Deciphering Business Electric Prices in Texas
Small business owners in Texas have a very difficult time selecting an energy provider, largely due to the fact that very few providers advertise their business electric rates, plans and prices. In fact, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas does not require them to do so, as is the case with residential services.
Many providers decline to publish prices, claiming that they offer custom-tailored plans for their small business customers. Since every plan is different, it would therefore be too difficult to compare plans.
A small business will likely use much more energy than a residence. Even a small, intimate eatery must cool a dining room full of guests for 12 to 14 hours a day, not to mention running numerous appliances such as dishwashers, lighting and refrigeration. A small business electric bill could easily run between $2500 and $5000.
With such large amounts at stake, a small business owner will understandably want to secure the lowest electric rates for his or her business. Still, many providers insist on having business owners contact them for a customized quote, rather than providing any sort of commercial rate information online. This can be quite frustrating for a business owner, who then faces an endless process of getting individual quotes from each of possibly dozens of providers.
Pricing transparency is much needed for small business electricity provider plans, which will undoubtedly lead to tougher competition and better value. Unfortunately, at this time there are only four providers who provide up front pricing for small businesses:
- Amigo Energy offers a six-month fixed rate plan at 6.8 cents per kilowatt hour, a 12-month fixed at 6.4 cents per kilowatt hour, and a 24-month fixed at 6.6 cents per kilowatt hour, passing through TDSP charges with no markup;
- Reliant Energy offers two fixed-rate and one variable rate plan with energy charges of 6.9 cents, 7.1 cents and 7.6 cents per kilowatt hour, passing through TDSP charges with zero markup;
- Kinetic Energy offers two fixed rate, 1-year and 2-year non-renewable contracts with energy charges of 7.47 and 6.55 cents per kilowatt hour, and one variable non-renewable plan with charges of 6.77 cents per kilowatt hour. They also offer green plans for 1-year and 2-year contracts at 6.74 cents and 6.96 cents per kilowatt hour, and a variable rate green plan at 7.66 cents per kilowatt hour. Plans have a base charge of $4 per month, and pass TDSP charges through with no markup;
- Bounce energy offers a 12-month fixed rate plan at 6.4 cents per kilowatt hour, a 24-month fixed rate at 6.6 cents per kilowatt hour, and a no-contract, no-termination-fee month-to-month variable rate plan at 7.1 cents per kilowatt hour. Plans have a $4.95 base charge per month and pass TDSP charges through with no markup.