Not all Texas retail electric providers are created equal, SaveOnEnergy.com President and Chief Operating Officer David Roylance told a recent forum on electric choice hosted by the Dallas Morning News.
There are over 100 energy suppliers in the Texas electric market, about 30 of which are marketing to residential customers. "They’re not all created equal," Roylance explained, even though the Public Utility Commission of Texas strengthened some rules for certification of energy companies last year.
Still, the Texas electric market has some energy suppliers which have stronger financial backing, and some that have higher levels of customer service. While comparing the hundreds of offers listed on some electric rate comparison websites is not always easy for customers shopping for a low electric rate, it's child's play compared to the arduous task of performing due diligence before signing up with an electric company once you find a rate you're comfortable with (things like checking the company's financials, its complaint rate, its customer service, etc). Much of this information is not easily accessible, and the information consumers can find may still be confusing due to the use of multiple names by certain electric companies.
That's where SaveOnEnergy.com fills a gap for consumers, Roylance said.
"We turn down more retailers than we accept, not only because they may not meet what we believe are the right thresholds to understanding the market, but also because they’re just not differentiated in their product," Roylance explained. If SaveOnEnergy.com already has a wealth of competing low-priced fixed rates, for example, Roylance said that adding another rate from a supplier that has done nothing to distinguish itself or add value for customers only creates more clutter for the customer. Instead, SaveOnEnergy.com tells suppliers to come back with better offers, either lower prices, or some added benefit customers can receive for signing up, so customers can maximize their energy dollar.
Although SaveOnEnergy.com provides customers with an easy to use filter to find the lowest electric rates, Roylance said that there is still a "huge education gap" in customers' understanding of electric competition.
That's why SaveOnEnergy.com isn't just a filter, but an advocate for customers in dealing with the energy companies -- not only in getting customers a low electric rate, but in making sure the electric company lives up to its deal.
"We play a role in helping customers understand the market. On the front end, by making the offers comparative, and on the back end, by making sure that customers are getting what they bought," Roylance said.