Understand These Electric Company Terms Before Shopping for a New Dallas Electricity Provider
Understanding the jargon that Dallas electricity providers use is the first step in being able to compare Dallas electricity rates. The city of Dallas electricity companies all have different offerings. It’s not always easy to compare these offerings unless you know the jargon used.
Average kWh Usage
A kWh is a unit of energy. You might think that it’s how much energy you’re using in an hour. It’s a little more complicated than that, though. It refers to how much energy is used to keep a 1,000-watt appliance working for a full hour.
So, to work out how much electricity an appliance uses, divide 1,000 by the wattage rating. A device that is rated at 1,000 watts would use 1 kWh per hour. A device that is rated 2,000 watts would use 1 kWh of electricity in half an hour.
Electricity rates fluctuate based on your usage, you may see a rate of 7.9 cents for 1,000 kWh but it will most likely be a different rate at 500 kWh. So it is important to have an estimate of your usage before shopping for electricity so you can select the correct rate for your estimated usage.
What Are TDSP and Base Charges?
About a third of your bill has nothing to do with the amount of power that you use. This goes towards maintaining the meters, power lines, and generally keeping the infrastructure in good working order.
In most cases, the electricity provider will include this in their kWh fee. So, when comparing rates, be sure to check if the TDSP is included in the rate or charged separately. It’s also wise to check whether they’ve quoted these fees in the prices at which you’re looking.
You might see this listed as a base charge as well. Base charges might be from $5 to $9 a month.
Am I on a Fixed Rate or a Variable Rate?
With a fixed-rate option, your rate is locked in for the contract period. This option can make it easier to budget because you know what the price per kWh is going to be month to month. You’re also protected from rate increases during that time.
With a variable option, you pay the market rate for energy. Choosing a variable option might be something of a gamble, especially if you live in an area where there are extremes of temperature. Variable rates can fluctuate causing a dramatic increase in your electricity bill.
When the demand for power is lower, you’ll pay less. When the need for energy is higher, you pay more. You score when the rate drops lower. You’ll be likely to pay a slightly lower price with the variable option to start.
The downside is that you’ll never quite know exactly how much to budget. You might also be in for a shock if energy rates go up dramatically.
In most cases, it is better to play it safe with a fixed rate because you have a better idea of what your bill is going to be every month and you will not be affected by price surges.
Choosing a Dallas Electricity Provider
Here is what you should consider when choosing the right service provider:
- How big is your home? If you live in a smaller home, you’ll use less electricity. If you’re interested in a variable rate option, understanding your basic energy needs is essential. You need to know precisely how much the energy bill might be at premium prices.
- How much electricity do you use per month? It’s a good idea to work out what your average usage is per month before choosing your supplier. Then work out what that would cost at different companies before you decide.
- Does the company have a reward program? If so, are the rewards, something that you’d use? If these reward centric plans have higher rates, is it worthwhile?
- What companies have good promotions? An annual review is a good idea. This industry is highly competitive, so companies often offer promotions to make their deal more attractive. Promotions could include free nights, better credits, and so on. When dealing with promotions make sure to read carefully – how long is the promotion valid for – when the promotion is over does it kick you over to a variable rate that could cause an increase in my bill.
- What is the small print? Are there terms and conditions that might affect the rate that you’re paying? Are there any added costs that will be charged in addition to the price you’ve been quoted? Are there penalties or once-off fees that you need to know?
Electric Company Comparison – Find the Cheapest Rate by Shopping and Comparing Dallas Electricity Rates
It does pay to spend some time on an electric company comparison. That way you’ll know that you’re always getting the best rates possible. When your contract does expire, don’t automatically renew it. Instead, make a comparison again and see if there are better deals out there.
If you find one and would prefer not to change providers, call up your current service provider. They might be willing to match or beat the offer.