In the scope of Texas’ energy market, deregulation has brought about some big changes for businesses and homeowners alike. The one you’re probably most familiar with is that you now have the power to choose your retail electric provider. For Texans, that’s huge. You can’t go wrong with more choice if you’re looking for a specific type of service.
What people sometimes neglect to acknowledge is all the other ways that deregulation is helping Texans. Here are just a few:
Keep in mind, these retail electric providers are more than just your options. They’re each other’s competitors. Like any good business, each provider will go to great lengths to gain customers and keep them satisfied. That leaves them no other choice but to offer enticing promos, more competitive pricing and a more expansive set of products. Clearly, that works to your benefit. A provider needs to hone in on every facet of its service if it wants to attract your business.
With so many providers opening their doors at the dawn of deregulation, it’s only logical that a new crop of jobs have popped up along with them. Whether it’s in the technical field, in a managerial position or on the marketing/sales side of things, retail electric providers have hired versatile, sizable staffs to keep operations running smoothly. It’s pretty neat having so many opportunities to work in a burgeoning field like the energy industry.
The benefits of choosing your own provider extend beyond the price you’re getting. Perhaps just as importantly, deregulation dictates what kind of customer service you’re getting. When you’re dealing with something as vital as your electric service, you deserve attention to detail. In the days of old, the monopoly supplier could provide shoddy customer service with virtually no repercussions. Either you moved to an area that’s served by someone else or you put up with the unresponsiveness of your supplier. Now, if you’re not getting the treatment you expect from your provider, you can switch to a new one in just a matter of days. There’s no hassle and no service interruption – only the customer service you deserve.
If you haven’t taken advantage of everything deregulation has to offer, what’s stopping you? Make sure you’re getting the service you deserve at a sensible price. And hey – if you’re on the job hunt, it wouldn’t hurt to take a look around at the opportunities within the industry.
With so many working parts in your electric service, it’s frustratingly easy to confuse your points of contact. Naturally, you’ll probably want to call your utility when things aren’t working the way they should be. You might even be right to do so, but before you pick up the phone, make sure you hash out the real issue. You wouldn’t want to waste your time or anyone else’s on the other end of the line.
Here are some general rules of thumb for troubleshooting. Call your utility if:
Your electricity is out. If you’ve paid your bill in full, there shouldn’t be any reason why you’re not getting service. Since utilities handle the actual infrastructure that delivers electricity into your home, it could be the result of faulty electric lines. One call to the utility should be enough to figure out what’s causing your power outage.
Your lights are dimming. Not every service interruption causes a full-on blackout across the neighborhood. Sometimes, a partial outage can have your lights flickering sporadically or your appliances turning themselves on and off. That can get pretty annoying if you’re dealing with it for days, so get in contact with your utility company as soon as happens.
You smell gas. Utilities handle the infrastructure for your natural gas supply, as well. If you think you there could be a gas leak somewhere around your home, don’t hesitate to call. Most utilities have an emergency hotline you can reach 24/7.
Call your electric provider if:
You want to switch your payment plan. Some providers encourage customers to pay online, some have locations that let you pay in person – some simply tack their service onto your utility company’s bill. However you’re currently making payments, you probably have other options. If you want to make a switch, give your provider a call.
You feel like you may have been scammed. Unfortunately, identity thieves are out there. Nationwide, consumers have reported instances of scammers calling their homes and posing as supply company employees. Usually, they’ll threaten the termination of your service unless you give up your credit card number. Be careful about whom you give your information to; you always have the option to ignore a caller and dial your REP’s customer service department instead.
You’re looking into green energy. Purchasing carbon offsets on your own can be a hassle – most retail electric providers offer an easier solution. Just ask your REP about its green energy packages. A lot of REPs have plans that let you to allocate an amount of green energy into the electric grid based on your own usage.