FAQ

Selectricity Buyer’s Club - FAQs

What is Selectricity Buyer’s Club? 

Selectricity Buyer's Club is made up of a team of energy experts that analyze your personal electricity bill and consumption data to determine the best energy provider to switch to in order to maximize savings.

What is deregulation? 

Deregulation serves to increase competition between energy providers by separating the production of energy from distribution. If you are a resident within a deregulated area, you have the right to choose your energy provider, and switch providers at any time.

Is the electricity market deregulated in my area? 

Use our zip code checker <link>to see if the electricity market is deregulated in your area.

Why use Selectricity Buyer’s Club? 

Selectricity works for you, NOT suppliers, advising you on the best electricity supply deals. The Club uses sophisticated computer programs downloading over 300 competitive plans every two hours to calculate if, when, and to which, supplier will best serve you. That is more than 1.5 million plan evaluations for each Member each year. The Club automatically enrolls Members in these switches and informs the Member of switches. Joining saves time & money! After the switch, the Club continues to monitor your price & the market. Prices might fall enough to justify paying a termination fee in trade for much lower rates.

How much can I save? 

Savings vary per member and depend on your current contract structure, but our members are averaging a savings of over 22%, or approximately $37 a month.

How much does it cost? 

Membership costs are $80.00 per year if paid in full annually, or $7.49 per month.

Is SBC associated with a particular retail energy provider (REP)? 

No. SBC is a completely independent service and receives no entitlements, kickbacks or benefits from promoting one provider over another. We will always choose the best option for you regardless of who the provider is.

What is “switching”? 

“Switching” is the process of changing from one energy provider to another.

Does switching take a lot of work? 
Not anymore. The Club makes this easy. For the low membership dues Selectricity automates the process. No more getting stung with deceptive prices which seem low at first then are sky high in summer.
 
Do I need to cancel my existing contract when I switch? 

The Club and the new supplier handle all the switching arrangements.

How will I know when to switch? 

You no longer have to worry about switching electricity. Every two hours, every day the Club evaluates more than 300 competitive offers for you continuously evaluating if, when and to which suppliers can best serve you. Then the Club enrolls you in those plans. This is more than 1.5 million plan evaluations for each Member each year.

Do I have any choice if the Club makes a switch I do not like? 

Yes. For all switches, ERCOT mails a postcard which Members normally throw away to finalize switches. But Members are free to fill out & return that postcard to cancel any switch. Be sure to contact the Club though. We have to assume you wanted the plan we switched you to. Suppliers will not tell us if you cancel.

How often will I have to switch? 

Most Members want the Club to minimize their electricity costs even if this can result in higher prices for a month or two. Members wanting lowest cost will switch more often, perhaps 3 or 4 times per year. These Members save 10 to 20% more than customers preferring stable monthly bills. Members preferring stable bills will only switch about once per year. The Club still finds the lowest cost alternative of these longer term, more stable offers.

How do I get my electricity bill after I switch? 

You will receive your bill the same way you did before, and often have the choice to receive paperless or a mail based bill when completing your switch. SBC does not manage your bill, pay your bill or work with your energy provider.

Will switching affect my credit score? 

In most cases switching will not affect your credit score. A supplier will run a soft credit check for each switch. A soft credit check acts as a pre-approval- while it is noted on your credit report it does not affect your score. Occasionally, certain suppliers will run hard credit checks. This can temporarily result in a score adjustment of about 5 points on average. For individuals with long and extensive credit histories the impact is even less. At Selectricity, we study the credit practices of all our potential suppliers as one of many factors in recommending switches.

Do I need to read the Agreements and Key Facts new suppliers send me? 

It is ALWAYS advisable to familiarize ones’ self with the terms and conditions of all agreements one enters. Selectricity reads these agreements because many of them include high or surprising fees. For example, we look for application fees or rate structures that punish low or high usage. Obviously these are key considerations in all switch decisions.

How often will I switch? 

Switch frequency varies among all members depending on their criteria settings between Low Price, Stable Price and Environmental. Members who choose 100% Low Price will switch more often, perhaps 3 to 6 times per year and even monthly for short periods. Members who choose 100% Stable Price will still enjoy the benefits of Selectricity recommendations for low price and other considerations, but may only switch once or twice per year.

How much less expensive is 100% Low Price versus 100% Stable Price? 

