With 2010 right around the corner, many Texas families will be looking at their household budgets for the coming year, and looking for ways to save extra money, especially in this recession.  By shopping for a low electric rate, Texas customers can save hundreds of dollars per year which can help pay off any Holiday bills and make tight budgets go farther in 2010.

Many customers last shopped for an energy price in 2008 when prices were much higher than they are now.  Your electric bill will show your monthly rate for electricity, expressed in cents per kilowatt-hour, listed as "The average price you paid for electric service this month," or a similar description.  This is the price you should use to compare with other electric companies, and how you can determine how much you'd save by switching to a lower rate.

For example, let's say you're a customer in the Dallas area, in the Oncor service territory.  If you were currently paying 14.0¢/kWh for electricity (a typical rate many customers had in 2008), and used 1,000 kWh every month, your monthly bill would be $140 ($0.140 x 1,000 = $140).

Now, consider some of the much lower rates available from competitive suppliers in the Dallas area are.  For example, you could find a six-month, fixed price plan with a rate for 9.4¢/kWh.  To calculate your savings, first calculate your bill with this new, lower rate under the same usage of 1,000 kWh ($0.094. x 1,000 = $94).  Your monthly bill would be only $94 or a savings of $46 every month, just for switching energy providers.  Over a year, this would equal a savings of $552, based on average usage of 1,000 kWh every month.  Savings for a typical 1,600 square foot home could easily exceed $900 per year.

If you wanted to lock in a lower rate for a longer period such as 12 months, you can still find substantial savings.  In the Dallas area, there are 12-month fixed rates at 10.1¢/kWh, a low rate that gives you both savings and price protection for one year.  Using the example above, if you switched to this rate, your monthly bill would be $101 ($0.101 x 1,000 = $101).  If you were currently paying a high rate of 14¢/kWh, you monthly savings would be $39, for yearly savings of $468.