Kevin says he was not informed that his electric service contract with Express Energy expired and he had a 500% increase in his electric bill cost.
The thing about this jump in Kevin’s electric rate is that it often happens to low-income and the elderly on fixed-incomes.
In deregulated electric utility areas the electric rate for the entire population would never jump in price in an unpredictable way like this.
These 500% increases in peoples electric rates in Dallas Texas give electricity deregulation a bad name.
It’s good to not require all electric providers in Texas to only offer fixed rates as that would increase the price overall for everyone.
There should be more safe guards to prevent the 500% jumps in an electric rate that can happen when on a variable priced plan.
Some of the variable plans have built in credits and thresholds to achieve the credit so the plan at first looks very much like a fixed electric rate. This is the case for Joseph D. who moved from California to Dallas Texas only to discover how bad electricity deregulation can be.
These plans that look like something between a variable electric plan and a fixed plan are very tricky.
In Kevin’s case he was not on a quasi fixed/variable plan but came off a fixed plan directly onto a variable plan without even knowing it.
At a 500% increase in price it seems reasonable to suspect there is a business plan in place that profits from the 500% electricity price jump.
The business plan seems rotten to the core and I am not sure why Texas electric providers are allowed to do this. Still have the variable plan but don’t allow scenarios like what happened to Kevin to unfold.
Usage Threshold Was How Express Energy Did Joseph Wrong
There were three times during the year where the usage threshold of 1,000 kWh was not met and this causes the electric rate to change.
You guessed it, the electric rate with Express Energy goes up if you don’t meet that threshold. Now most customers understand this plan they sign up for but they are not prepared for how the meter gets read.
Joseph says that three different times his electric meter was read a day early and this caused him to not meet the 1,000 kWh threshold.
Dallas electric companies are signing up thousands of customers so they know what can happen and why it happens. They see the problems and mistakes and how this increases the electric rate for their customers.
The additional profit that is made after the electric rate goes up higher because of the unclear nature of these electricity rate plans is a tragedy.
Energy consumers are not all wealthy individuals. A $300 to $1500 hit to the pocket book can cause someone a lot of pain but many of these people are just a number out of thousands of utility customers ordering a very necessary service.
Donny has been writing about the deregulated energy markets since early 2007. His knowledge has helped consumers lower their electricity cost.