Factors That Affect Electricity Rates in Fort Worth
Electricity rates in Fort Worth fluctuate throughout the year. As summer arrives, it brings a heavy requirement for energy consumption. Residents turn on their air conditioning and fans to keep their premises cool.
Likewise, winter heating needs trump any other regular power usage.
Power generation charges.
Most of the electricity generated comes from local fuel sources. Nuclear, coal, wind, solar, and hydropower generating plants, although abundant, incur operational costs. Some plants require re-licensing or conversions, which also sees a gap in production.
Global oil prices, imports of fuel, and transportation across the country can add to the cost of electricity generation and distribution. Besides the widening supply and demand graph, federal and state regulations can delay the process.
Adverse environmental conditions.
Texas is a region that sees annual hurricane season and winter storms. Besides, floods and other natural calamities can occur in the absence of weather forecasts. The current global climate change scenario is one of the reasons for such unpredictability.
All the above factors put additional pressure on the state power grid, and ultimately on the energy utilities. As a result, Fort Worth electricity suppliers may charge higher rates.
Energy Deregulation Basics
In 2002, the Texas energy market underwent a restructuring, ending state-owned entities’ monopoly in their respective service territories.
Before implementing Texas energy deregulation laws, residents had no other choice but to get their electric supply from their local utility, also called TDU (Transmission and Distribution Utility).
Deregulation opened the market up for private players who cater to their customers with specialized product offerings. They offer competitive prices, similar to a reverse auction, where customers choose a provider with the lowest electricity rates.
85% of the state, including Fort Worth, is under the deregulated market.
Oncor Electric Delivery Company is the local TDU in Fort Worth. It takes care of the power lines, wires, poles, and related electric infrastructure. In the case of a blackout, customers need to report the power outage on the TDU website. Regardless of the company’s name on your monthly energy bill, you receive the same, reliable power from Oncor.
Private companies, called Retail Electric Providers (REPs), from the utility through the substations. Just as phone companies offer various plans, monthly, long-term, prepaid, postpaid, friends and family plans, etc., electric providers also have many products.
Electricity consumers can choose an energy plan that fits their budget, usage, and needs.
Green Energy Options in Fort Worth
Green energy is the renewable electricity generated from naturally available resources, such as sunlight, wind, water, etc. They keep replenishing themselves, and so, they are not exhaustible. They make for superior alternatives to traditional sources like coal, petroleum, and other fossil fuels.
The problem with conventional energy production methods is that these processes release toxic emissions that harm the environment. For instance, ground-level smog, acid rains, and ozone layer depletion are some of the results.
These greenhouse gases are also the main culprits of the rising global temperatures. Experts predict that if the same scenario continues, our planet will be close to extinction in a few decades.
For this reason, leaders of various nations, including the U.S., are promoting green and sustainable living. Recycling and the use of biodegradable products are some ways to save the earth.
As energy consumers, you can also reduce environmental pollution by choosing green energy plans to power your home. You don’t need to install heavy solar panels on your rooftops, but get renewable electricity from your REP.
Fort Worth electricity providers purchase renewable energy credits (RECs) on your behalf and support more green energy projects. They offer plenty of energy plans with varying levels of renewable content. Choose a plan to suit your lifestyle and requirements by checking the Electricity Facts Label document.
Plan Length: Month-to-Month, 6-Month & More
All electricity plans are either fixed-rate or variable-rate plans.
With a fixed-rate plan, you can lock-in a set amount of per kWh cost, which remains the same until the end of your contract. In contrast, the rates on variable-pricing plans keep changing every month.
There are other types of plans called Time-of-Use plans (TOUs), which offer lower electricity rates during specific periods. For example, there are free nights electricity and free nights and weekends electricity plans. You can compare these with your mobile carrier plans that allow free calls or data from midnight to 6:00 a.m.
Short-term electricity plans have a contract duration of 3, 6, or 9 months. Based on the terms of your agreement, they can be fixed-rate or variable-rate.
Month-to-month electricity plans are called no-contract plans because you can switch anytime. You don’t pay a cancellation fee if you end the contract early. These are mostly variable-pricing plans.
Some providers allow up to 5-year contract plans, but 3-year plans are standard. These are fixed-rate plans, and choosing them will protect you from price fluctuations for a more extended period.
Like any contract plan, they carry an early termination fee. You may even have to pay the penalty or lose service if there is a late payment. They also come with reconnection fees.
With postpaid electricity plans, you get a billing statement at the end of the month, but you pay the bill in advance with prepaid plans.
Also called no-deposit electricity plans, prepaid plans require you to credit a minimum amount to get the service started. This is non-refundable, unlike the security deposits for other programs.
Fort Worth electricity providers offer prepaid plans with varying rates, suitable for different usage levels. All you need is a smart meter or prepayment meter to which you add funds. It gets deducted as you consume power.
You can check the reports online, from anywhere. You will also receive weekly alerts as your balance decreases, and you can top it off online or at an authorized center.
There are many benefits to picking a prepaid plan, such as:
• There is no credit check to start the connection
• You get the service on the same day you apply
• Almost anyone is eligible to receive a reliable supply
• Recharge your account on the go
• Reconnection is instant and remote
• Cancel the plan whenever you wish
• No penalty if you don’t add more balance
With all these advantages, prepaid plans are ideal for students, job seekers, tenants, tourists, landlords, and people with low credit ratings.