When we first moved to Texas we had to set up everything in our new house, including electricity. Moving from northern California, I only knew of one option for electricity: PG&E. But here in Texas there are a ton of options, which is super awesome for us as consumers. Being able to compare electricity prices is quite nice and unexpected, but it makes so much sense in a capitalist society. When these companies compete for our business, the consumer benefits.
When we first moved we chose the company that was displaying the cheapest rate at the time, Gexa Energy. A year or so later Reliant came to us with a smaller rate and stole us away. We’ve been signing contracts with them to lock in a low rate. And what was funny was Gexa called us to ask why we left and when we told them the rate Reliant gave us they said well we can’t go that low. Ha! So we got a great deal. Since then TXU has tried to get us to switch but Reliant still has a lower rate. Also, part of our contract specifies that 20% of the power we get is generated by wind energy, so I’m happy to be promoting some greener options.
Electricity prices vary based on location and depend on the type of fuel used and marked price of that fuel, per this Wikipedia article. There’s a great local resource for Houston area residents called Houston Consumer Choice that provide a comparison of the power companies and prices to help in the selection process. Resources like this are great because they help us as consumers make educated decisions about the providers we select.