Electric rates: How low can you go?

It’s been a while since we’ve visited what’s going on with electric rates, so….
Today the lowest rates I found on the PowerToChoose site for Houston (downtown zip 77002) was 9.4 cents per kwh, via Dynowatt. Naturally, this is a month-to-month offer so it could change at any time and, as has been the case with some companies, it could just be a teaser rate to get you in the door. StarTex and Southwest Power & Light also offer 9.5 cent m2m rates.
For 3-month fixed rates the lowest today are 9.8 cents offered by Spark Energy, followed by 9.9 cents offered by YEP and Bounce Energy.
Six-month fixed rates begin with 9.9 cents from Spark, 10 cents from Amigo Energy (Go Dynamos!), 10.1 from YEP and 10.2 from GEXA Energy (including a 25 percent wind plan – I think that’s the first time I’ve seen a plan promoting a partial-green product).
For 12-month plans the floor is 10.7 cents from Spark, followed by10.8 cents from Mega Energy, Brilliant Energy and Southwest Power & Light, and 10.9 from YEP and GEXA.
Naturally, there’s fine print that needs to be read before signing up, including the cancellation policies (the cost varies widely) and other fees. The price shown on the PowerToChoose site is supposed to be inclusive of all the fees, including the monthly charge from CenterPoint Energy. Also, some companies have promotional codes that you can use when signing up for service online (I’ve seen it with StarTex) that can knock a tenth of a cent or so off the rate, so be sure to ask a company’s service rep or look on their mailers for them.
I’ve spotted a few TXU Energy ads recently saying they no longer do variable rate plans, which is an interesting angle. I know some people like to ride the wave of changing prices — I was doing that for most of this year on a month-to-month plan as natural gas prices fell. But most of us just want to lock in a rate and not have to think about it for a while.
Reliant Energy has been appealing to that desire for stability as well with billboard ads for average monthly payment plans that even out your bill throughout the year.

SHOW MORE