Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Texas "free market" Electric Retail system, key aspects when deciding for PV system.

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Texas "free market" Electric Retail system, key aspects when deciding for PV system.

    The Texas electricity market is deregulated, meaning that there is competition in the generation and distribution of electricity (except for El Paso and panhandle).
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deregu...tricity_market

    This offers PV people many, many options in choosing for net-metering.
    The benefit is a plan that will maximize the return of your PV array.
    The detriment is choosing the best for maximum return (not that you will loose, just not get most)

    There are several schemes on Solar net-metering, which is best greatly depends on your usage and generation.

    For example, if Solar generation cannot match your demand, then simply getting the cheapest rate is likely ideal.

    If you produce more than you consume, then there is dozens of options and finding the best can be challenging.
    NOTE: you will benefit from any you choose, just some will have bigger payout.

    General information on how Texas energy works:
    https://www.powertochoose.org/en-us/...enewable-Power
    https://txses.org/are-you-interested...-solar-panels/
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electric_Reliability_Council_of_Texas


    Lists of power company programs (not all, most of them)
    https://quickelectricity.com/2018-so...back-programs/
    https://electricityplans.com/texas/c...tricity-plans/


    Simple way to look most features (personal opinion in () ):
    • Monthly fee (none is not just better, it is the ONLY way to go!)
    • Month to month credit roll-over, or NO roll-over (roll-over is better)
    • Wholesale or Retail buy back rates (retail is better)
    • Real time $ to market, or fixed (real time is better)
    • Price receiving electricity vs exporting (best is same in and out, wholesale-wholesale, retail-retail)
    • Cash for excess energy.
    • (another I am not aware of?)

    There is also contract terms. This can be an issue when new installation and do not have generation history to look at to choose the best plan. Best is choose 1 year or less, see how it works, then go longer.

    Best would be getting a Roll-over credit at Retail, using Real time Market value importing and exporting, no monthly fee, and cash for excess generation: BUT no company offers that. Become a challenge of finding the items that best benefit your system generation.
    The only item I can be certain to avoid is Monthly Fee (at top). Other aspects are harder to give weighted value.


  • #2
    Sounds interesting but involved.

    I'd think an enterprising individual might be able to monetize their knowledge of the TX NEM/energy programs/systems to aid those confused by the choices.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by J.P.M. View Post
      I'd think an enterprising individual might be able to monetize their knowledge of the TX NEM/energy programs/systems to aid those confused by the choices.
      A enterprising individual has done exactly that. Fred Anders developed the Texas Power Guide to help new TX solar owners locate the best available plans in Texas. Fred was a great help when I was searching for a plan. He took the time to provide several very educational personal emails that led me to find a excellent plan. Thanks to our 3-year metering contract with Chariot Energy out of Houston, TX we pay ZERO dollars every month for our electric service, and are accumulating a growing credit account that rolls over month-to-month and year-to-year for the duration of the contract.

      I won't post a direct link to Fred's website because I don't know if that is allowed by forum rules. Just do a Google search for Texas Power Guide and you'll find it.
      Enphase 15kW: (40) LG380N1C, IQ7+, (2) 10T storage

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by SolTex View Post

        A enterprising individual has done exactly that. Fred Anders developed the Texas Power Guide to help new TX solar owners locate the best available plans in Texas. Fred was a great help when I was searching for a plan. He took the time to provide several very educational personal emails that led me to find a excellent plan. Thanks to our 3-year metering contract with Chariot Energy out of Houston, TX we pay ZERO dollars every month for our electric service, and are accumulating a growing credit account that rolls over month-to-month and year-to-year for the duration of the contract.

        I won't post a direct link to Fred's website because I don't know if that is allowed by forum rules. Just do a Google search for Texas Power Guide and you'll find it.
        I would if I was in TX.
        Sounds (reads) like Mr. Anders is the type of person who goes through life playing heads' up ball.

        Comment


        • #5
          As long as Mr Anders discloses up front, what is in it for him and his family?. The About tab really is not clear on that

          We’re independently owned, we provide information (not electricity), and we don’t require your personal or account information to give you the answers you need.

          Is this just a very altruistic entity providing unbiased info, an unbiased non profit or are they getting revenue on the front or back end?

