I saw a company advertising electric rates for 7.5 to 8.5 cents per kWh for fixed rates that last a year. These ads appeared January 10 2023 when the cheapest fixed electric rates were around 12 – 15 cents per kilowatt hour. Electric rates being advertised without TDSP charges is a way to catch your attention but it’s not right and it leads people to believe they are getting a much lower electric rate.
These advertising gimmicks dangle something shiny on platforms like Facebook and hope you call or click to find out more.
That’s when they either come clean in a subtle way while trying to keep your trust and still get you to order electric service. Sure they did a bait and switch on you but some people will continue to listen to the sales person and order electric service even though the electric rates they advertised are not the same as what they tell you on the phone.
Electric Service Industry Given a Bad Name By These Bait and switch Tactics
Not all retail electric providers are out to deceive you but the pressure of a sales person to perform turns people to the dark side.
Sometimes the company policy says one thing but the sales person left to say whatever he wants gives a different story.
When a Facebook ad is clearly showing a half truth of an electric rate that is inexcusable. Managers can blame the sales person when a door to door guy tells a story to get a sale but an advertisement is clearly documented and can be submitted to the PUCT complaint department.
The Bait and Switch of Electric Rate Sales
The worst of these advertising gimmicks will tell you 7.5 cents is the rate per kWh knowing full well they did not disclose they removed the TDSP portion of the rate.
They then proceed to sign you up for electric service while moving through the TDSP disclosure quite quickly leaving you feeling like you might have heard something important.
The electric service sales person hopes you forget the quick TDSP fee disclosure or at least don’t put the math to work that it was not included in the advertised right.
They may focus on telling you they are offering you the “energy portion” or “energy only” part of the rate but taxes and other fees and charges are separate.
The salesman will focus on that low rate they told you about and move past the all-in full electric rate you should be clear on.
So you order your electric service with a company that claimed to have the lowest 12 month fixed electric rate out there only to be totally let down when you get your first bill.
Keep this common scenario in mind when shopping and comparing electric rates. The TDSP charges are a part of the electric rate that should be bundled in to the total electric rate.
Customers deserve to know what their entire electric rate looks like and not be given a bait and switch sales tactic.
Business Electric Rates and TDSP Charges
Business electric rates in Texas are quoted without the TDSP charges because they vary widely based on the size of the business and how they use their energy.
The TDSP charges are not added into the rate quote as a bundled electric rate because it is important to see what the TDSP charge looks like separate from the electric rate being bid for the company.
Retail electric providers bid on these business accounts using a reverse auction when going through company like ElectricRates.com. The quotes show a detailed list of rates, electric providers, and various rate plans that will be most advantageous for the business. Contact us if you need a business electricity quote in Texas and the many other states we serve.
Donny has been writing about the deregulated energy markets since early 2007. His knowledge has helped consumers lower their electricity cost.