A Few Facts Your Electric Company Doesn’t Want You To Know

Don’t let your electric company deceive you.

From the moment you hear your alarm, to the moment you switch off your bedroom light, you are using electricity. You don’t really think about the company that provides that electricity until you have to pay them. But maybe you should be thinking about them more. Because not thinking about them—and the things they don’t want you to know—could be costing you.  

100% green might actually mean 12% green.

It’s true that Texas is leading the nation in clean energy technology, but we still have a ways to go. Electric companies can brag about their clean emissions all day long, but the fact of the matter is that even companies promising 100% green energy are using electricity generated by coal, natural gas, or nuclear power. Don’t get us wrong—the winds of change are blowing strong in Texas. Wind energy made up about 23% of our state’s power during the first quarter of 2017. That’s up from 10% in 2010, and 3% in 2006. But 23% is still not 100%. Even though an electric company might be promoting green energy, they are not sourcing it through all green sources. Most green energy plans use only the state-required 12.1% renewable energy.

There are fees hidden in places you’d never think to look.

When you look at your electricity bill each month, some of the taxes and fees are clear. But some of them, you’d never find even if you searched with a magnifying glass. Ever heard of a “customer care call” fee? What about a “document request” fee? That’s right. Your electric company could be charging you for the smallest customer service transactions. Add in early termination fees, disconnection notice fees, minimum usage fees, and base charge fees, and you’re paying more in fees than you are in electricity. All of these little fees are extremely frustrating, because they’re often used to make up for a lower advertised electricity rate that the company used just to get you in the door. Once they get you with a deceptively low rate, they often make sure you’re locked into a contract, and then make a profit by charging you extras that weren’t in the upfront.

Your electric company doesn’t actually want you to use less electricity.

It’s easy to tug at consumers’ heart strings with ad campaigns promoting electricity conservation. “Going green” is all the rage these days. And this type of messaging is something that traditional electric companies have gotten really good at. But it wouldn’t be good news for electric companies if everyone really did cut down their usage that much. They would just end up losing money. So now, in order to maintain their bottom line, regulators have let companies use a strategy called “revenue decoupling.” This means that even when customers are using less power, electric companies can charge them more in order to make their own income consistent.  

There are ways to know exactly how much electricity costs and how much of it you’re using—at all times.

Traditional electric companies don’t want you to know how much electricity you’re using, or how much they’re paying for it vs. what they’re charging you. The reason for this is obvious: The less you know, the more they can overcharge you with deceptive, confusing pricing. But the reality is that you could be seeing the real-time rate of electricity, tracking your energy usage, and paying exactly what the electric companies pay for electricity. With Griddy, you get direct access to the real-time rate of electricity. You pay a single, transparent membership cost of $9.99 per month, and then you simply pay what electricity costs, the taxes and fees associated with getting it from the grid into your home (and a small, pesky payment processing fee). That’s it. We’ll never hide these fees, and we’ll never add on ludicrous customer service or break fees. And because our profits are not connected to the amount of electricity you use, we can actually help you use less electricity, if that’s what you want to do. With Griddy, you have 24/7 knowledge about what’s happening on the grid, and you save up to 47% on electricity just by getting the real-time rate.

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