Nearly two weeks of consecutive 100-degree days have put even greater strain on Texans facing mounting electricity bills. While some parts of the state have gotten a small reprieve (with temperatures "only" in the 97-99 degree range), remember it's only the first week of August, and folks are already making comparisons to the late summer scorcher of 2006, and the record-setting 1998.

That means there's still time to shop around for a cheaper electric rate before the summer ends, and is the easiest way to do it.

However, some Texas business owners are seeing bills more than double what they paid a year ago, despite using about the same amount of electricity, because their rate when up dramatically. It shows the need to do your homework when shopping for an energy provider, or better yet, have someone find the best rate for you.

As reported in the McAllen Monitor , Benny Rodriguez Jr., who runs Bob Stark's Beef Shop, saw bills for the meat market more than double because his variable electric rate spiked on 10 days in May and June. He wasn't alone. Across Texas, small businesses with certain electricity plans have seen rates jump from 9¢ to as high as 25¢, and it's time to find a better deal.

Most of the businesses seeing the big jump were paying a variable rate, often times on a product indexed to the wholesale price of power in the state, called the Market Clearing Price for Energy (MCPE). Under the rules of the market, the MCPE can rise as high as $2.25 per kilowatt-hour, which is about 20 times what used to be the average rate paid by customers (11-12¢ per kilowatt-hour) earlier this year. In other words, businesses looking to avoid huge jumps in their electric bills want to insulate themselves from the MCPE by locking-in a fixed rate.

And fortunately, electric rates are actually falling right now, because world natural gas and oil markets have receded. Texas electric rates for commercial customers are about 20% cheaper than they were a month ago, making it a good time to lock-in a manageable rate.

But where can a Texas business owner go to find the best rate with so much clutter in the market? offers businesses a one-stop shop for all their energy information and solutions. More importantly,'s one-of-a-kind commercial retail exchange portal frees customers from time consuming efforts to locate and research competing electric companies and solicit bids for their energy usage. Instead, with one click of the mouse, allows business owners to get quotes from eight energy suppliers competing head-to-head to win the customer's business.'s clearinghouse puts business owners in the driver's seat, and also allows businesses to request customized and different types of products so they can compare different plans, and choose the best electricity rate for their business.

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