You’ve likely heard “free” electricity plans advertised from companies like Reliant Energy and Gexa Energy, and wondered if there was a catch.
These plans do help cut electricity bills for some homes, and at HomeEnergyClub.com, we explain the pros and cons of energy plans offering “free” electricity, so you can determine whether such a plan benefits homeowners with your electricity usage patterns.
Such “free” plans are also called “time of use” plans because they provide no-cost energy during specific days and times, but have offsetting high-priced energy during non-free periods. For many Texas residents, time-of-use plans can be consumer-friendly, but it depends on when a homeowner uses most of their energy.
For example, below are “free” energy plans from Reliant Energy. You can speak with Reliant directly about their free electricity offers at 833-339-0416.
Reliant Energy Plans & Rates
4 Texas Electric Rates
|Plan Name||Plan Length||Rate|
|Reliant - Secure Advantage 12||12 Months||11.7 ¢/kWh|
|Reliant - Truly Free Weekends 12||12 Months||14.1 ¢/kWh|
|Reliant - Truly Free 7 Days 12||12 Months||14.1 ¢/kWh|
|Reliant - Truly Free Nights 12||12 Months||14.6 ¢/kWh|
- These rates are for Oncor service areas.
- Pricing shown is based on an exact usage of 1000 kWh.
Call Reliant directly at 833-339-0416.
To determine whether a “free” energy plan would save you money:
- Review the plan’s pricing per kilowatt hour for each day of week and time period in the Electricity Facts Label (EFL).
- Conveniently access your home’s historic usage for each month to estimate your cost during each seasonal period at Smart Meter Texas.
Electricity plans based on time of use may save you money if you use a high percentage of your energy during the periods that have free electricity, or you are willing to adjust the times during which you use energy-intensive appliances.
However, it’s important to consider the following:
- While plans from energy companies offering “free” electricity do not charge consumers an “energy” rate during specific time periods, they may still charge transmission fees per kWh as a pass-through cost from Transmission and Distribution Utility companies (TDUs), such as Centerpoint in Houston and Oncor in Dallas.
- If your hours of energy consumption aren’t a good match for a time of use plan, your electricity costs can end up costing hundreds and possibly thousands more annually than a regular straight-forward plan would cost you.
For plans that offer free electricity from late at night until early morning, you can cut your energy costs for the following types of activities:
- Running a pool pump
- Charging an electric vehicle at night
- Running air conditioning or heating during the night
- Dishwashing or clothes washing in the evening
Examples of Free Energy Plans in Texas
Reliant Energy “Truly Free” Plans
Reliant’s free plans are fittingly tagged as “truly” free because there are no TDU delivery charges during free hours, in addition to the free hours with no energy fees offered by many plans.
- Reliant’s Truly Free Weekends plan provides 100% free electricity from 8 p.m. Friday to midnight on Sunday, with a fixed energy charge for daytime hours. This plan is ideal for homeowners who use a high percentage of electricity on weekends.
- Reliant’s Truly Free Nights plan provides 100% free electricity from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. every night with a fixed energy charge for daytime hours.
- Reliant’s Truly Free 7 Days plan provides free electricity for the 7 highest usage days of each monthly billing period, with a fixed energy rate other hours.
4Change Energy “Free Energy 12” Plan
4Change Energy offers free energy, though TDU charges do apply. In addition to TDU charges, customers are billed for every kWh consumed during the month for both “free” and non-free hours.
4Change Energy’s Free Energy plan is a fixed-rate plan that bills customers as follows:
- 1-500 kWh at the fee disclosed in the EFL (e.g., 12 cents/kWh)
- 501-1000 kWh at 0.0000¢ per kWh (free electricity)
- >1000 kWh at the fee in the EFL (e.g., 12 cents/kWh)
Other fees or credits:
- Monthly bill credit for billing cycles of at least 1000 kWh
- If the contract is terminated early, the termination fee is $20 multiplied by the number of remaining months in the term of your contract.
Gexa Energy “Free” Plans
Gexa Energy offers plans with certain hours of completely free electricity, which means you don’t pay an energy rate or TDU charges during those hours. As with all of Gexa’s residential electricity plans, these plans are 100% green.
- Gexa Energy Free 3-Day Weekends provides free electricity from 12 a.m. Friday morning until 12 a.m. Monday morning, which means you get free electricity all day and night on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays.
- Gexa Energy Free Mornings & Nights provides 12 hours of free electricity every day, all year round. Free power starts at 8 p.m. and ends at 8 a.m. daily.