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by peakbagger View Post
            As long as Mr Anders discloses up front, what is in it for him and his family?. The About tab really is not clear on that

            We’re independently owned, we provide information (not electricity), and we don’t require your personal or account information to give you the answers you need.

            Is this just a very altruistic entity providing unbiased info, an unbiased non profit or are they getting revenue on the front or back end?
            I appreciate and share your thoughts and sentiment. As with all such situations, if a deal seems too good to be true it probably is. Caveat emptor.
            I'd start out skeptical, but this Mr. Anders may be worth a sniff as long as you can take that sniff and back out without getting screwed if you smell a con.
            However, there can be a point where with too much pessimism and you wind up shooting yourself in the foot.
            Blind and lazy trust are two ways to getting separated from one's assets.
            Two of the keys to avoiding getting ripped off are education and due diligence.
            As part of the self education process, I'd use the guy's ideas without getting involved with him, see what develops and back out if he asks for any identifying information.

            Comment


            • #7
              If you take more than 3 minutes to look around the Texas Power Guide pages, you'll see that it costs $9.99 to get a code which allows access to the list of the "Best Plans" generated by Fred's tool. He is very clear about this fact. He answers questions about why he charges for his service in several places. In my opinion, he is not trying to rip anyone off.

              How does TexasPowerGuide.com support itself?
              TPG seeks to level the playing field for Texas electricity shoppers. To defray our costs of reaching and serving fellow Texans, we ask $9.99 each time using our tools saves you time/money on signing up for a new plan. (Payments are one-time and do not automatically recur.)

              I don't have any financial connection to Fred or his website. I don't benefit from recommending his service. I used his service when we first went online with our system. I would have never found the plan we eventually signed up for without Fred's help. Some of the Texas electric providers don't advertise their best plans unless you really dig down through multiple layers of BS at their websites. It is like a shell game with them - the "prize" plan is always moving around and morphing. Offerings change, sometimes on a weekly basis.

              I entered my ZIP code and our electricity usage for one year into the "calculator". I paid Fred $9.99 (one time) for the "Unlock" code, entered the code in the "calculator", and it immediately popped up all of the necessary sign-up details for the 10 "best" plans for our location, including the plan we ended up on. If you are undecided on which plan to choose, you can continue to use the unlock code for the next 3 months. After that, it costs another $9.99 to get another "unlock" code. This is all clearly spelled out on the website.

              We more than saved the $9.99 fee on our first electric bill with our new plan. I found TPG to be a valuable service. Others may disagree. Caveat emptor.
              Enphase 15kW: (40) LG380N1C, IQ7+, (2) 10T storage

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by SolTex View Post
                If you take more than 3 minutes to look around the Texas Power Guide pages, you'll see that it costs $9.99 to get a code which allows access to the list of the "Best Plans" generated by Fred's tool. He is very clear about this fact. He answers questions about why he charges for his service in several places. In my opinion, he is not trying to rip anyone off.

                How does TexasPowerGuide.com support itself?
                TPG seeks to level the playing field for Texas electricity shoppers. To defray our costs of reaching and serving fellow Texans, we ask $9.99 each time using our tools saves you time/money on signing up for a new plan. (Payments are one-time and do not automatically recur.)

                I don't have any financial connection to Fred or his website. I don't benefit from recommending his service. I used his service when we first went online with our system. I would have never found the plan we eventually signed up for without Fred's help. Some of the Texas electric providers don't advertise their best plans unless you really dig down through multiple layers of BS at their websites. It is like a shell game with them - the "prize" plan is always moving around and morphing. Offerings change, sometimes on a weekly basis.

                I entered my ZIP code and our electricity usage for one year into the "calculator". I paid Fred $9.99 (one time) for the "Unlock" code, entered the code in the "calculator", and it immediately popped up all of the necessary sign-up details for the 10 "best" plans for our location, including the plan we ended up on. If you are undecided on which plan to choose, you can continue to use the unlock code for the next 3 months. After that, it costs another $9.99 to get another "unlock" code. This is all clearly spelled out on the website.

                We more than saved the $9.99 fee on our first electric bill with our new plan. I found TPG to be a valuable service. Others may disagree. Caveat emptor.
                The Texas Power Guide may well be legit and well intentioned. Not saying it isn't. If I was in TX I might well give it a sniff.
                My first post to this thread suggested that doing what the Texas Power Guide may be doing could be a good side hustle.

