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Central Texans can apply for Texas Power Switch and save money on electric bill

Deadline to apply is Wednesday, March 3
Posted at 4:09 PM, Mar 02, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-03 11:25:16-05

Texas Power Switch is offered in many cities across Texas, including Waco, Temple and Copperas Cove. It is a group electric fixed rate to help Texans save money on their monthly electricity bills.

Three times a year, Texas Power Switch allows providers to auction their prices, and they'll pick the lowest bid. Taking that bid, Texas Power Switch will create a fixed rate that best suites your area.

Because you're paying a fixed rate, this means that no matter the usage and or power prices go up, like many saw during the 2021 winter storm, your rate will not move.

"Fixed rate would be something that says we're going to charge for example 10 cents per kilowatt per hour," said Carey King, Research Scientist, Research Director for Energy Institute UT Austin. "Wholesale cost of power was effectively three cents per kilowatt per hour, which is what it normally is, but the whole sale cost of power during the blackout jumped to $9 per kilowatt an hour."

Texas Power Switch has been offered to Wacoans since 2017 and has helped them save over the years.

"I encourage people to at least shop it. There's no obligation to take the offer but definitely take an opportunity to see if you can save money," said Larry Holze, Director for the City of Waco.

Holze has even made the switch and seen benefits in his rate dropping over the years. Signing up for Texas Power Switch is free. When they present you with your fixed rate, you have an option to decline it or accept the rate and use them as your provider.

If you are still under contract with a previous provider, Texas Power Switch will handle the change.

"You just tell them you want it. They'll go and investigate with your power company there, where you are in your contract and you can go as far as June 1 coming up," Holze said.

Of course it's important to do research on any provider before accepting their rates.

"For the places that have a choice for retail electric provider, there are many different plans that have many different characteristics," King said.

Because of the savings it's provided to Waco, Holze sees the program continuing for many years.

"Resulting everywhere from 500 to 800 dollars a year total savings, so that's what we're after to help our citizens save money," he said.

The deadline to apply for Texas Power Switch is March 3rd. Signing up is free and once you do you still have a chance to opt-in or out of the rate chosen for your area.