Inside the Rest of White Oak Music Hall; Retail Shuffle Ahead of 2-Story Bellaire H-E-B


Photo: Russell Hancock via Swamplot Flickr Pool


9 Comment

  • Here’s some helpful info for everyone who’s up in arms about powertochoose:
    Register your smart meter and begin to monitor your use. It’s a powerful tool that lets you see and download your 15min-average usage up to monthly usage back to …. IDK but it’s multiple years.
    Take your monthly usage and estimate how much electricity (measured in kilowatt-hours or kwh for short) you’ll use each month over the contract length.
    With this info you can look at each contract but checking each rates “fact sheet”. There it spells out how you are charged. It should spell out these things: 1.) A base charge per month regardless of usage 2.) cost/kwh usage 3.) Centerpoint passthrough charge per kwh which is ~0.0388/kwh 4.) credits for certain usage criteria like <1000 kwh or usage 1000 or something like that.
    Watch out for extra charges/penalties for usage < 500 kwh or credits that go away when you go over 2000 kwh.
    With that info, the power to choose site is easy to use and you'll most likely pay a lot less.

  • I don’t think “rigged” is quite the right term. It’s misleading IF you don’t bother to evaluate your actual usage and read the fine print before purchasing a plan. It doesn’t take a rocket surgeon to figure out when some plans are offering 2 cents per kilowatt hour and others are offering 10, there must be more to the “2 cent” plan.

  • This helpful info on powertochoose reminds me of the carnival scene from The Jerk… ‘Its a profit deal!’

  • RE: Power to Choose website
    It was originally very useful but has become corrupted by providers gaming the way prices are reported. I have to agree with DNAguy’s advice – I use the SmartMeterTexas website to check on “almost” real-time usage data for me. It lags by about one day but still eminently useful.
    And, as a data wonk, I’ve built my own spreadsheet with all of the price components mentioned by DNAguy to make it easy for me to compare plans apples-to-apples when it comes time to renew. The spreadsheet took about 15 minutes – to riff off the old GEICO commercial: so easy, even the Power to Choose people can do it.

  • Heightsresident: If I understand correctly, the “rigged” allegation is that the companies know the ranking algorithm that the website uses, and design rate plans “to the test” that the website presents so that they are presented at the top of the heap. The website sponsor can cure the problem by changing the algorithm, perhaps every month. The good guys just need to stay ahead of the bad guys, assuming we know who is who.

  • re: The Sophie. So you think we have an untapped condo market in Houston? You’re competing with at least a half dozen other condo projects in various stages of construction inside the Loop at the $1M+ price point. In other words: Good luck, pal.

    Why do developers think that droves of empty nesters can afford million-dollar condos and the high maintenance fees that go with them? They completely ignore the fact that affordable housing for seniors is a real and growing problem.

  • I still don’t understand the hoopla about the Power to Choose site. True Cost and Energy Ogre, among others, do the same thing but better, since it can use your actual usage data *and* takes into account fees, taxes, and minimum usage charges. If the state-run portal can’t get it right, shut it down or ignore it. It’s not like it’s the only game in town.

  • Re Power To Choose: I wrote a program to predict my monthly costs based on my previous usage and fed in data scraped from the Power to Choose web site. I was able to find a really good deal that way. The Power To Choose web site should do that automatically. Type in 12 KWH values and get a list of providers from cheapest to most expensive.

  • Darn, wish I’d known about the True Cost or Ogre. I’ve been using my own designed Excel spreadsheets to calculate which plan is best for me based on my monthly usage over the years. I like that I have monthly data for all months which impacts overall yearly consumption charges. Some months I win (most) and some months I lose (ie my usage is TOO low and I have a slightly higher rate)