Frequently Asked Questions.
Repairs and Emergencies
If you experience an emergency related to your electricity service or a power outage, call the number printed on your electric bill for repairs and emergencies. The local TDSP will repair your service or restore your power just as they will your neighbors’ service – regardless of your Retail Electric Provider. There is no special treatment or priority in service restoration for customers of any particular Retail Electric Provider.
: What has changed with deregulation?
You now have a choice in your electricity provider. You can control which company sells and bills you for the electricity you use in your home or business. That’s the main idea behind deregulation — giving you the customer competitive prices, more choice and
: Will my service be reliable?
No matter which Retail Electric Provider you choose, your electricity will continue to be delivered by the same reliable local wires company. The local wires companies are still regulated by the PUC and they maintain the ”wires” into your home or business. If you do have a power outage, electricity won’t come back on any faster whether you have switched providers or not. The local wires company is still responsible for the maintenance and repair of your electric service. You will still call them in the event of an emergency or outage at the number provided on your bill.
Q: Will I lose power if electric company is bankrupt?
No, you will not be without power. You should actually receive a notice from your provider if this is going to happen, but if something happens and you don’t — you will still have power. The PUC has listed a provider of last resort for those unfortunate events such as this. They will become your provider until you can make a choice in a new provider.
Power Generation Companies
Power Generation Companies own and operate power plants, including plants fueled by coal, nuclear power, natural gas, wind, water, solar power, or other renewable sources. Power Generation Companies sell this power at wholesale to Retail Electric Providers, who package the power with transmission and delivery service for sale to retail customers. Retail Electric Providers are not permitted under Texas law to own power plants; however, they can be affiliated with a power generation company.
Regardless of which Retail Electric Provider you choose, the actual delivery of the electricity (“transmission and distribution“) is still provided by your local Transmission and Distribution Service Provider, (also referred to as the “TDSP”). Your TDSP will continue to be responsible for maintaining the poles, wires, and meter that deliver and measure the electricity consumed by your home or business, for reading your meter and providing amount of electricity that you consume to your REP, and for restoring service when there is a power outage.
Your choice of REP does not affect the reliability of your transmission and distribution service or how quickly your power will be restored following an outage caused by a storm or other event. The Public Utility Commission continues to regulate TDSPs by setting the rates for transmission and distribution service, setting reliability and safety standards, and ensuring that all customers and REPs are treated the same when it comes to the delivery of electricity to your home or business.
Retail Electric Providers (REPs)/Electric Companies
With electric competition, retail electric providers (also known as “REPs”) sell electricity to you and routinely handle customer service and billing. REPs compete for your business by offering a variety of different pricing options, renewable energy options, added customer service benefits or other incentives.
The Competitive Electricity Market
In the past one company provided all parts of your electricity service (generation, transmission and distribution, and retail sales). With competition, these parts are separated into different companies.
Contact your local utility at the number on your electricity bill.
Yes. The rate for your Electricity Generation Supply is fixed for the term of your agreement on all of our guaranteed fixed-rate plans.
The New REP will notify your utility company that you have chosen to switch your service to a new REP and your utility company will notify your current provider. You may incur an early cancellation fee if you switch prior to the end of your contract term.
Energy Saving Tips
There are many ways to reduce the amount of electricity that you consume in your home. Lower usage means a lower electricity bill. Below are some quick tips on the major power users in your home, plus links to informative resources.
Your Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning System (HVAC) is the number one power user in your home, accounting for 50% or more of your electricity usage. To keep your HVAC system running efficiently, inspect or replace your air filter regularly and have your system serviced twice a year (Spring and Fall) by a licensed professional.
Reduce your energy consumption by keeping your thermostat between 78* and 80* in the summer, and raise your thermostat when you leave the house for more than a couple hours. During the cold season, 68* to 70* is recommended. You can use a programmable thermostat to manage the temperature in your home, and ceiling fans to keep cool.
