LoginCreate an account

Home News-Telegram News Maxwell using his Saturdays to help people see if they can save money by switching electricity providers

Maxwell using his Saturdays to help people see if they can save money by switching electricity providers

E-mail Print PDF

City Manager Marc Maxwell is planning to volunteer his time over the next four Saturdays to help local citizens figure out if they can lower their electricity bills by changing electrical providers.

“I want to show them numbers — I’m not going to advise them who to pick,” Maxwell said. “But at last check, there were at least 14 plans out there at 10 cents (per kilowatt hour) or under. If they’re paying 14 or 15 cents, I’ll show them how they can save money.”

About a month ago, Maxwell noted that some local residents could save as much as 40 percent on their electricity bills simply by switching the company they purchase energy from. In fact, he had recently helped a friend’s elderly mother select a new electric company. After reviewing her options, she was able to drop her kwh (kilowatt per hour) charge from more than 15 cents to just over 10 cents.

This Saturday — and the three Saturdays afterward — he plans to take his laptop computer to Main Street and help people analyze their current electricity providers and try to help them.

“I’ll be down at the Farmers’ Market, and I won’t be hard to find,” he said.

Ever since the Texas Legislature deregulated the industry in 2002, Texans have been able to choose their own electric provider and plan from dozens of options.

“But there are a a lot of people out there that are still afraid, still confused, who feel intimidated by the whole thing,” Maxwell said. “Maybe if they can sit down with someone they know and get the answers to some questions, maybe they won’t feel so intimidated.”

People who are interested in getting assistance need to bring a recent electricity bill.

“If you don’t bring your bill, I can’t help you,” he said. “I’ve got to be able to see it.”

Also, before switching, people need to find out if their current company is going to charge an early termination fee for leaving. If they are subject to an early termination fee, it may or may not be worth it to change.

“They may want to call their electricity provider first and ask those questions — Will I have a termination charge, and how long will I face that charge?” he said. "If they ever actually signed up under a contract and they have that contract, it would answer that question. But 99 times out of 100, they won’t have that contract.

“But I’ll also have a phone with me, and we can make a phone call while we sit there if we need to,” he added. “I’ll have my adding machine, and hopefully I’ll have a printer so I can print out a couple of electricity facts labels, and they can take it home and decide whether or not they want to do it.”

All the options are available via the internet at www.powertochoose.org. Enter the zip code of the address where the electric service is provided, and a list of options pops up.




mySSnews Login

User Menu