Cut your electricity bill this summer

May 31, 2010 4:30:57 PM PDT
With that temperature rising, no doubt you're looking for ways to cut your power bill.

One way to do that is by shopping for the companies that offer the best rate. But before you choose, make sure you know who you are signing up with.

Here in Texas, you can choose to sign up with one of more than 30 power providers, some of them offer pay as you go plans.

But before you sign up it pays to do a little research.

The day Mary Ortiz moved into her new apartment a fire started shortly after the power was turned on.

"When the breakers kicked in to turn on the lights, the shortage in the kitchen was the one that started the fire," said Ortiz.

The apartment complex moved Ortiz across the courtyard, but while she's been here about a week, the electricity is still not connected.

"On Friday when I called she said the guy I talked to said they would have to open another account and it would be another $100," Ortiz said. "And I already paid $99 for the other apartment."

Ortiz signed up with dPi Energy. It offers month to month, pays as you go electricity plans.

Ortiz figured since her first apartment was damaged by fire, the company would have little trouble transferring the account to replacement apartment.

"The guy was like, 'No, we can't do it. You have to pay $99 and we have to open another account,'" she said.

On Friday, a spokesperson for dPi Energy told us the company charges $20 to get service connected to a new address, and officials went onto say consumers who request an expedited connection will be charged $100.

dPi Energy says they are still trying to work things out with Ortiz, but Ortiz has decided to find a new power provider.

Ortiz says she did not check out dPi before signing with the company, but we found out the power provider consistently has one of the highest complaint rates on the Public Utility Commission's Power to Choose website.

"There are a lot of places to look for the history of a company -- The Power to Choose, the BBB reports, there are other independent sites," said Dan Parsons with the Houston Better Business Bureau. "In my view, you have to take them all and balance them."

You can find out about a power company by visiting the Power to Choose website.


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