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Frequently Asked Questions Prepaid Electrciity

One of the biggest advantages for you on this website is that we are not only experts in finding ways to save on energy, but we also worked as a call center too. This means that we are in constant contact with Texas electricity customers. With 12 years of experience, we can say that we have seen and heard it all. Here are the most common questions our electricity customers ask. Feel free to contact us to resolve any issue or question.

Q: What is the current electricity rate?

A: As of 10/15/2021

 

ONCOR: 13.5 ¢ per kWh
CenterPoint: 14.2 ¢ per kWh
TNMP: 15.0 ¢ per kWh
AEP: 13.5 ¢ per kWh


Q: How long does it take to connect a new electricity service?
A: Usually takes 2 hours to connect and electricity service, we have seen many cases that in a matter of 30 minutes, the power is on. However, there are exceptions. In some cases, the account and address need further review, more human interaction to complete an order. 

Q: What is the information required for a prepaid energy service?

A: It's very simple; name, address, email, date of birth. 

Q: Is it really no deposit required to start electricity service?
A: Indeed, it is. The money paid is to buy energy (kilowatts) in advance. It is like buying credits for electricity that you will use in future days.


Q: How does prepaid electricity billing work?
A: You will not receive a bill on the mail, all is digital. You will receive a text or email notification which states your daily energy usage, account balance, etc.


Q: How competitive are the kilowatt rates?
A: The energy rates are remarkably like regular postpaid energy plans. For sure lower than free energy plans.

 

Q: Is it necessary to be locked on a contract?
A: Not at all. Since you are buying the electricity in advance, the electricity is yours, 

 

Q: What if I want to change to a new electricity company?
A: If you decide to change to a new energy company, and there is money left on the account, we will reimburse the money not used.

 

Q: Is there a charge to reload the electricity account?
A: If you pay in cash, the retail store will have a convenience fee, usually $2.50. However, if you use a credit or debit card through the automated system, there is no charge to reload your energy account. I strongly recommend setting it up in autopay.

 

Q: How does the autopay work?
A: You decide when and how much to auto-change your energy account. As an example, you can set it to recharge when your balance reaches $20 and you choose the amount you wish to add to the account.

Q: Is prepaid electricity more expensive than postpaid energy?

A: Prepaid energy rates are extremely competitive, adding the value of knowing your energy usage every day that makes you save more and more energy every day. You can be saving starting from day one. 

Q: What is a SWITCH HOLD?

A: A switch hold is a virtual lock placed on a meter, this is set by the utility ordered by an energy company that has an outstanding bill from a customer. 

Q: What information is needed to start a new energy service?

A: Very simple, your name, address, phone number, and date of birth.

Q: Prepaid electricity runs credit check?

A: Absolutely not. We will never ask for your social security number or driver's license number.

 

Q: Prepaid electricity is for houses or for apartments only?  

A: Prepaid energy can be connected in houses, apartments, or trailer homes.

Q: What is a SMART METER?

A: AMS or smart meters are placed in most homes and businesses. These meters send the reading to the utility wirelessly, no need for a utility employee to go and do the meter reading manually. We will let you know if your premises have no AMS.

Q: Do you offer FREE NIGHTS or FREE WEEKENDS plans? Why?

A: No. We believe that we need to be straight with our customers. Easy to understand the charges (billing) and easy to manage the energy account. Free energy products are complicated and they are not for everyone. Very few energy customers really know how to manage their free energy plan. Free energy plans are more expensive than they seem.

Q: Why FREE ENERGY plans are more expensive?

A: First, there is no such thing as FREE. If you look closer to the EFL of those plans, you will see that the energy rate at the regular hours, which are the hours that we use energy the most, are very expensive, over 18 cents per kWh. And free energy hours are offered when we use the least amount of energy. 

Q: What is the EFL?

A: Electric Facts Label or EFL is the public document where the energy company states the rates, description, and details of each plan they offer to customers. Quite seldom, customers do not know how to find these documents. This is exactly where it shows how much a customer will be charged for the plan or product they got into. These documents are available for prepaid energy and postpaid energy too.

Q: What appliance uses the most electricity during the summer?​

A: The air conditioner is the appliance that drags the most energy during the summertime. Keeping the house cool takes a lot of electricity. There are ways to help the air conditioner at optimal conditions and functionality. 

Q: Is the electricity cheaper at night?

A: This is a myth, the electricity costs the same during the day or during the night. The energy companies that give free energy plans make the money when the energy is not for free.

Q: Why is better to do laundry at night if the energy costs are the same during the day or during the night?

