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Considering a new electricity plan? Here's what Texans need to know

After last week's power grid failure, Texans are taking a closer look at their power plans and the fine print that comes with it.

HOUSTON — First came the failure of the state’s power grid, now comes the financial fallout of last week’s winter storm.

If you’re anxious about your next power bill or considering changing companies, Power To Choose provides just that: the power for Texans to choose their electric company.

“Once you have entered your zip code and progressed into the plan offerings for your area, it’s really important to rely on the filtering options that are presented on the left hand column of the website," said Andrew Barlow Director of External Communications for the Public Utility Commission of Texas.

The PUC oversees the state’s deregulated power grid and all the plans available to Texans. You can filter by pricing, ratings and the three plan options: fixed rates, variable rates and index rates, “or a plan that’s indexed to the wholesale power rate in the state. But by and large most Texans are on fixed rate plans, which are designed to protect people through difficult times like this," Barlow said.

Indexed plans come with risk like the stock market. That’s why some Texans are getting huge bills, because the demand for electricity last week soared past the supply.

“We’ve already fielded more than 3,000 complaints related mostly to the indexed plans,” Barlow said.

The PUC takes complaints seriously. You can email the commission at: customer@puc.texas.gov or call them at 1-888-782-8477.

So just how much sticker shock will Texans see?

“That picture will not be clear until we get past legislative hearings and so forth," Barlow said.

Until then, research your current plan or shop around for another. Options offered on PowerToChoose can change from one day to the next. Today, those indexed market rates are not an option.

Barlow said some of those companies might even tank which will force some Texans onto a whole new power company.

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