Why you need Griddy, not an electricity shopping service
Texas energy consumers have their work cut out for them. If you don’t do your homework about this unique deregulated electricity market, you’ll get blindsided by the web of different electricity providers out there, with each offer wildly different in terms and plans. In fact, now you can even hire a middleman, an electricity shopping service, to make sense of them.Tacking on an additional middleman and fees to pick the right plan may seem like a necessary evil, but it’s not the only solution or even the cheapest. Rather, you can go straight to the source and buy your electricity at market rates, just like the electric providers do—and for the same price they pay. Let’s break down the differences to weigh the costs of an electricity shopping service vs. a market-rate electricity plan.
Electricity shopping services don’t solve the problem.
Back in 2002, Texas deregulated its electricity market. While this decision was supposed to create a more competitive energy market, it actually made electricity rates higher! What happened? The increase in choices encouraged electricity suppliers to simply get sneakier about how they made money. In other words, the market didn’t get cheaper, just more complicated.If you’re trying to avoid some of those sneaky hidden fees, you might think the solution is to hire an electricity shopping service. For about $10 a month, the biggest of these companies, Energy Ogre, will offer to manage your plan so you don’t get scammed by these ever-tricky loopholes. Sounds good, right? Except when you consider you’re just adding an extra $120 a year on average on top of the cost of your existing electricity bill. One of the other shopping services, Energy Choice Experts, has a lower price point, but they do a lot less—they won’t actually sign you up for your plan and manage your bill, as Energy Ogre does. Either way, it’s not a very good deal.Other services like Awesome Power and kiloWhat take commissions from the electricity providers themselves, not from customers. That might seem like a cheaper solution—no extra fees!—but really, all it means is that those companies are in the service of the providers who pay them. Those providers are their real customers, not you.We understand that figuring out your electricity plan is complicated, but paying an electricity shopping service $10 a month to figure it out for you just adds an additional fee on top of the bill you already pay. In cases where there is no extra fee, that just means that an electric provider is essentially paying the service to funnel you into their specific plans—not a great solution either. Plus, what are you actually paying for? Not a long-term solution, but a constant game of musical chairs between different providers.
Electricity shopping services aren’t a long term solution.
At Griddy, we’re going to assume you want to keep the same electric provider for longer than six months. However, don’t expect electricity shopping services to offer you the same courtesy. The hands-on service offered by Energy Ogre, where they swap you from plan to plan looking for the best rates, may look like it’s worth the extra cash on paper. But all is not as it seems.See, anyone searching for the best fixed rates will usually hop between six-month plans from different providers, as these are typically the least expensive. But take a look at Texas’s most inexpensive six-month plans. (You can use Power to Choose to compare them easily.) Most of these plans:
- Have break fees that penalize you for leaving early. Electricity shopping services will have you pay this fee so you can move to a lower-priced plan.
- Ding your credit report with a credit score check. So if your electricity shopping servicer has you switch plans, you’ll get your credit report checked twice in that time!
- Are not pay-as-you-go.
How many of these things does Griddy do? You guessed it: none of them. While shopping services do a great job concealing unpleasant hidden fees, Griddy outright eliminates them. Griddy’s pay-as-you-go billing means that you can stick with us for a long time, not just however many months it takes for your service to find something better. If you do decide to switch providers, Griddy won’t charge you any break fees, hidden or otherwise.
Griddy’s a partner, not a middleman.
Electricity shopping services stick a band-aid over the problem of complicated electricity providers, but they don’t cure it. With Griddy, instead of hunting for the best electricity plan—or getting fed up and paying an electricity shopping service to do it for you—you get energy for the same low market rate as electric providers pay for the electricity they sell. You can check your Griddy app at any time of month in order to see your electricity bill in real time, which means no surprises on your monthly bill.Whether you’re an electric provider or a consumer, we all need electricity. And since electricity doesn’t even originate with electric providers, why bother with them at all? Don’t get a middleman for your middleman. Get your electricity the same way providers do—at market rates.