What exactly is Power to Choose?
It’s exactly what it sounds like. You get to choose your power. Power to Choose Texas is the official, unbiased, easy-to-use website provided by the Public Utility Commission of Texas (sometimes shortened to PUCT, PTC Texas or, simply, PTC), which is the company that maintains the poles and wires to get power to your home from the grid. It allows any and all retail electricity providers to list their unique offerings—free of charge—while putting the power in your hands to choose an electricity plan and the best energy provider for your specific needs. There’s a Power to Choose Houston and Power to Choose Dallas, which serves those cities and all of the surrounding cities, so you can find the absolute best electricity plan for your home. It’s also extremely simple. Just plug in your zip code, put in any parameters (like term length, for example) and choose the plan that best fits your home.
How do you use Power to Choose?
We know, we know. That rhymed.
First, you submit your zip code for the home in which you want electricity.
You’ll get a plethora of plans and options that you can compare with a few scrolls of the mouse.
You can even shop rates by custom usage (if you have it handy) and plan features (like renewable energy, which we’re huge fans of.
Enroll online or on the phone in less than five minutes and have your new plan power your home within 24 hours.
Things to think about when using Power to Choose.
You don’t have to have all the answers, but having your recent electricity usage is always handy.
Ahead of switching plans, we always encourage you do a little digging into your previous provider—what you paid (usually listed in price per kilowatt hour, based on a 1,000 kWh usage), your contract term length (usually 3, 6, 12, 24, or 36 months) and how much electricity you used on average in your home (usually described in kW).
This will help you understand what to look for in a new energy provider. Here are some questions that we encourage you to have in your back pocket when you begin your search.
Am I planning on moving anytime soon? (This will help determine a perfect term length.)
Does this plan require a down payment?
Does my previous company charge an early termination fee if I’m exiting before my contract expires? (GOOD NEWS, if the answer is yes, Rhythm Energy covers that cost.)
What are my payment options?
What will I pay per kilowatt hour?
How much energy do I use, on average, each month?
What does the rate include? (electricity cost, transmission cost, distribution cost, recurring fees, etc.)?
Is the rate fixed? Variable?
These questions will not only put you in the driver’s seat to savings but can truly help you find the best plan for your home and wallet. Nobody uses the same electricity, so not every plan is a perfect fit for everyone. Answering these questions is a great start.
Texas has deregulated energy. What the heck does that mean?
Everything is bigger in Texas, including the success of deregulated energy. The Texas deregulated market means you can pick your electricity company and plan. Think of it like cellphones—you can pick whatever carrier you want, based on your specific budget, needs, and wishes. Not all of Texas is deregulated, though. Those living in Austin, for example, can’t choose their electricity provider.
The benefits of a deregulated market include the ability to shop for customized plans, compare pricing options, and switch providers for better service or rates. Lubbock residents should take note, as Lubbock will be joining the list of deregulated areas in Texas in late 2023, providing residents with new opportunities to find their best electricity plan.
Here’s a brief history of deregulation in Texas.
It’s important to understand how we got where we got.
Back in 2002, most Texas energy markets became fully deregulated, giving Texans a choice in their electricity provider (including natural gas and renewable energy providers). Prior to deregulated energy, Texans were served by their local utility company. Post deregulation, the local utility companies still exist (and remain regulated). They are the owners and maintainers of the power lines and supporting infrastructure that transmits and distributes the energy from the power generation plants to Texas homes and businesses, but these local utilities no longer provide retail services for customers.
This is the biggest difference between Texas and the other deregulated energy markets in the U.S. In the markets outside of Texas, the local utility is the default retail service provider for residential consumers and business owners. Having a default power supply provider in states like New York, Massachusetts, and Ohio is not truly a free market and reduces the opportunity for competition, as well as investment in sustainable infrastructure. That’s why if you ever live in those places, you’ll quickly see much lower customer engagement and market participation even though consumers in those states technically have a choice over their electric company.
What are the perks of a deregulated energy market?
Like any industry, competition—we think—is a good thing
Competitive Pricing When you reduce regulations and have fewer barriers of entry for competitors, it creates a marketplace that stimulates competition, which often results in lower electricity prices for consumers. It opens the door for all types of business, and—in an ideal world—sparks healthy competition among energy services. Everyone needs electricity, so having one company to choose from could be a scary thought, as they could set the price wherever they choose, and you’d have to pay for it.
Product Innovation Another direct result of market competition is that companies are incentivized to be more innovative in their product and service offerings, creating more value for consumers. If a company is a sole participant within an industry, innovation is unnecessary. Think flip phone vs. smartphone. Nobody uses flip phones anymore, because innovation made that old technology obsolete.
Improved Service Quality When you only have one market participant in the energy industry, service quality is usually an afterthought, because where else are you going to go? Energy deregulation has helped reestablish focus on the customer and provide another opportunity for competitors to differentiate by offering a more enhanced customer experience.
What kind of electricity companies are available in Texas?
To select the best electricity plan in a deregulated Texas market, consider the following factors:
Plan Type: Consider fixed-rate plans, which offer price stability, and variable-rate plans, which fluctuate with market conditions. Additionally, look into renewable energy plans that utilize sources such as solar and wind. Explore Rhythm Energy's Plans Overview to discover your options.
Contract Length: Providers offer contract lengths ranging from month-to-month to multi-year agreements. Choose a length that aligns with your lifestyle and anticipated energy needs. Rhythm Energy offers Simply Green flex plan, a Month-to-month plan that provides flexibility.
Pricing and Fees: Review the pricing structure and any associated fees. Ensure transparency in pricing and avoid providers with hidden fees or complex terms. Rhythm Energy is proud to charge exactly 0 hidden fees and offers transparent pricing.
Renewable Energy Options: If sustainability is a priority, seek out providers with a strong commitment to renewable energy. Learn about solar buyback programs, green energy plans, and more. Rhythm Energy provides 100% renewable energy plans, including Solar Electricity Plans and Texas Wind Energy Plans.
Reputation and Reviews: Check customer reviews and ratings to gauge the reputation of the energy company. Look for providers with a track record of exceptional customer service and support. Rhythm Energy boasts a near-perfect rating on Google and glowing customer reviews.
Innovative Products: Consider whether the energy company offers innovative products and services to help you optimize your energy usage. For instance, Rhythm Energy offers Electric Vehicle Plans and Protection Plans for added benefits.