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CenterPoint Energy: The Best Power Rates in 2022

what is centerpoint energy

The U.S. energy market has two scenarios for electricity distribution and pricing. Some states have regulated electricity while others, like Texas, have a deregulated electricity market. In regulated states, the utility company takes charge of everything related to electricity. It owns and maintains the delivery and transmission infrastructure and also sells the generated electricity to consumers. Meanwhile, in deregulated states, the utility company no longer controls the marketing of electricity. Instead, the Retail Electricity Providers (REPs) now sell electric power. 

CenterPoint Energy is classified as a utility company. Its job is to build and operate the facilities that deliver electricity to the homes and businesses in its service area. The company has been carrying out its role through its intelligent grid. CenterPoint Energy uses around  57,000 miles of transmission and distribution power lines to bring roughly 87 million megawatt-hours to its consumers.

What Is CenterPoint Energy?

CenterPoint Energy is a utility company, which means that it operates and maintains the infrastructure that brings electricity from the grid to your home. This company is based in Houston, and it was once known as the Houston Lighting & Power Co. 

It started operations over 40 years ago. Now, it is one of the top Transmission & Distribution Utility (TDU) companies in Texas. Working with more than 70 REPs, it brings electricity to around 2.5 million customers in the Lone Star State.  

As a utility company, part of CenterPoint Energy’s job is to take care of emergencies with electricity. One example is downed power lines. Residents in its service areas can also report a power outage to the company. CenterPoint Energy has customer service numbers for this purpose. 

The company has different service areas for its electric and natural gas products. Its electrical service customers are in eastern Texas, including the Houston area. Meanwhile, portions of Minnesota, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas receive natural gas service from it.

CenterPoint Electricity Rates

CenterPoint Energy provides electrical service to many parts of Texas. Deregulation allowed the entry of different electricity providers in the area. That may offer several advantages to consumers, but choosing the best energy company can be daunting. To help in your search, we’ve made a list of electricity rates in areas covered by CenterPoint Energy.  

Plan NamePlan LengthRate
Frontier Super Value 12 (Frontier Utilities)12 months$0.091 per kWh
Gexa Saver Deluxe 12 (Gexa Energy)12 months$0.092 per kWh
Flash 12 - with Auto Pay (Express Energy) 12 months$0.093 per kWh
Maxx Saver Select 12 (4Change Energy)12 months$0.095 per kWh
Eagle 36 (TriEagle Energy)36 months$0.105 per kWh
12 Month Flat Tier Product (Constellation Energy)12 months$0.109 per kWh
Champ Silver-24 (Champion Energy)24 months$0.109 per kWh
Smart Value 12 Online (Cirro Energy)12 months$0.125 per kWh
Smart Edge 12 (TXU Energy)12 months$0.135 per kWh
Live Brighter 36 (Direct Energy)36 months$0.139 per kWh

CenterPoint Energy’s Providers

Several energy companies work with CenterPoint Energy. If you’re looking for one, take a look at these retail electricity providers in your area. These are all reputable companies, so it’s easy to come up with the best choice. 

TriEagle Energy 

This electric company has been in the industry for 15 years. They’re known for their straightforward rates, which can help lessen bill shock. TriEagle Energy has a list of conventional plans. Aside from that, they also offer renewable energy plans. Such plans can help in the fight against global warming. 

4Change Energy 

Working with CenterPoint Energy, this company aims to bring about change. 4Change Energy is known for its charitable works. It donates a portion of its earnings to organizations that do the following: 

  • Fight hunger; 
  • Do cancer research; and
  • Help in disaster relief. 

Aside from that, their green energy plans give you the opportunity to help mitigate climate change. 

Gexa Energy 

Gexa Energy is another reputable electric company working with CenterPoint Energy. It started operations in 2002 and specializes in providing renewable energy solutions to residential consumers in the Texas area. Their energy plans come with a 60-day happiness guarantee. This means that new customers can shift to a different plan within 60 days without paying an early cancellation fee

Just Energy 

Backed by almost 25 years of experience in the industry, Just Energy is one company that knows what it’s doing. It is one of the largest electricity providers in the Texas area, serving more than a million consumers. It offers some of the more affordable rates, and they have great green energy solutions.  

