Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently asked questions
No, we do not. The best way to choose your residential energy provider is to log on to powertochoose.org. There you can educate yourself on the energy-buying process and review the competing rates. We advise searching bids with a fixed rate with a one to two year term. Other items to consider are the service charges (set monthly fees) and contract cancellation fees. Also, less energy use can sometimes mean a higher rate – at what point that happens in your kilowatt-hour use and at what cost varies from REP to REP. You can find and compare that information on powertochoose.org.
Customers pay nothing to CEC for bidding out their power. CEC is paid a commission from the winning REP for bringing them the business. The REP could add the CEC commission to the submitted energy cost during a competitive bidding process, but they risk losing the bid to another REP. The REP cuts their own commission to the quick in an effort to win the business. If the customer goes straight to an REP for a quote, the REP will sometimes even throw an inflated price to the customer to see if the customer (usually uninformed of current prices available) will accept it. Even when a REP cold calls a customer, it is sometimes a “third party” to whom the REP has to pay a commission. A competitive bid is always the best way to get the lowest price for energy.
*We have no deal with one REP to give it our clients’ business. After the bidding process is complete, CEC always analyzes the results to advise our clients regarding which REP is offering the best combination of rate and contract terms on that bid.
If you are interested in more about an REP than the net energy rate that it offers – such as an REP’s environmental/social responsibility, history or values – CEC can help walk you through all the possibilities to find the REP that best meets your needs.
No. When Texas deregulated the electric rates in 2002, they separated the pole and wires charges from the “retail energy rate.” The company that services the actual poles and wires in your area will always be the same, no matter which REP you choose. As such, you will get the same utilities service to which you’ve been accustomed during storms, downed lines, etc. Your wires company is determained by and regulated by the Public Utilities Commission [PUC].
Once you decide to send your load out for bid to REPs via CEC, we will send you an LOA (Letter of Authorization) request form for you to sign so that we can get your usage information from the wires company in your area. Once we have your usage information from the wires company, we’ll discuss with you the details and set a date to bid your load out to the REPs. We’ll receive bids back that same day – and if they look right – will choose an REP and sign a contract before the end of business on that day. Because energy fluctuates with the price of natural gas, prices from the REPs are only good for that day, which will mean that it is necessary for you to be available to sign a contract during a small window of time.
Since electricity prices change daily, bid timing is very important. If we see prices trending up or down, we’ll advise you on the current trend when you call. But the price of energy ebbs and flows with the price of natural gas, so while we can analyze trends over long periods of time, predicting the price today versus the price tomorrow is usually just an educated guess.
That is up to you. Most contracts are between 1 and 3 years. Part of what we do is analyze the current price against how prices have been trending the last three years and help you make that decision, but that decision is ultimately in your hands.
You can, but you’ll probably end up paying a higher price. We receive and analyze daily pricing from the REPs and know the difference between a good and bad rate. We also know the difference between a good and bad contract. A good rate could end up costing you more because of hidden fees in a bad contract. We know what they should and shouldn’t be charging you. The bidding process gets the lowest price and the best contract – we make sure of that.
The first question we’ll ask you when you contact us is “Are you currently under contract with an REP?” If you don’t know the answer to that, you can call your REP or we can help you find the answer. If you are currently under contract, we can mark the end of your current contract on our calendar so we can be prepared to connect with you when your term ends. In you’re within the last few months of your contract, we can help you get a contract set up to begin when your current term ends.
Many of our customers save thousands of dollars a year by using CEC to bid their load out. Even a 10th of a penny can sometimes save several times more than our fee, if there is a fee. The size of your savings will depend on the size of your load, but you will always save.
Need more information?
Carter Energy Consulting utilizes our experience and connections to guide clients to the most cost-efficient, reliable energy provider by bidding out a client’s energy load to a variety of REPs and analyzing the results to lock in the best net rate.
As a Texas energy consultant for more than 25 years, Registered Professional Electrical Engineer and CEC President Bill Carter has partnered with businesses and institutions to save them thousands of dollars a year on electricity.
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A partnership with Carter Energy Consulting means taking full advantage of choosing a retail energy provider in Texas.