Does Electricity Shopping Baffle You? These Entrepreneurs Say They Have a Better Way

Electricity shopping services use computer models to analyze a customer's electricity consumpton patterns to forecast future usage.

Still confused and frustrated about whether you found the best deal possible with your electricity provider?

It’s been 16 years, after all, since the state of Texas gave electricity consumers the right to choose. Deciding which plan is right can befuddle, even shock, consumers with the complexity some of the options bring. 

A group of entrepreneurs think they have a better way than the Power to Choose website.

According to a report in The Dallas Morning News, the companies offer expert recommendations that they guarantee will help customers save money on their electric bills. Their advice often will cost you though.

“There’s so many factors to consider in a plan that there’s just not an effective way to do it without knowing your exact usage or having a good predictive model of what your usage should be,” Michael Hays, co-founder of Coppell-based Awesome Power, told the Morning News. “Power to Choose isn’t built that way.”

The rise in electricity shopping services began in 2015, and they use computer models to analyze a customer’s electricity consumpton patterns to forecast future usage. That allows them to find the best plan out of the hundreds of choices from dozens of electricity suppliers, the Morning News reported.

Who are the big players who say they’re plugged into the best deals?

Houston-based Energy Ogre is the biggest and has more than 30 employees and an office. Dallas-based Energy Choice Experts, Awesome Power, and Plano-based kiloWhat have one or two staffers each, the newspaper said.

Three factors made the companies possible, the Morning News said:

1. Deregulation of the electricity market in 2002,
2. Easy access to cheap computing power, and
3. The widespread adoption of smart meters

Texas Public Utility Commission Terry Hadley told the Morning News that the PUC doesn’t have plans to duplicate the services. It created the Power to Choose website as “an unbiased source for consumers.”

“I’m not trying to steer anyone toward one plan,” KiloWhat owner David Manz told the Morning News. “I’m trying to get as many electricity providers as I can onto my site. Some of them are happy to do it. Some of them who don’t benefit from the level of transparency I offer don’t really want to have anything to do with my site.”


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Comments

  1. Fred says:

    Another option is Houston-based http://www.TexasPowerGuide.com. I launched TPG to spare do-it-yourselfers the tedious searching and math effort, and it’s the only site to openly publish _all_ the data and calculations behind our recommendations (and even links to all of our competitors).$10 buys a full analysis of the best plan for your usage from PowerToChoose and elsewhere, plus daily monitoring for any better deals over the duration of that plan.