Factors That Affect Electricity Rates in Katy
Owing to the constant heat in Katy, energy bills are higher than some other cities in the U.S. And when summer arrives, they may go up even more. One way to reduce the high costs is by using power saving tips and energy-efficient appliances.
However, here are some of the factors that influence electricity rates in general:
Type of Consumer: Of the three types of electricity consumers – industrial, commercial, and residential, the energy prices for the industrial sector are the lowest. Since the facilities need power in bulk, supply and distribution become more manageable, and hence, the costs are low. So, residential energy rates are the highest.
Power Plant and Fuel Costs: The power plant’s location and fuel availability can also impact your energy bills. The costs of power plant maintenance and day-to-day operations also get included in the retail electricity rates. Besides, some types of fuel are more expensive to procure than others.
Type of Energy Plan: Consumers can lock-in cheap energy rates by choosing fixed-rate electricity plans. They get price stability and have peace of mind. Variable-rate plans, in contrast, have prices that change every month. If the market prices go up, so does your energy bill.
TDSP Costs: For Katy, the local utility or TDSP (Transmission and Distribution Service Provider) is CenterPoint Energy. The company handles the maintenance of power lines, wires, poles, etc. So, the utility’s distribution and delivery system charges also add to the customers’ bills.
Energy Deregulation Basics
Katy has a reserve of energy resources, but it is also vulnerable to the wholesale market price fluctuations. Luckily, the city is part of Texas’s deregulated energy landscape. It means that Katy residents can choose their electricity provider and an energy plan that suits their needs.
The Texas energy market became deregulated in 2002, allowing a lot of players to enter the competition. Several electricity providers offer cheap rate electricity plans with reliable, uninterrupted power supply coming from the local utility.
CenterPoint Energy manages the utility service for Katy. It is known as TDU (Transmission and Distribution Utility) or TSDP (Transmission and Distribution Service Provider). The electric company’s name you see on your monthly bill is the retail electric provider (REP) in your Zip code.
REPs package their electricity plans with various usage levels for households, businesses, and industries. You can compare the price per kWh on each plan and select the one that fits your budget, lifestyle, and requirements.
While most plans and providers require you to pay an initial deposit, some offer same-day connection without any security deposit. You can choose from postpaid, prepaid, or renewable energy plans in Katy. There are also time-of-use plans that offer you power free of charge in select timings of the day or week. Examples are free nights or free weekends electricity plans.
Green Energy Options in Katy
Combating the ill effects of harmful emissions from conventional power production has been on the list of global leaders for many years now. Climate change, global warming, and decreasing sea levels are but a few adverse impacts of fossil fuel usage.
Traditionally, coal and natural gas have been the preferred modes of electricity generation. But now many states in the U.S. have begun to move away from these age-old techniques and focus on building a sustainable world. The main emphasis is to reduce carbon emissions.
Texas is now leading in wind energy production. And, the fifth-highest amount of solar energy in the U.S. comes from the Lone Star State. Katy residents are also interested in finding better ways to make the future cleaner and greener. So, many people are already installing solar panels in their homes to generate electricity.
Even if your living situation does not allow such measures, you can opt for renewable energy services without residential solar panels. Many REPS provide green energy options with renewable-sourced energy from solar, wind, water, biogas, and more by purchasing renewable energy credits on behalf of the customers.
You can find out the companies offering green energy plans by entering your Zip code on this page. Find the Electricity Facts Labels associated with each plan to know the renewable content.
Plan Length: Month-to-Month, 6-Month & More
The two main energy plan types available with Katy electricity providers are fixed-rate and variable-rate plans. Under these two categories, there are contract and no-contract plans. The common types of contract plans are six-month plans, which are extendable for up to five years.
6-Month Contract Plans
These energy plans are fixed-rate plans, where you sign an agreement with the REP and pay the monthly energy bills based on previously-agreed pricing. The electricity rates remain the same for up to six months, after which you can renew the plan or switch to a different provider or a cheaper plan.
Long-Term Contract Plans
Any postpaid that is more than twelve years of agreement period can be considered a long-term plan. Here, you may not have the flexibility to switch as often, but you get guaranteed price security for a longer duration. You may not cancel your contract plan of any length before the agreement end date. You may have to pay the penalty, and a late fee may also be applicable for delayed bill payments.
No-contract plans are usually variable-rate plans that offer price flexibility and freedom to switch providers at any time. As there is no contract or commitment, you do not incur an early termination of service. Plus, they may not carry a late fee. They can be either postpaid or prepaid.
Prepaid electricity plans are ideal for families struggling with financial hardships. Recent graduates, tenants, landlords, and international students are some of the individuals who can benefit from prepaid plans.
Prepaid electricity plans require you to pay the bill in advance. This amount is not equivalent to a security deposit but accounts for your energy usage. You will need a smart meter or key or token-input prepayment meter to start the service on the same day. If you do not have one, it may take up to three business days to install and activate a meter.
They allow you to pay only for the energy you use. The meter tracks your energy spending, and you can monitor it through daily notifications or your online account. You can check the remaining balance and add money from anywhere. Hence, prepaid energy plans are also called pay as you go plans.
Benefits of prepaid electricity plans:
• No long-term commitment
• Everyone is qualified
• No credit score requirement
• Real-time tracking of energy usage
• Online account management
If you lose service due to insufficient funds, automatic reconnection is available once you replenish your account. Prepaid plans are better options for people who have trouble paying bills on time. You can also lower your energy bills with 24/7 monitoring.