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Real Estate / Houses

A Newcomers Guide to Picking Your Texas Electricity Provider

The Real Power of Choice

BY Series Correspondent // 03.20.17

Choice is a powerful thing. Having a good one can change your way of looking at the world. Newcomers to Texas might not even realize one of the choices they have. Almost everyone who moves to Texas knows that there is no state income tax in their new home. That is a reality that’s drawn professional athletes and celebrities alike to the Lone Star State for years.

But what about the Texas energy choice?

How many of the 2,400 new people who each week call Texas home — the state ranks No. 1 in America for newcomers — know that they must select their electricity provider?

Texas has the finest competitive electricity market in the country and perhaps in the world. No more gruel for breakfast everyday; you awaken to a huge buffet. Fittingly for a state that celebrates rugged individualism and freedom with fervor, you’re in charge of your home’s energy destiny in Texas.

Of course, you must know that first.

“When I came to Texas, I didn’t even realize I had a decision to make,” says Don Robinson, who moved from Nashville (Tennessee is one of the heavily regulated states where there is no choice of electricity provider). “I just went with whatever company had been set up by my apartment complex.”

That’s a pretty typical scenario. When you come from a monopoly-only state without energy choice, energy choice seldom crosses the mind. Once newcomers to Houston learn of choice, the competing options can seem confusing and a little overwhelming. But there is help.

A number of plans often make promises without full transparency, or are simply confusing. So how do you comparison shop?

Plans That Make a Difference

 Competition opens up a new world of electricity possibilities — and there are companies that make things simpler, encouraging you to actually conserve power, save money, and do some good.

Advanced online tools from Direct Energy (www.directenergy.com) put you in control by shining a light on where your energy dollars are actually going. Direct Energy customers get access to an online dashboard (dubbed Direct Your Energy) that breaks down a house or apartment’s energy use by appliance, day, and more. It also puts a percentage on just how energy efficient (or not) your dwelling truly is. This way, you have full transparency into where your energy (and your money) is going, and can make adjustments to your usage that are good for the environment and your wallet.

Direct Energy takes the mystery out of energy use.

How do you choose an electricity provider in Texas?

The answer might be going with a provider that:

1). Gives complete transparency into their plans
2). Gives back to the community
3). Offers plans like Free Weekends where you can get free electricity supply for high usage days
4). Offers rewards and bill credits
5). Provides optimal service so that life is easy

Those fortunate enough to be in a position where pinching pennies is not the main concern may want an electricity plan that works to do something worthwhile for the community. One that takes a global view in an increasingly global world.

Direct Energy’s Give Brighter Plan allows you to send one Luci Light — easily transportable solar lights from MPOWERD, Inc. that last as long as 12 hours on one charge — to a home or business without electricity in the developing world. One will also come to your home for you to enjoy,and you’ll lock in an electricity rate for 12 months. No fluctuations in price when the hot summer hits Texas.

More than 1.5 billion people in the developing world live without electricity at home. Everything from doing homework at night to cooking dinner becomes a grueling challenge — and potentially a deadly danger — in this no-electricity environment.  Many families without power turn to kerosene lamps, but these give off toxic fumes and easily start fires. It’s often the ultimate Catch 22 — a choice between no light and light that could harm you.

This is not something you’re liable to think about when you first realize you have electrical choice in Texas. It seems crazy to think that you could take a small part in changing the world while you’re locking in a consistent electricity rate for yourself. That doesn’t make it any less true. And Direct Energy is helping lead the charge.

Luci Lights help kids do their homework at night — safely.

Choosing Energy Wisely

 If you’re new to Texas, new to energy choice, , or a long-time resident who’s just become more energy aware, there are things to look for when deciding what company to go with.

1). Insist on honesty and simplicity. Does the electric provider bury the true costs in hidden fees? Many energy bills make about as much sense as reality TV logic. If your bill resembles hieroglyphics,, you may want to look elsewhere.

Direct Energy prides itself on simple, easy to understand energy statements

2). Does the electric provider offer access to high-end services and tech tools — or is everything barebones?

A sense of white-glove service (knowing that top technicians are available if your air conditioner breaks down in July) and technological insights (knowing that something is wrong with your air conditioner before disaster strikes on the weekend the in-laws are visiting) can be invaluable.

3). Is the energy provider a company you’d feel good about supporting?

Do they work to save energy or just encourage customers to use as much as possible to increase short-term profits? Do they look to support a global future?

It only takes a few minutes to look over the options and choose a provider that fits your needs.

When you make a choice, you increase competition in the marketplace, which leads to greater innovation and better options in the future. So you’re not only taking control of your monthly bills today, you’re helping create a better tomorrow.

Once you have compared the options and selected the energy plan that’s right for you, visit directenergy.com to learn more and enroll if you choose. The process takes only a few minutes. This is all about choice — and you have one.

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