The energy deregulation in Texas brought about the emergence of many retail electrictricity providers which then brought about competitiveness in the Texas energy market. Each electricity provider offers an electricity plan detailing the service they are offering and how much it costs. It is then upon the consumer to choose a plan that best meets their needs. However, identifying the right plan is not easy since electrictricity plans are becoming increasingly complex.
For instance, there are some electricity plans that have huge base charges and zero electric charges, whereas there are others that have considerable usage credits. These credits can be awesome to some homes but they can also cause an increase in a customer’s monthly bill if they don’t achieve the usage target. If you consider the above issue in addition to other electricity usage factors, it becomes all-important to have a tool that can help you determine what your electricity bill will be at the end of the month regardless of the bill or plan structure. This is where you require an electricity bill calculator to help you estimate your Texas electricity bill based on your electricity usage rate.
Being able to predict your electricity bill makes it easy for you to plan for your electricity usage and avoid shocking prices. With an electricity bill calculator, you are able to compare the prices of different electricity plans and identify the one with the cheapest rate. All you need to do is to enter your electricity usage in kilowatt-hour (kWh) to get the estimated cost per kilowatt-hour.
Why should you use an electricity bill calculator?
Apart from helping you estimate your electric bill and being able to compare electricity prices, the electric bill calculator will also spare you the energy of manually calculating your probable monthly bill. It also helps in making an informed choice and avoiding guesswork.
Step by step process of using an electric bill calculator:
Below are some of the ways you can use the electric bill calculator to identify the right electricity plan.
- Compare electric plan attributes; There are some electricity bill calculators that allow you to compare features in different electricity plans. All you need to do is enter your electricity usage in kWh and then filter the results by selecting the features that you want in an electricity plan. It will then give you all the plans based on the feature you selected and their prices within your location.
- Map out the best plans based on your electricity usage history. It sounds complicated but it is doable. You just need to insert your lowest electricity usage and note the three cheapest plans, then do the same for your highest usage. Lastly, calculate and insert your average usage into the calculator and note down the three cheapest plans. Choose the plan that gives you the best price in all of the three levels.
- Shop tiered rates/bill credits: You can use the bill calculator to determine whether or not your usage level qualifies for tiered rates offers or special bill credits. To do this, you will need to insert your electricity usage in the calculator and choose “tiered rates and bill credits” on the plan feature section. Tiered rates and bill credits electricity plans are meant for certain specific electricity usage levels. If you are within that bracket you’ll get a rate. If your usage level doesn’t fall under this category, don’t sweat it, you can still choose the basic electricity plan. Note that not all electricity bill calculators have this feature.
- Shop for free electricity rates: You can also use the electricity bill calculator to shop for free electricity. You will just need to enter your usage and choose the feature ‘free electricity weekends and night’ under the plan feature section. This will give you all the electricity plans with this offer and their prices.
Advanced electricity bill calculators give you more than just an estimated monthly bill. Rather, it will give you a more detailed breakdown of the bills indicating cost per service and both the total energy usage and cost per month as well as per year. Moreover, it can also analyze the bill and categorize it into monthly costs using the electricity providers’ seasonality curve. This will give you an idea of what your electricity bill will be in August (summer period) versus the bill in November. This is a crucial feature particularly for those customers who prefer electricity plans with a variable rate.
The seasonality curve feature, mentioned above, is an algorithm that relies on historical usage data of several Texas electricity consumers that reflects how usage varies over the course of the year.
Why is it difficult to shop for electricity plans?
As mentioned earlier, finding an electricity plan in Texas can be quite difficult. And here are three main reasons why.
- Texas electricity rates are displayed in terms of usage levels i.e., 2000 kWh, 1000 kWh, and 500 kWh, and this may not be exactly what you use.
The Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT) requires all energy providers to categorize their plans based on the usage levels of 2000 kWh, 1000 kWh, and 500 kWh. The reason for this requirement by PUCT is to enable consumers to do an ‘apples to apples’ comparison of energy rates including monthly base charges, bill credits, delivery, and energy fees. However, consumers may not use exactly the above stipulated electricity levels. For example, the average home usage rate in Texas is approximately 1200 kWh per month, although every household usage needs are different and may use more or less.
2.Complicated electricity plans
Some electricity companies have complicated electricity plans with hidden clauses that make it more expensive than it appears to be. For example, you might find an electricity plan that offers a great rate for 1000 kWh usage level but if your consumption goes higher than that, the rate changes significantly. There are also the tiered rates, flat bills, bill credits, and freebies which on the face value appear attractive but can be costly if one doesn’t clearly understand the terms.
3.Calculations are not for everyone
The calculation of electricity prices quickly becomes a math problem and not everyone has the time to solve them. Therefore, most people don’t read through the terms.
Because of the three issues mentioned above, most electricity consumers are at risk of being victims to gimmicks, tricks or even genuine plans with tough conditions. By using an electricity bill calculator you are able get the prices of each plan and compare them without so much hustle.
So in brief, an electricity calculator will enable you to compute your Texas electricity bill before you subscribe to any electricity plan. You can also compare different electricity plans based on their prices and features and use that information to make the right decision.
The greatest thing about using an electricity calculator is that you get the peace of mind knowing that you’ve made an informed decision. You are not worried about shocking prices, instead you will feel relaxed knowing how much you are going to pay come the month. You can also budget for your electricity usage and avoid paying extra money due to the minimal understanding of the electricity plan’s terms and conditions.
There are so many free online electricity calculators that you can use to estimate your bill. So, don’t make a decision before crunching the numbers!