HOUSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--A recent survey analysis found that despite more than 100 retail energy providers (REPs) offering more than 2,000 electricity plans across Texas, 67 percent of Houstonians don’t fully understand their electric bill. The survey was released today by PowertoConfuse.org, an easy-to-understand interactive educational resource from Griddy, a new kind of energy provider launching in Spring 2017.
“Electricity bills are loaded with hidden fees and there’s far too much complexity for anyone to understand. It’s no surprise that picking a provider has been daunting for many consumers. Until now,” said Gregory L. Craig, CEO of Griddy. “We created PowertoConfuse.org to empower Texans to save money by cracking the code on confusing energy bills and exposing energy providers’ most egregious fees and worst business practices.”
According to the survey, conducted by independent research firm Lab42, two-thirds of Houstonians don’t fully understand their energy bills. Additionally, about half say that lowering energy costs is the primary area of improvement they’d like to see from their current energy company, and 42 percent say they want improvements in transparency, timeliness and accuracy of rate and energy usage information. Four in ten Houstonians reported that they would change REPs today if they weren’t locked into a contract.
Despite an abundance of competition, Texans pay the fifth-highest electricity bills in the nation, nearly 20 percent above the national average.
“When the [Texas electricity] market first opened, pricing plans were fairly regular,” said Carol Biedrzycki, executive director of non-profit organization Texas ROSE (Ratepayers’ Organization to Save Energy), in an interview with NBC 5 DFW. “Over time, however, REPs started burying a myriad of indecipherable fees into their plans. It's simply an impossible amount of information for the average person to comb through.”
The PowertoConfuse.org site is designed to help consumers navigate the mountain of confusing acronyms, fees and other intricacies that are not easily understood in today’s electricity market. Inspired by the state-run PowertoChoose.com website, which purports to help Texans understand the electricity plan options in their area, the educational portal houses research, easy-to-understand infographics, informative articles and expert commentary to help Texans make sense of the convoluted Texas electricity market.
The site also presents a range of helpful information designed to help Texans cut through the confusion of the Texas REP market and take back control over their electric bills. Website features help Texans:
- Decode the confusing charges on energy bills—including 22 of the most common hidden fees, ranging from non-autopay charges to fees for contacting customer service.
- Decipher the most common plan types offered and avoid common pitfalls of each.
- Better understand the opportunities to cut their bills through small changes, like running the dishwasher at night.
“The system is broken, and it’s no surprise that the industry faces a staggering 40 percent annual churn rate. Texans are tired of the status quo, and it’s time to do something about it,” added Craig. “We’re lifting the lid on how the energy industry works. The website is the first step to help all consumers understand just how convoluted the market is and why it’s time for a new way of doing business.”
Griddy, the company behind PowertoConfuse.org, will launch a first-of-its-kind smarter energy company that puts the ultimate in energy savings in Texans’ hands, delivering real-time usage statistics and price alerts right to their smartphones to help lower electricity bills by up to 25 percent. Texans interested in learning more about the service and getting their first three months of membership free can pre-register at https://www.gogriddy.com/pre-register/.