HOUSTON - We all face high energy bills in these hot summer months. A collective says it can save residents money by buying power in bulk.
There are many energy aggregators in Texas, most are for commercial customers. Texas Power Switch is a residential energy aggregator that works to offer a lower group rate.
"We live in a 1,500 square foot home, three-bedroom, two-bath," said homeowner Keven Keller.
Keller says he averaged his monthly electric bill from his previous provider from October to March.
"My average monthly bill for that six-month period was $187 a month," he said.
Then he says he compared it to his average monthly bill for the same period after switching providers through Texas Power Switch.
"My monthly bills were $116 a month. So as you can see $71 a month I’ve been saving on average," said Keller.
Texas Power Switch is a licensed energy aggregator owned by British company iChoosr. It invites residents in deregulated areas to register and then invites retail electricity providers to bid to be their group supplier through what's called a reverse auction.
"They bid against each other. And typically what we wind up with is a price we can offer to every resident who has signed up," said JP Harper with Texas Power Switch.
Harper says residents can register at no cost or commitment before the next auction, which is on September 21.
"I want to be very clear that residents, when they sign up for the program, there’s absolutely no commitment," said Harper.
And he says if you don't like the price, you don't have to switch.
"It’s a fixed price contract, meaning the rates do not change at all for the term of the contract. And what we offer through Texas Power Switch is either a one-year contract with a winning retail electric provider or a three-year contract," he said.
Before you change to any new electricity provider, you should always first compare your potential savings to any early termination fee you might have to pay.
You can also check to see if you're getting a good rate by going to the Public Utility Commission's plan comparison website, PowerToChoose.com, to see what rates other providers offer.
Spending a little time shopping around can save you a lot of money over the term of a contract.