Texas businesses with fixed-price electricity deals expiring soon should not procrastinate renewing or finding a new energy supplier before their term price expires. To do so could expose businesses to wildly volatile electricity prices, the most expensive in the market.

The reason is that many electric companies have fixed-priced contracts which automatically renew. But instead of renewing onto the same or another fixed price, the contracts often automatically renew onto a variable rate which fluctuates with the wholesale cost of power. That means a business which has paid 12¢ per kilowatt-hour for 12 or 24 months could end up paying 18¢ to 20¢ per kilowatt-hour under that legalese of the contract.

Many customers aren't aware of these automatic renewal clauses that can change how a customer's electricity is priced. In fact, the Public Utility Commission is looking at that issue in a rulemaking, as reported by trade journal Energy Choice Matters.

Choosing a new electricity rate isn't something that can be put off because of the risks in auto-renewals. Although it can be daunting sifting through the myriad of competing offers in the Texas energy market, the price of not picking a new plan, whether with the same energy supplier or a new provider, are too high to not take action.

Additionally, while business owners with a cheap electric rate that's about to expire may not like the current price climate and want to put off signing another long-term deal to see if prices fall, they should still avoid simply letting their contract auto-renew in order to exercise some control over their price. Even if a business wants to wait and see if prices fall after the summer, they should sign a short-term or variable deal that gives them some certainty as to electricity costs, instead of relying on whatever pricing stipulation their energy supplier can use under their auto-renewal clause, which may include pass-throughs of expensive real-time charges.

SaveOnEnergy.com solves both of these problems for businesses. Its market-leading commercial retail exchange portal gives business owners a variety of competing quotes for cheap electricity with just a few clicks of the mouse, saving business owners time and money in trying to research every energy provider themselves. SaveOnEnergy.com's commercial retail exchange portal also allows businesses to get custom offers to compare different types of electricity rates.

For example, businesses with expiring term deals can ask for energy suppliers to provide quotes for both variable or short-term service, and for longer (12+ month) fixed-price offers, so they can evaluate whether they want to sign a new long-term deal now, or wait a few months. Business owners trying to get all those different, custom quotes from individual electric companies could take weeks if not a month, but SaveOnEnergy.com immediately alerts energy suppliers of the quote request, and suppliers jump into action so they don't lose their potential customer to one of their competitors.

One more thing to keep in mind is that if a business owner wants to change electric companies, that switch can take time, meaning it's best to put the switch request in at least 30 days before the expiration of the business's current fixed-price contract, if not earlier. That will ensure that the switch occurs immediately upon expiration of the current contract, and the customer does not get stuck with their current supplier on a higher rate just because the business missed the switching window to avoid automatically renewing onto a high, variable rate.

It's best to ask your new supplier to do everything they can to expedite your switch if you're only a few weeks away from your contract expiring to make sure your switch can go into effect when desired at the end of your current contract. But you'll also want to be sure you don't prematurely switch before your current fixed-price expires, both because it's probably cheaper than any current electric rate, and because it could expose you to cancellation penalties. The best thing to do when switching is to share the expiration date of your current contract with your new supplier (which typically coincides with a scheduled meter read) and tell them you need to be switched over right after that date.