Factors That Affect Electricity Rates in Grand Prairie
Electricity prices in Grand Prairie change according to various key factors, such as:
Fuel used for power generation. Natural gas is abundant and costs less, while coal is on the higher end of the scale. It is also the primary marginal source of power generation in the country. So, compared to coal, nuclear, and hydroelectric, natural gas power prices are lower.
Power plants. The wholesale market prices for natural gas-generated electricity are low and has a high demand. So, power plants may turn on the generators with higher costs, thereby leading to higher prices. Besides, the construction and maintenance of power plants also vary with the fuel used.
Type of customer. Compared to residential and commercial electricity customers, industrial consumers can have the supply at lower rates. Distribution of home and business electricity is more expensive. Also, industries operate at higher voltages without stepping down, and so the prices are close to the wholesale rates.
Transmission and distribution lines. Electricity transmission wires are the core of the electrical grid. Maintaining the aging infrastructure, meeting system reliability concerns, and more investments may require customers’ support. So, they contribute to electricity rates.
Weather conditions. Electricity prices are proportional to demand, which means changes in weather patterns can alter the rates. Summers usually see more expensive power generation to meet the peak demand due to extreme heat.
Energy Deregulation Basics
In modern times, consumers’ electricity needs are growing. They have various appliances and machinery to power, such as HVAC units, lighting, electronics, etc. A deregulated market ensures that users can access a reliable supply that fits their needs at more flexible prices.
Texas energy market deregulation laws are reforms that started in the late 90s and took effect in 2002. Prior to that, consumers in the state had one default option when it comes to purchasing electricity.
Entities called local utilities or transmission and distribution utilities (TDUs) are responsible for delivering electricity to certain service territories Texas. Earlier, these utility companies used to supply power directly to the customers. Now, they distribute power to several retail electricity providers (REPs) that provide competitive pricing on their energy plans.
For Grand Prairie, the TDU is Oncor. The utility maintains all electrical delivery infrastructure like poles, wires, underground or overhead lines, etc. If there is an unexpected and prolonged power loss, you should contact Oncor.
No matter which light company you choose, you get the same quality of electricity delivered from Oncor via local power lines. The main things that change on your monthly energy bills are the name of your provider and electricity rates.
Green Energy Options in Grand Prairie
Historically, natural gas and coal have been the preferred sources of power generation, owing to their low costs. Other fossil fuels like petroleum and its derivatives are still used in many power plants. The main problem with these sources of energy, apart from rising prices, is their dwindling supplies.
More than that, people across the globe have been waking up to the severe environmental destruction these fuels leave being in their wake. From ground level to acid rains and global warming - these depletable fuels play a significant role.
Enter renewables, which are excellent alternatives for electricity production. Firstly, they replenish themselves. Secondly, they are available naturally on the planet and are easy to harness. Third, they are in abundant supply all over the world.
Texas is already making waves with wind power generation, which surpassed
energy generation from coal in 2019. And, Grand Prairie does not remain behind. The city’s governmental mission
encourages people to cut greenhouse gas emissions and promotes remanufacturing, recycling, and upcycling by using green technology.
However, they are many ways other than government projects for reducing your carbon footprint. Your power to choose allows you to browse through the available plans from electricity providers in your Zip code.
Many REPs offer renewable electricity plans by purchasing renewable energy credits. Even if there aren’t 100% green energy plans, you can go through each plan’s EFL document and search for renewables-sourced power. In Grand Prairie, the average renewable energy content on many plans is 20%.
Plan Length: Month-to-Month, 6-Month & More
You can make the most of the deregulated energy market when you can make an informed decision. Simply choosing the cheapest available rates is not enough to cut down your bills.
The main thing to consider is the contract length. There are two types of contracts: long-term and short-term.
You may see a few energy plans for 36 months that offer lower rates than contracts of 12 months or lesser periods. This is because they depend primarily on the historical data and the projected forecasts for electricity supply and demand.
These contracts have less than a one-year agreement period, 6 months being the standard term length. Some providers also offer 3-month plans. Either way, these offer some of the most inexpensive rates.
Short-term and long-term plans come with fixed rates, meaning you pay the same price per kWh during the agreement period.
But you must keep an eye on when your contract will expire. If you don’t renew before that, your plan will convert to default rates called, Holdover rates.
When your contract plan expires, it will move to a month-to-month electricity plan. These are no-contract plans with variable rates that change every month. You can also choose these plans directly when you don’t want long-term commitment or feel stuck with one electricity provider. The best part is that, unlike contract plans, there is no cancelation fee for early termination of your no-contract plan.
Another benefit of being a resident of a deregulated city like Grand Prairie is that you can choose the right payment terms that suit your electricity needs.
Unlike postpaid contract plans, prepaid electricity plans let you pay your bill in advance. They work the same way as your prepaid mobile plan.
They are also called pay as you go energy plans because you can top up your account from anywhere. You can check the remaining balance by monitoring your energy usage through a smart meter or key-based prepayment technology.
Some electricity companies in the city even deposit a few credits into your meter before getting the service initiated. Once you add funds to your account, the credits get subtracted from that.
You can receive daily or weekly digital alerts reminding you of the decreasing balance. It is a great way to keep your power consumption in control and lower your bill accordingly.
While many postpaid plans need your social security number for identification, almost anyone can get approved for a prepaid plan. Suppliers don’t require a security deposit or your credit record.
All these benefits make prepaid plans ideal for residents in temporary housing, recent graduates, job seekers, international students, landlords, etc. Individuals that have trouble making the bill payments on time can also avail of prepaid plans.