On Your Side: Navigating electricity plans sticker shock
DALLAS - The price Texans are paying for energy has nearly doubled. Those about to renew a contract are in for some sticker shock
But energy experts say don't be drawn in by the lowest new rate available.
Mike England is with Energy Ogre, the company that constantly shops the market on your behalf to make sure you're always in the lowest rate plan possible.
Since FOX 4 first introduced you to them back in 2015, thousands have signed up to take advantage of their proprietary algorithm that matches your usage with a plan's sweet spot for the deepest discount.
However, things have changed since then.
England says current market volatility due to spiking demand and the record-setting piece of natural gas, which powers Texas plants that generate electricity, has sent rates soaring.
"My own home has gone from 9 cents to 18 cents per kilowatt-hour," he said.
England suggests consumers looking to buy a new energy plan to not buy long-term.
While a two- or three-year contract may appear to offer a lower price than something short-term, forecasters say the market will calm down, and you'll be stuck in what will then be a high-priced plan with a hefty cancellation fee.
"Shorter-term, 6-month, 12-month plan. You are seeing some longer-term plans that look like they are a little bit lower," England said. "But the providers are doing that because we anticipate the market to go down in the future in the next 12 months."
That's created confusion for energy customers desperate to find what looks like the lowest price possible for as long as possible.
"The providers will make a lot of money on those customers that took those long-term plans," England said.
What may slow the spike? Interest rate hikes and soaring inflation, possibly sending family budgets to their breaking point.
"We believe things will slow down a little bit in the economy, which will slow down demand," England said. "And when demand gets reduced, prices will come down."
A looming recession should also cool the market as manufacturing taps the breaks.
"As we head into a recession businesses and manufacturing plants, all of those use less," England said.
Energy Ogre predicts value for their customers on the horizon as forecasters predict the hottest days are still ahead.
The folks at Energy Ogre say even the default rate when you fall out of contract in some cases can be better than locking in a long-term plan. With hundreds and hundreds to choose, from they say their work is more crucial now than ever.
The company is so sure they can navigate your electric needs, they're offering a free month of their service with the coupon code "freebie."