TXU Energy 

This is the oldest energy company on our list. TXU Energy started operations over a hundred years ago as Dallas Electric Company in 1882. Its excellent customer service helped it maintain customer loyalty in a competitive market. TXU Energy is known for its range of fixed-rate plans and free night and weekend plans. 

How To Contact CenterPoint Energy? 

Do you have any questions about your CenterPoint Energy charges? Or maybe you want to report a service outage in your area. For any concerns about your electric service, you can contact CenterPoint Energy. Here are several options on how to reach them: 

  1. Sign in to your CenterPoint Energy account. If you don’t have an account yet, you can create one on this website. State your communication preferences.  
  2. Email the company’s customer service using this link
  3. Go to the customer service page.  
  4. Call the customer service of your service area: 
    • East Texas Area: 1-800-259-5544 
    • Beaumont Area: 1-800-367-9663 
    • South Texas Area: 1-800-427-7142 
    • Houston’s Electric Delivery Service: 713-207-2222 
    • Houston’s Natural Gas Service: 713-659-211 

To report an electric outage call: 713-207-2222 or 800-332-7143 

To report a natural gas outage, please call: 713-659-2111 or 800-752-8036 

Leak Emergency Hotline: 713-659-2111 or 888-876-5786  

How To Reduce Your TDU Charges?

Are you a residential customer in the CenterPoint Energy service area? Residential consumers typically use less electricity than commercial customers. As such, you won’t have to worry about demand charges, Time of Use charges, and demand ratches in your area. However, you’ll pay the same Transmission and Distribution Utility (TDU) charges regardless of your electricity provider. 

The only way you can lower your monthly charges is by reducing your electricity consumption. That’s if you didn’t enroll in a tiered plan. If you did, using less electricity won’t do much to reduce your energy bill. In fact, you might even get penalized for reduced usage, and you’ll end up paying more for your electricity. 

If you really want to pay less for your energy use, you can shop around for a new retail electricity provider in your area. Look for one with lower TDU charges. Because of deregulation, you have the option to choose the plan that fits your budget. 

Energy Distribution: How Are Charges Calculated? 

centerpoint energy cost per kwh

To date, energy distribution charges for CenterPoint Energy are at $0.040312 per kWh a month. It also has a $5.47 customer charge. On most Texas EFLs, these charges go into calculating electricity prices. To come up with the rate, here’s how the process goes. 

  1. The customer charge is divided by the kWh used.  
  2. CenterPoint Energy’s electricity price depending on usage level is added
    • CenterPoint Energy TDU charges ( 500 kWh usage level): $0.05409 per kWh 
    • CenterPoint Energy TDU charges (1000 kWh usage level): $0.045782 per kWh 
    • CenterPoint Energy TDU charges (2000 kWh usage level): $0.043047 per kWh 
  3. The total “average” price is added to the provider’s energy charge. 

CenterPoint Energy Rate Breakdown 

If you live in a CenterPoint Energy service area, you pay separate charges for your electricity supply and your electric power’s transmission and distribution. The fees for transmission and distribution go to the maintenance of the infrastructure that brings electricity to your home or business. Referred to as TDSP or TDU, these are the charges from the utility company, which, in this case, is CenterPoint Energy.

The TDU or TDSP fees in your monthly bill are composed of the following: 

  • A fixed-rate customer charge, which relates to the cost of maintaining a CenterPoint Energy account, and the metering that tracks your usage. 
  • The transmission and distribution charges per kilowatt-hour. 

Utility Company vs. Energy Provider 

In states with a regulated energy market, the utility company manages everything related to electricity. That includes selling you an energy plan as well as delivering electricity to your home. Things work differently in deregulated states like Texas.  