                I'm only suggesting that folks give it due diligence and don't wind up getting scammed paying for something that's available for nothing somewhere else and/or having their identity compromised or their information sold without their knowledge, much less consent.
                Such sites are often/also moneymakers for their owners as lead generators with info sold to peddlers (as, for example, this site is). Nothing wrong with that IMO, as long as it's disclosed up front and everyone walks in with their eyes open and informed.
                Last edited by J.P.M.; 05-11-2023, 10:54 AM.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by SolTex View Post
                  If you take more than 3 minutes to look around the Texas Power Guide pages, you'll see that it costs $9.99 to get a code which allows access to the list of the "Best Plans" generated by Fred's tool. He is very clear about this fact. He answers questions about why he charges for his service in several places. In my opinion, he is not trying to rip anyone off.

                  How does TexasPowerGuide.com support itself?
                  TPG seeks to level the playing field for Texas electricity shoppers. To defray our costs of reaching and serving fellow Texans, we ask $9.99 each time using our tools saves you time/money on signing up for a new plan. (Payments are one-time and do not automatically recur.)

                  I don't have any financial connection to Fred or his website. I don't benefit from recommending his service. I used his service when we first went online with our system. I would have never found the plan we eventually signed up for without Fred's help. Some of the Texas electric providers don't advertise their best plans unless you really dig down through multiple layers of BS at their websites. It is like a shell game with them - the "prize" plan is always moving around and morphing. Offerings change, sometimes on a weekly basis.

                  I entered my ZIP code and our electricity usage for one year into the "calculator". I paid Fred $9.99 (one time) for the "Unlock" code, entered the code in the "calculator", and it immediately popped up all of the necessary sign-up details for the 10 "best" plans for our location, including the plan we ended up on. If you are undecided on which plan to choose, you can continue to use the unlock code for the next 3 months. After that, it costs another $9.99 to get another "unlock" code. This is all clearly spelled out on the website.

                  We more than saved the $9.99 fee on our first electric bill with our new plan. I found TPG to be a valuable service. Others may disagree. Caveat emptor.
                  JPM is being justifiably cautious, as I too have seen many poorly done quotes and installs.
                  And I suspect scam artist are trying to take advantage to this hot trend.

                  But you info sounds like this is a reliable and safe, thanks!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I admit I did not spend a lot of time looking at the website. What I did was look in the "about" section which is where there should be a disclosure of their fees.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      So last month my install was done and received my PTO on Aug 28!

                      I did use Texas Power Guide to help me decide who to use, and I did go to 4 of the Power company web sites to verify the information.
                      Bottom line,
                      TPG is LEGIT, and if you have a Solar Install, the service is FREE once a year! They even will email you when your year is nearly up! If you do not have solar they offer non-solar rate finder for $9.95 (the spreadsheet they use is FREE, they do not show you which company is the one with best rate).

                      From my experience I modify the list I made in OP:
                      • Monthly fee. CANNOT AVOID the Transmission and Delivery Utilities (TDU) Delivery Charges is $4.23++, most have a monthly fee.
                      • Wholesale or Retail buy back rates: CHOOSE ONLY RETAIL! Wholesale on very rare days is very high, but in winter it can average 10% of Retail.
                      • Month to month credit roll-over, or NO roll-over. ROLLOVER is a MUST!
                      • Cash for excess energy: very few offer this, and when they do it is with Wholesale rates. To even have a chance of $$ your system needs to be 300% oversized.
                      • TDU and Monthly repaid or not. Defiantly check this and make sure the monthly fee is paid.
                      You might see:
                      • Real time $ to market, or fixed (little value in credit earned)
                      • Price receiving electricity vs exporting (best is same in and out, wholesale-wholesale, retail-retail) Again, you want RETAIL value.
                      • Black out periods, like weekend.
                      There are some other details:
                      Early Termination: 12 Month MAX! Rates and/or policy could change during the period (unless expressly stated otherwise), or a better offer is available.

                      BOTTOM LINE: you want SAME Import and Export. Even a few cents less will have a HUGE difference in credits (wholesale can be as low as 5% during winter)
                      I did notice that companies that do not have a monthly use Wholesale, but companies that do have a monthly have fixed credits from 50% to 100% of your retail.

                      Comment

                      Working...
                      X