When it comes to electric companies in Texas, there are plenty of options. In fact, the Lone Star state offers the country’s largest deregulated energy market, with nearly 85% of the state managed by ERCOT. Cities ranging from Irving and Corpus Christi to Houston, Dallas, and Fort Worth are just some of those markets. Because of deregulation, Texans have the power to choose an electricity provider, whether for commercial or residential electricity needs.
Electricity powers everyday essentials like lights, appliances, HVAC systems, televisions, telephones, computers, and more. While electricity is a natural phenomenon, it can also be produced from primary energy sources: coal-fired and natural gas plants, water, solar energy, wind power, and nuclear energy.
In this article, we’ll discuss a bit about how electricity works to power your Texas home or commercial building and a few basic things you need to know when it comes to selecting the right electrical service provider and electric companies in Texas.
What Does Deregulation Mean for Texas Electric Companies?
Deregulation means that energy providers in Texas compete to offer electricity rates and energy plans that are attractive to you. And because Texas is the most deregulated market in the country, Texans benefit from the plethora of options for affordable and innovative products and services.
Texas opened its electricity market in 2002. For nearly 20 years, many Texas residents have been able to choose their electrical service provider. The competitive market in Texas allows folks to shop around for a plan that perfectly fits individual needs and wants.
What Are Some Basic Terms for Understanding Energy Plans and Electricity Providers in Texas?
As a homeowner or business owner, it’s helpful to be familiar with some general electricity terminology. Knowing these basics will give you a better understanding when talking with electrical service providers about your electricity plan (or electricians about your repair needs).
Consider this your mini glossary when discussing your electricity usage or needs with a professional and reviewing different electric companies in Texas.
- Amperes: Commonly called amps, amperes measure the amount of electrical current that flows through a circuit. A circuit’s amperage varies according to the electrical demand placed on the circuit. In most homes, lighting and small appliance circuits are 15 or 20 amps, and major appliances are on 20-, 50-, or even 60-amp circuits.
- Volts: These are units of electrical potential, and voltage is the force that moves electricity in much the same way water pressure moves water.
- Watt: Named after Scottish inventor James Watt, a watt is a unit of electrical power equal to one ampere under the pressure of one volt.
- Watt-hour: A watt-hour is one watt generated or used for an hour. Your electrical service provider bills your electrical usage in kiloWatt hours (kWh = 1,000 Watts per hour).
What Factors Are Important When Reviewing Texas Electric Companies?
With numerous electricity plans and benefits to choose from, selecting the best electric plan for your home energy or commercial energy needs can be confusing. That’s why it’s crucial to do your research so you can find the right Texas retail electric provider suited to your particular needs.
As a Texas resident, business, or organization, you have the power to choose your Texas electricity provider in or near the cities of Houston, Dallas, Fort Worth, Arlington, Corpus Christi, Katy, Spring, Plano, Irving, Laredo, Midland, Odessa, and many others.
Many electricity companies offer features such as:
- Option to choose either a fixed-rate or variable-rate plan
- Prepaid plans with no deposit upfront
- Bill credit plans
- Varying price options
- Free nights
- Varying term lengths and rewards
- Renewable energy plans
- Green energy plan options
- Affinity programs (generate funds for your organization and offer special rates to members and/or employees).
- Purchasing programs for excess energy produced by Distributed Renewable Generation (DRG) systems such as solar power panels
It’s easy to filter your options based on your usage needs, preferred plan type, and several other factors.
When comparing electric companies in Texas to determine the best service for your lifestyle, be sure to consider the following:
- Check your current contract before changing utility companies for cancelation fees or early termination fees.
- Review the electricity facts label to get a clear picture of your current usage before selecting a new plan.
- Look at rewards (free electricity or refer-a-friend credits, for example) and incentives that may be available. Just Energy offers the Texas Just400 Advantage Plan, which could get you $400 in free power.
- Decide on your preferred term length. Property owners and renters will often have different needs. Different term lengths often have different price points; if you’re more flexible, you could get a better rate.
- Decide which energy plan best suits your needs. For instance, Just Energy offers you a choice between fixed and variable rates.
What Are the Energy Plans Provided By Just Energy?
Low-rate energy plans typically exclude extras and tag on additional charges for small added benefits, so cost isn’t the only thing you should consider when looking for the best electricity provider.
At Just Energy, we take pride in offering more than just energy. With outstanding customer service and green energy product options, our customers get more compared to some of our competitors.
- Base Saver III
- Just Energy Purely Green
- 100% Green Nights Free Plan
- Simple Choice
- Weekends Free Plan
- Nights Free Plan
- Rate Shield
- Just400 Advantage
To learn more about each of these plans — and whether or not they are offered in your area — visit our Service Areas page and pop in your zip code.
What Are Some of Just Energy’s Home Energy and Natural Gas Solutions?
Just Energy offers a few different options to meet your household’s needs. You can select a fixed rate plan, which will guarantee that your energy rates will stay the same even if the market rate increases during your contract term. On the other hand, you could opt for a variable-rate plan, which means your rates could adjust with market and business conditions.
Just Energy offers residential customers the choice to go green by adding the green energy option to their electricity plan. Though the green energy product does come with a small monthly fee, you’ll be doing your part for the planet: a bit of your bill will go toward purchasing renewable energy credits. These offsets could replace up to 100% of your energy consumption.