The cost difference between Low Price and Stable Price will vary from year-to-year and from member-to-member. In 2013 the difference was about 15% to 20%. However, choosing Low Price is not a guarantee that one will achieve the absolute lowest price. Commodity prices are volatile and they are changing every minute. Power prices are even more volatile than any other commodity. IF prices unexpectedly and suddenly move higher, our members with shorter term fixed price deals may pay more than others with longer term, stable, arrangements.

If I choose 100% Low Price am I guaranteed to get the lowest possible price? 

Unlike others in the market, Selectricty and its representatives cannot accept payment from suppliers that might influence advice to its Members. Selectricity accepts payments ONLY from its members. Therefore, the Club always tries to secure the best possible supply deals for its members. However, nobody can guarantee absolute lowest price. Selectricity is confident that we offer our members the best price possible however due to fluctuating markets we cannot always guarantee the absolute lowest price on a regular basis. On average you will experience a considerable saving over time.

Can Selectricity help my commercial business save money on electricity supply? 

Yes! The Club is affiliated with TeamOne Energy, Inc. which can supply commercial customers energy needs throughout the United States. Visit the website here: www.teamoneenergy.com

Can I manage my own switches? 

Sure. But it takes time and it is impractical for non-Members to match the sophisticated computer systems & data the Club uses. Also, nearly all supplier plans now use tactics including deceptive price formulas to make their published prices seem low. Suppliers use marketing tricks & enticements which are actually expensive. Non-Members might get lucky from time to time. However, smart electricity buyers, including energy traders & energy analysts, know the Club systems give Members a huge advantage.

Is the Club willing to describe how supply plans are picked? 

Sure. The Club model & systems are very sophisticated. They are so complex we know consumer cannot build their own equivalent. So we are thrilled to tell you how it works. However, be prepared to say “enough!” While the system is not perfect, we can guarantee it does several things you never considered. But each results in an edge to make your bills lower.

What happens if I move? 

The Club selects electricity supply plans which allow you to terminate without fee if you move. Many plans allow you the option to take that plan with you to your new home. This is an option the Club can advise you about. Also, if you move to location without electricity choice it is easy to cancel your membership dues.

How would a TXU bankruptcy impact residential customers? 

Credit quality is an important consideration in purchasing decisions. Selectricity evaluates supplier credit as part of all switch recommendations. Suppliers who file for bankruptcy can reject unfavorable agreements. Consumers may have a low priced, longer term supply agreement with such a supplier. This supplier could reject the deal before expiration. In TXU’s case, this is unlikely because their prices are always very high. More importantly, the meter and distribution lines serving most members in north and west Texas are owned and maintained by Oncor, an affiliate of TXU. A bankruptcy of Oncor or its parent would likely little, if any, impact on service and costs.

Why doesn’t the electricity industry abandon fossil fuel power plants and switch 100% to free renewable sources like wind and solar? 

While the “fuel” for renewable projects is free wind or sunshine, renewable power generation projects are actually more expensive than other forms of generation. Renewable generation requires much greater land areas and transmission wire investment. Also, the wind blows most at night and during fall and spring rather than when we need power most, mid-summer afternoons.

How can I determine the precise day my current fixed price supply deal ends? 

Most suppliers include this date on monthly invoices or you can call them. Also most suppliers send an email or letter about a month before your deal ends including the precise date. You can sign on to your Selectrcity profile to adjust this date to make sure your coming switch recommendations are more precisely timed. Contract ending communications form suppliers often include “special offers, rebates and/or deals.” Every one Selectrcity evaluated has been a “rip-off.” Many suppliers use “bait & switch” tactic enticing customers to switch to them with a low introductory rate, then they sting customers with a cleverly crafted “rip-off” offer. The Club likes to poke fun at these “rip offs.” Post yours on the Club Facebook page! You fellow Members are probably receiving the same thing.

What should I do if I have a power outage? 

First check around your neighborhood to determine if others near you also have no power. If it is dark, are all street lights off? Has there been an ice storm? Has a contractor been digging nearby? If the outage affects several nearby homeowners, it is the result of a problem with the distribution utility. You can contact Oncor, Centerpoint, TNP or AEP, depending upon which one serves your area, to inform them of the outage. However, they almost certainly already know about it and are working as fast as possible to restore service. Alternatively, if your home seems to be the only one around with the outage it could be caused by your current supplier not receiving your recent payment. Access your profile on the Selectricity website to determine your current supplier, then contact their customer service department to determine and solve the problem.