitant to offer you their service.
Comparing Rates and Plans
When you have all this information together, it is time to choose an energy provider in Texas. Use the data available to you to compare any plans these companies have and contrast them with your needs. You can even access the Public Utility Commission of Texas website to gain access to more comparison options.
You will want to look at:
- Contract lengths
- Fixed-rate prices
- No-contract options
- Variable-rate prices
- Sign-up incentives
- Rebate options
Each of these could have an impact on whether the company suits your needs and the kind of deal you could get.
For example, if you need a lot of flexibility, you might want a variable-rate plan. Ambit Energy is aware that not all people have equal needs, though, so can also give you fixed-rate options if that suits your budget better.
Checking the Reputation of Providers
On top of the raw data you will get from the above, remember to use online sources to look up the reputation of each option. You can read consumer reviews and testimonials, giving you a better idea of what it means to be a customer of each company. Another option is to check the Better Business Bureau website for ratings on each one and learn whether they have a four-star review or higher.
Depending on how well people do, you can then start to veto individual companies and bring that list of options down.
Researching Renewable Energy Options
Several of the most forward-thinking providers in Texas have started to offer renewable energy to customers. These allow people to invest in better electrical infrastructure for America and to ensure they feel better about using energy.
If you want to use renewable options after a switch, make sure to learn whether the specific companies you investigate offer it. If an option does not offer renewables and it means a lot to you that they do, you may want to reconsider their business.
Contacting the Chosen Provider
When you have enough information and have chosen the best energy provider, it is time to take the plunge. Get all your documentation together and give them a call.
You will want to have:
- Previous energy bills
- Proof of residence
- Bank account information
While this list might not be exhaustive depending on your specific circumstances. Still, with all of these together, your signup and switch-over process should be smooth.
As you discuss the switch, make sure you also write down:
- What you need to do to receive any discounts
- The start date of your new service
- Any processes you need to be aware of
Check that you understand how to get back in contact with the new provider should something go wrong. The last thing you want is to be unable to find the right person to talk to when you need it.
Paying Off and Closing Legacy Accounts
Contact your old provider and enquire about any outstanding balance you might have. You may need to pay this off before you make the switch. You might already have a final billing date, though, which may be when they take out this money, so make sure you understand their process.
Clarify with the provider that you wish to leave their service and try to learn whether there will be a notice period before switching services. You can then ask them to close the account on the date of switchover to reduce the time your home will be without electricity. Also, check how to send them your final meter reading, then ask them for a closing statement for your records.
Ask the service if you need to send them back any equipment and if so, the best way to do it. You do not want to repay them for any lost devices, after all.
Tips to Avoid Service Interruption
When you switch out your providers, communicate with both companies. You want to make sure in the days leading up that they have the right date to turn your service off or on.
Keep emergency contact numbers handy and a charged phone on standby if things go wrong. You may also want to have a spare battery or two if your device supports them.
Setting Up Online Account Management With Ambit Energy
Should you choose to work with Ambit Energy, remember that you can always sign up for a MyAmbit account.
This online service allows you to pay bills, view your electricity usage and even switch to paperless billing. It even offers you the freedom to check your account at any time no matter where in the world you are. For many, these have been useful features and we recommend signing up.
Maintenance and Checks
Once everything has switched over, you may still want to check your energy bill over time. This will help give you more control over what you are using and ensure no mistakes occur. If they do, you can then contact customer service with ease, correcting any errors and adjusting your plan if necessary.
The Best Energy Providers in Texas
As the warm Texas sun starts to set and winter encroaches, you want to know your energy provider will do their best to ensure consistent service. Ambit Energy goes above and beyond to give customers the peace of mind they need. This is why millions continue to use our service.
If you are thinking of switching providers, make sure to investigate what we offer. By focusing on both high-value and low-cost energy, we continue to offer a VIP service to everyone we support. Sign up to learn what makes us one of the leading energy providers in Texas today.