In areas under deregulation, the utility company operates and maintains the infrastructure that brings electricity to the consumers. These infrastructures include power lines, poles, and meters. Meanwhile, Electricity Retail Providers (REPs) sell you electricity by offering plans with different rates, contract lengths, and the like. You can choose your REP but not your utility company. That’s because the utility companies have designated service areas.   

CenterPoint Energy is a utility company. As such, it’s their job to ensure that you have continuous electricity service. When there’s an outage, they’re the ones to call. When it comes to REPs, you can pick among several energy companies in Texas. 

What Is Energy Deregulation in Texas?

For almost a century, the way the electricity industry works have remained unchanged. Electric companies hold monopolies over all areas of the supply chain. That includes power generation and distribution. They are also in charge of selling the generated electricity. As such, consumers have no choice but to pay the rates set by the utility company.  

However, the energy sector underwent rapid changes in the 21st century. States started to open the electric industry to competition. The process, called deregulation, gave consumers the option to pick their energy providers.

To date, Texas has the largest deregulated energy market in the country. Over 90% of its population, or around 26 million residents, have the power to choose its electricity company. The energy market in the Lone Star State is governed by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT)

How Does Energy Deregulation Work? 

In regulated states, utility companies own and control all electricity. That covers generation to distribution and transmission. That means they also build, operate, and maintain the infrastructure. The state public utility commissions set the electricity prices. As such, the consumers have no choice but to pay the specified rates. 

Things are different in deregulated markets. In this scenario, utility companies only take charge of the facilities that bring electricity to consumers. Retail electricity providers are the ones who sell the electricity to consumers. 

In a deregulated market, the energy providers set the electricity rates. Because of competition, the different electric companies strive to offer lower rates. That means consumers can choose the price that meets their budget. 

What Are TDSP and TDU? 

You may think that TDSP and TDU mean the same thing. That’s not surprising considering how even legislators have interchanged the terms. Well, both refer to local distribution charges. But there’s a bit of a difference between them. Transmission/Distribution Service Provider (TDSP) is primarily used by ERCOT or the Electric Reliability Council of Texas.  

ERCOT manages the electricity market in Texas. It looks after the bulk transmission and distribution operations of the Texas grid. The council also works with distribution providers. These are the companies that own and manage the electricity infrastructure. 

TDSPs are the distribution and transmission providers. They are responsible for getting the electricity to your home. They maintain the lines and poles and read your meters. They are also the companies that correct electricity outages. 

Transmission/Distribution Utility (TDU) is largely used by the PUC of Texas (PUCT). The PUCT reviews and approves the electricity rates set by the different utility entities. As per the PUCT, the TDU is the local utility company that oversees electricity transmission in the area.  

FAQs

Does CenterPoint Energy have AutoPay? 

Yes, CenterPoint Energy has AutoPay. You won’t have to pay your monthly electric bill manually when you use this payment method. Instead, the amount automatically gets transferred from your bank account to CenterPoint Energy. 

Is CenterPoint gas or electric? 

CenterPoint Energy is a utility company whose services include both gas and electricity. No, it does not sell those energy sources. Being a utility company, CenterPoint Energy only delivers and maintains the infrastructure used to deliver gas and electric power to homes and businesses.  

How do I pay my CenterPoint Energy Bill? 

You have several options in paying your CenterPoint Energy bill. You can pay it online through your savings, checking account, or credit/debit card. Setting up AutoPay is another way to settle your bill. You can also pay by phone or by mailing your payment to an address designated by CenterPoint Energy. 

Are CenterPoint and Xcel Energy the same? 

No, CenterPoint Energy and Xcel Energy are different utility companies. They have some things in common, though. One, they both provide electric and natural gas services. Two, they have their headquarters in Minneapolis. 

Conclusion 

From its beginnings as Houston Lighting & Power, CenterPoint Energy has undergone many changes. Today, it’s a Fortune 500 company serving several states in the country, with over 2 million electric customers to date. It continues to evolve as it strives to provide excellent service to its customers. 

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