Electric water heaters are the number two power user in most homes, accounting for 15-20% of your electricity bill. The average household uses around 3,500 kWh annually to heat water. You can save money by setting your water heater to the recommended temperature of 120* and by reducing use. Reduce hot water usage by washing clothes in cold water, installing low flow shower heads, and checking for plumbing leaks. Insulating your hot water pipes can reduce heat loss and raise your water temperature. And, if you are replacing your water heater, consider a thankless water heater, which eliminates the heat loss associated with conventional storage water heaters.
Installing a programmable thermostat lets you manage your home HVAC for optimum comfort. Want to make sure that the temperature is adjusted up when you leave every morning? And that it’s adjusted down when you are on your way home? A programmable thermostat manages this for you. If you purchase a Wi-Fi thermostat, you can manage your temperature from your smart phone or tablet, ensuring the perfect temperature when you get home.
Ceiling fans are a great way to stay cool even with your thermostat set to a higher temperature. You know how good it feels to catch a cool breeze on a hot summer day? Ceiling fans work by creating a breeze in your room that speeds the evaporation process of perspiration, cooling your skin. Fans don’t cool the room, they cool the people in the room – so when you leave the room, turn the ceiling fan off.
Ceiling fans can also help your energy efficiency in the winter. By reversing the direction of your ceiling fan, you can push warm air that has risen to the ceiling back down into the room. Most ceiling fans have a switch to reverse the direction of the fan blades.
Lowering your energy consumption can be as easy as changing a lightbulb. Lighting accounts for 10-14% of the average household energy bill. Replace your incandescent light bulbs with Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs) or LEDs in frequently-used fixtures around your home. LEDs and CFLs use less energy, plus they generate less heat than traditional bulbs.
What you should know about changing energy prices.
Why Prices Change
As a customer in a deregulated energy market, you are often told how competition helps drive down prices. And it’s true. That’s because energy suppliers, buy units of energy in a competitive open market from companies that either generate electricity or process natural gas. We’re pretty good at it too. You pay less because we pay less.
The prices you see today reflect projections on what a fair and reasonable price would be for the term of the contract based on present market conditions. However, energy prices go up and down over time with changes in the market.
How Fixed Rate Plans Work
Fixed Rate Locks-in” a set price on each kilowatt-hour or therm for the duration of a contract. Contract terms range from 3 – 60 Months.
Shorter term versus longer term contracts:
How Should I Choose?
When considering what length of contract to select consider the following:
- If you prefer the peace of mind that comes from knowing that your price won’t change for a long time, then a longer contract might be for you.
- If you feel like it’s a hassle to sign a contract and shop around for the best price, the longer contract may be the answer.
- If you move often or don’t want to worry about early termination fees, shorter contracts may be your best bet.
|Electricity Outage/ Emergency Contact Numbers|
|Connecticut||Eversouce (formerly CL&P)||1-800-286-2000|
|Maine||Central Main Power||1-800-696-1000|
|Maryland||Baltimore Gas & Electric||1-877-778-2222|
|New Hampshire Electric Co-op||1-800-343-6432|
|National Grid (Niagra Mohawk)||1-800-867-5222|
|Gas Outage/ Gas Leak Emergency Contact Numbers|
|Connecticut||Connecticut Natural Gas||1-866-924-5325|
|Connecticut||Southern Connecticut Gas||1-800-513-8898|
|Florida||Central Florida Gas||1-800-554-6427|
|Florida||Florida City Gas||1-888-352-5325|
|Florida||Florida Public Utilities||1-800-427-7712|
|Illinois||Nicor Gas Company||1-888-642-6748|
|Illinois||North Shore Gas||1-866-556-6005|
|Maryland||Baltimore Gas & Electric||1-800-685-0123|
|Massachusetts||Bay State Gas||1-800-525-8222|
|Michigan||Consumers Energy (CMS)||1-800-477-5050|
|Nevada||Southwest Gas Company (SWG):|
|New York||Consolidated Edison (ConEd)||1-800-752-6633|
|New York||KeySpan Energy Delivery New York:|
|New York||KeySpan Energy Delivery Long Island||1-800-490-0045|
|New York||Niagara Mohawk (NiMo)||1-800-892-2345|
|Ohio||Dominion East Ohio||1-800-362-7557|
|Ohio||Columbia Gas of Ohio||1-800-282-0157|