Commercial Electric Services
Why Choose TriStem?
- We are locally owned and operated in Central Texas. We have been in business 40 years.
- Our clients come first and we have their best interest in mind.
- Our services have saved our clients millions of dollars.
- Although we are a small business, we have big results.
- We are CERTIFIED ENERGY MANAGEMENT PROFESSIONALS. Our staff has been certified by The Energy Professionals Association.
What is Commercial Electric Choice?
It is helping consumers purchase electricity wisely. We do not sell electricity. We act as a middle man between the consumer and the electric company.
In Texas, the electric market was deregulated in 2002. This broke the energy industry up in to 2 different types of electric providers – the Retail Electric Provider, and the TDSP (or utility company/wires company).
Retail Electric Providers
The Retail Electric Providers (REPs) bill customers for the electricity they consume. They purchase electricity in bulk and sell it to consumers. There are over 100 Retail Electric Providers in Texas and consumers are free to choose which one they buy electricity from. Just like you can pick your phone and cable provider, you can now pick your electric provider. REP’s operate in a competitive market and sell electricity at competitive prices, via a variety of products, such as fixed rate price per kwh, indexed pricing, block pricing, tiered pricing, etc. Fixed rate price per kwh is the most beneficial type of pricing for most consumers. The fixed price per kwh you choose for your electric contract is called the “Energy Charge.”
Transmission and Distribution Service Providers
The TDSP’s or utility wires companies maintain the electric infrastructure (wires/poles/street lights/meters, etc.). Consumers are also billed by the TDSP each month through the Retail Electric Provider. These costs are regulated by service territory. For example, the TDSP in Waco, Texas is Oncor. You are not able to choose your TDSP. The TDSP will bill you based one your usage and load rate bracket. You will see these charges on your electric bill in a separate section under “TDSP Charges” below the REP’s “energy charge.”
Deregulation = Risk and Opportunity for consumers
Electric consumers in Texas can choose their REP, price per kwh and term length of their electric service contract with their REP. The price per kwh available to consumers changes daily based on the NYMEX natural gas prices, storage availability, and weather patterns. Each REP sets their own price per kwh based on these factors. When you sign a new electric service agreement, you are wise to shop around, because each REP will have different pricing available to you.
How Energy Brokers Can Help
This is where TRISTEM comes in. We have broker agreements with over a dozen reputable REPs, such as Reliant, Hudson Energy, APG&E, Amigo, Frontier Energy, etc. Most people don’t know anything about electricity, where it comes from, how it is priced, or the nuances of the electric bill. TriStem has been in the industry for 40 years. We can shop around for our clients, watch the market to help them make the best decisions regarding when to sign a contract and the best term length. We understand the factors that are included in electric service agreements and can help our clients choose a contract that is beneficial to their company, based on their usage, and future electric needs and requirements.
What we need to help our clients
We need our clients to understand that it is in their best interest to use an energy broker such as TriStem to purchase their electricity. There is a vast amount of information regarding electric service that most people are not aware of. Electric agreements can be 10 pages long or more. Electric Tariffs and Rate Schedules for TDSPs can be over 300 pages long. TriStem reads electric bills, service agreements, and electric rate schedules every day. We know the nuances of each service agreement.
We are the experts
Our clients need to know that we are the experts (because we are) and we can help them make the best decision regarding their electric service.
Price per kwh changes daily
Our clients need to know that price per kwh fluctuates and can rise at the drop of a hat (just like the stock market). If they don’t shop around at the right time and choose the right REP with the right term length, they won’t be taking advantage of the OPPORTUNITY that deregulation has created for consumers. TriStem gets daily market updates on pricing and is aware of forecasts and changes in the energy market that can affect your bill.
We are here to help the consumer
Our clients need to know that we are here to help them. We are not affiliated with any particular electric company or Retail Electric Provider. We are paid a small fee by the Retail Electric Provider for bringing them your business. You as the consumer pay us nothing for electricity procurement. Our code of ethics allows us to help consumers profit and profit along-side with them.
Brokers are the cheapest way for REPs to gain business, cheaper than advertising and direct sales. TriStem BRIDGES THE GAP between Retail Electric Providers and consumers. Retail Electric Providers give brokers better prices than you would get if you went directly to the REP yourself. Why do they do this? So brokers will bring them more business.
- Why do REPs give out higher pricing if a consumer calls them directly? Because they know the average Joe who calls up the electric company asking for service, doesn’t know what the market is doing, or how low the price per kwh SHOULD be compared to the market rates. Electric companies TAKE ADVANTAGE of people’s lack of knowledge and offer deals that will get them the most money, that aren’t beneficial to the consumer.
- Why should you use a broker if you already have an electric contract? Because when your contract is up for renewal, the company you are with now is going to raise your rates. A broker can help you choose a plan that is advantageous to your organization based on your load profile and other factors.
Electric Price History in Texas
In 2017 the price per kwh in Texas was the lowest it has been in a very long time. Consumers were able to get pricing as low as $.03 per kwh. As of January 2019, prices are fluctuating around $.05 per kwh. If you have an electric contract coming up for renewal soon, your price is probably going to rise.
Basics of the Commercial Electric Service Agreement:
- Price per kwh – this is what most people look at when signing an agreement for electricity
- Bandwidth or swing – this is how much the electric company will allow you to deviate from your average 12 month usage.
- Material Change Fees – Extra fees for removing meters/accounts/usage.
- Term length – This is the length of the contract. The length can be anywhere from 3 months to 6 years.
Business Electricity Plan Comparisons
We only need 2 items to deliver your custom Commercial Electric Plan Comparison:
- The signed ERCOT LOA
- A list of ESI ID’s or a copy of your most recent electric bill, with pages showing the ESI ID’s.
There is no contract between TriStem and the client. We get the bids from the REPs with the ERCOT LOA and list of ESI ID’s. Once we get the pricing we will send the customer a proposal explaining their best options and the best prices and let them know how we can help them. There is no obligation for you to take service from any of the REPs we partner with or take any of the bids we provide.
If you do choose one of the bids/plans we provide, we will get you the appropriate service agreement to sign from the REP. The agreement is between you, the customer and the REP. You never writes us a check. The REP pays us our broker fee once the electric service agreement begins.
We will check in with you periodically throughout your electric service agreement term and watch the market for opportunities to renew at a lower price than your current price.
We cannot promise savings as a broker because the market fluctuates. Unfortunately, right now the market has been going up. The price per kwh is slowly rising. When customers sign a new contract their rate may go up. This is no fault of our own. This is the market. However, if they use a broker such as TriStem, they will have:
- a variety of REPs to choose from
- a variety of bids/prices/term lengths to choose from
- an easy to understand comparison of prices and terms
- A CERTIFIED ENERGY MANAGEMENT PROFESSIONAL watching the market for them
- A CERTIFIED ENERGY MANAGEMENT PROFESSIONAL reviewing their contract terms and rates to ensure they are most beneficial to the client
- Guidance from a CERTIFIED ENERGY MANAGEMENT PROFESSIONAL