Finally, Just Energy residential customers can opt for variable contract lengths. Of course, longer terms can positively affect your electricity rates, but sometimes the future is uncertain and it’s beneficial to have flexibility in your contract term.
Did we mention that Just Energy operates in several states? That’s great news because a future move doesn’t necessarily mean breaking your contract.
When deciding on the best home energy plan for you and your family, consider the following:
- Is your home a single-family dwelling, an apartment, condo, or duplex?
- How many household members do you have?
- How many appliances do you use on average?
- How much energy does your household usually use?
- Is there a move in your future, or are you planning to stay awhile?
- Is green energy and supporting the environment an important factor for you?
- Would a fixed rate be the best rate for you or do you prefer a variable rate?
When you understand your needs and preferences, your decision becomes much clearer. Just Energy’s customer service reps can assist you in selecting the plan that’s right for you.
What Ares Some of Just Energy’s Commercial Energy Solutions?
In deregulated areas of Texas, commercial organizations also have options when it comes to electric rates. Consider your bottom line and make the best decision for your business or organization by reviewing commercial electric rates and natural gas options.
The JustGreen program makes it easy to add up to 100% JustGreen to most Just Energy plans. Going with the JustGreen Program has the added benefit of positioning your organization as one that implements and values sustainable practices.
How Is Electrical Service Routed in My Home or Business?
Your energy provider delivers electricity to your home or business via a powerline to the service entrance. A service entrance is the power company’s cabling that supplies power to a home or business.
A service drop is the name for overhead cables. If your electric wires are underground, they’re called a service lateral. The service drop or service lateral connects to the electric meter and then to the electrical panel, usually through a conduit.
The main electric or service panel is next to or under the electric meter, which measures and feeds electricity to the board. The electrical wiring or circuits that run throughout the building begin and end at that panel. The panel is the central distribution point for the electrical circuits that run to lights, receptacles, and appliances throughout the house.
A service panel in new construction typically uses a system of circuit breakers. Older homeowners may have a fuse box instead of a modern service panel. Fuses are cartridges inserted between the terminal points of a circuit. They contain a thin metal strip that melts if the circuit is overloaded, opening the circuit and interrupting the flow of electricity.
Depending on the requirements of particular areas in the home or business, your electrical contractor may install a sub-panel to handle a heavier electrical load on specific circuits, such as the kitchen and laundry room. You may also need a sub-panel or panel upgrade if your electrical wiring needs changes.
An individual circuit is an electrical wiring system made up of a hot or live wire (usually black or red) from the electric panel to a series of electric boxes that deliver electricity to lights, receptacles (outlets), or appliances. A circuit also includes a neutral wire (usually white) and a ground wire (green or copper wire). Both the live and neutral wires return to the electric panel. The ground diverts electricity from short-circuited live wires to the ground to prevent electrical shock.
Did you know a Smart Meters System allows for a faster power restoration? Most homes and businesses in Texas have smart meters. The innovative technology inside smart meters enables your energy company to pinpoint outage locations, allowing for a quicker restoration when power outages occur.
Are There Other Types of Electric Services Aside From Electricity Providers?
Yes, there is more than one type of electrical service. Along with electric companies that provide both residential electricity and commercial electricity, there are professional electricians who can address a variety of issues in the home or business space. Texas licenses reputable electricians. Always use a licensed electrician for any electrical repairs or changes in buildings, whether it’s your home or place of work.
Why Would I Need Residential Electrical Services?
All the electrical services in your home are likely already up and running. However, if you need electrical repairs, plan to remodel, add an extension, or install solar panels, you’re going to need an electrical contractor or licensed electrician.
Suppose you trip the circuit breaker or blow a fuse too often. In that case, that’s an indication of an overloaded circuit, a short, or a ground fault.
As we mentioned earlier, circuits have specific amperage limits that influence how the circuit will be used. If the amperage exceeds the circuit’s rating, the breaker will trip, or the fuse will blow because the circuit is overloaded.
For example, suppose that you’re in the laundry room ironing while the washer and dryer are running. You plug in a fan to keep cool, and the circuit trips, thus shutting down your electricity. You drew too many amps for the circuit.
A short circuit can be caused by several things, including: loose wiring, gnawing rodents, faulty switches, or bad outlets. In addition to fire danger, short circuits can put you or someone in the household at risk of an electrical shock.
When a live or hot wire connects with the ground wire, contact will break the circuit. That results in a ground fault. Ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs), required by the National Electrical Code, prevent electric shock in kitchens, bathrooms, and laundry rooms.
Why Go With Just Energy?
Just Energy is one of the leading distributors of electricity and natural gas in the United States and Canada. By going with Just Energy, you get top-notch customer service, energy savings, and a commitment to more environmentally-conscious practices.
We offer electricity, natural gas, renewable energy credits, and energy efficiency solutions.
In the state of Texas, electricity deregulation means your options are wide and plenty, affording you many advantages for finding the best electricity provider and securing the best Texas electricity rates. From the ability to choose green energy to a variety of plans that offer affordable electricity bill options, Texans are fortunate to have the power to choose. The only question left is: Why not choose Just Energy?
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