A: This is a matter of helping your A/C to work fewer times. Doung laundry during the day will produce heat and the house will get warm and the A/C will be working constantly, at night, the temperatures are cooler, better to do laundry.

Q: Why saving hot water makes me save energy?

A: There are a lot of times that we open the hot water without really needing it. To produce heat we need energy, which usually comes from electricity or gas. Hot water comes from a big tank that keeps the water hot all the time, when we take water from that tank, cold water comes from the register to fill out the hot water tank. That water comes cold and the water heater starts to heat up that new cold water that came to the tank.

Q: How can I save water and energy while taking a shower

A: You can time your time in the shower by hearing music, or setting an alarm. There are showerheads that change color and warn you when it's time to leave the shower. Save Electricity is our Goal

Q: How can I save electricity while cooking?

A: There are several things we can do to save electricity in the kitchen. Meal prep; do several meals in one session, avoid using the oven, avoid using the dishwasher, save hot water, do not use all the lights in the kitchen, if your stove is electric, take advantage of the heat after turning it off.  

Q: What is the best time to cook to save electricity? 
A: At night.

Q: We spend a lot of time in the kitchen, how can we save electricity in the kitchen? 

A: Prepare meals for days ahead, sectioning the light fixtures, save water, hot water, keep windows closed. 

Q: What is the average electricity rate in Texas?

R: Texas holds 6th place as the cheapest electricity rate in the US. The average Texan pays around 10.5 cents per kilowatt-hour.

Q: What is the main purpose of the utility company?
A: The utility company is the one in charge of delivering the electricity to each house, business, and public light. Also, they control the grid and the distribution of electricity in their territory.

Q: Changing the windows in the house will help to save energy?

A: Yes. Definitely is a good way to make your home more efficient. I know it is a big investment but a good set of new windows can save you 30% of your electric bill. 

Q: Is a solar system really free?

A: Not at all. Home solar systems are very expensive. What it means is that there will be no change in your energy budget. The solar panel system will offset your energy conump[tion. The cost of the solar panel system will be the same as you were paying for the electricity.

 

Q: Can I have prepaid electricity and solar panels?

A: No. Just a few energy companies have the ability to give credits for the energy is pushed back to the utility.

 

Q: Do I really get paid by having a solar panel system at home?

A: No. The only thing you will get is the energy credits. The energy you overproduce during the day, which you will need back when there is no energy production, at night. The credits are the kilowatts produced. 

Save more electricity with an A/C well maintained

 

Q: How often does an A/C need service?

A: It would be good if a tech can see the A/C every 6 months, however, you can do some easy maintenance yourself.

 

Q: What 'easy' procedures can I do for my A/C?

A: Changing the filters, cleaning the air intake vents, clean the coils. 

 

Q: What would happen if I do not take care of my A/C?

A: Replacing an A/C unit can cost you thousands. If the problem is not that big of a deal, your electric bill can increase by a couple of hundred dollars. 

 

Q: What are the symptoms that can tell me that my A/C needs maintenance?

A: No cold air coming from the vents, A/C unit running nonstop, leaks, and frozen pipes.

Q: What is the fastest way to notice any A/C problem?

A: If you have a prepaid electricity service, the very next day, you will notice a tremendous increase in energy consumption. If you have a postpaid electric service you will notice this 30 days later. 

Q: How long can $40 of electricity last?

A: It all depends on each residence. Everyone uses their electricity in a different way. A large 4-bedroom house will use less than a single bedroom apartment. I suggest calculating how much you use in a month and then you will see how many days your $40 will last.

Q: Does Payless Power use introductory rates?

A: No. The rate depends on the plan that the customer starts the electricity service. As long as the TDU does not change their rates and the wholesale energy prices stay the same, the kilowatt rate will remain the same.

Q: Is there a minimum balance to keep an energy rate?

A: As of today, 09/30/2021, with Payless Power, there is no minimum balance to keep an electricity rate. This is a new way Payless Power wants to keep its customers happy. Before, the customers needed to keep a minimum balance of $35 to have the lowest rate possible.
 

Q: Can I turn off the A/C with comfortable temperatures?

A: Yes. This is a very good idea. Check the weather for the next few days, this is a good practice if we can keep the A/C off for a few days in a row. 

Q: How often is recommended to do A/C maintenance?

A: I would say that once a year. Meanwhile, you can change the air filter (every 3 months), use water and hose to clean the compressor coils.

Q: why saving water saves electricity?

A: Energy is used to heat water, the water heater is the 2nd to 3rd appliance that uses the most electricity in the house. Many times we open the hot water without needing it.