Just Energy “Free” Plans
Just Energy offers the following plans with “free” hours of electricity:
- Just Energy Weekends Free Plan provides free electricity on weekends from 7 p.m. Fridays to 11:59 p.m. on Sundays. The rates for the other hours are at a fixed rate disclosed in the plan’s EFL.
- Just Energy Nights Free Plan provides 10 hours of free electricity from 9 p.m. to 7 a.m. every day of the week. The rates for the other hours are at a fixed rate disclosed in the EFL.
Amigo Energy “Free” Plans
- Amigo Energy’s 12-Month Free Plan offers a fixed rate price for all hours on a 12-month contract, and the 12th month invoice is free. There is a charge of $175 for early cancellations.
- Amigo Energy’s Nights Free Plan offers free electricity from 9 p.m. to 7 a.m. every night. Pay a fixed-rate price found in the EFL. The cost for early cancellation is $175.
- Amigo Energy’s Weekends Free Plan offers free electricity on weekends from 7 p.m. Fridays to 11:59 p.m. Sundays. Pay a fixed-rate price. The cost for early cancellation is $175.
Does your Energy Usage Pattern Match a “Free” Plan?
Consumer-centric HomeEnergyClub.com stresses that free electricity represent a tempting opportunity that can save consumers money, but an also ends up costing Texas residents far more than they would pay by choosing a straightforward energy plan. Closely review the EFL of any plan you consider to ensure that the one you choose is a good match for your pattern of electricity consumption.
Home Energy Club offers helpful resources and guides to assist consumers in choosing the best energy plan for their houses, including How to Read an Electricity Facts Label.
FREE ELECTRICITY FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is a free electricity time-of-use plan in Texas?
Electricity is free during specified hours of certain days in time-of-use plans in Texas. The following is information that can be helpful when considering a free electricity plan:
- In some time-of-use energy plans, “free” hours aren’t 100% free because of transmission charges from TDUs that still apply for every hour of “free” use.
- If you sign up for “Free Weekends” or some other time-of-use plan, it’s important to understand that the cost of electricity per kWh is typically much higher for non-free hours.
- Time-of-use plans with “free” electricity should be approached with caution, though they can work for consumers who only engage in high energy use during times when electricity is free.
- Carefully read the Electricity Facts Label (EFL) of each energy plan you consider and compare your history of electricity use with the plan’s free usage periods to determine whether a time-of-use plan is right for you.
If you sign up for a time-of-use plan, be careful about running the dishwasher, clothes dryer, and other energy-intensive activities during hours when electricity is not free.
Among the helpful guides on page footers at Home Energy Club is How to Read the Texas Electricity Facts Label (EFL).
What Texas electric companies offer free electricity plans?
The following electricity companies in Texas offer free electricity plans, and more details are available at HomeEnergyClub.com. One of each of the energy providers’ time-of-use plans is also below, though multiple plans are offered by some energy companies:
- Reliant Energy – The Truly Free Nights Plan provides 100% free nightly electricity from 8 pm to 6 am without TDU charges. During the daytime hours throughout the 12-month term of the contract, a fixed energy charge applies. Enter your zip on Home Energy Club to view free energy plans from Reliant.
- 4Change Energy – For their “Free Energy” plan, during free hours and non-free hours in the 4Change Energy time-of-use plan, TDU charges are billed at the rate per kWh disclosed in the EFL.
- Gexa Energy – The Free 3-Day Weekends plan provides free electricity from 12 am Friday mornings through 12 am Monday mornings, providing electricity at no charge all day and night on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays.
- Amigo Energy – The Nights Free Plan provides free electricity every night from 9 pm to 7 am. The paid hours are charged at a fixed-rate price found in the EFL.
At Home Energy Club, you can visit our “Free Electricity Plans in Texas” page for additional details and to find other free energy plans.
For which energy-intensive activities can I get free electricity?
If you are signed onto a time-of-use plan, HomeEnergyClub.com suggests that you lower your energy costs by engaging in the following types of energy-intensive activities during the hours when your electricity is free:
- Run the pool pump
- Charge electric vehicles
- Run the HVAC system
- Use the clothes dryer
- Run the dishwasher
Home Energy Club offers numerous resources for avoiding bill surprises, and all are listed in page footers.
How to confirm a “free” energy time-of-use plan will save me money?
Some homeowners will end up with bill surprises when they choose a “free energy” time-of-use plan, so HomeEnergyClub.com offers a number of helpful resources to help you confirm that a “free electricity” plan will cut your energy costs:
- Compare your home’s pattern of energy usage with the plan’s pricing for each day of the week and time period by reading the plan’s Electricity Facts Label (EFL).
- Get convenient access to your home’s energy usage history from Smart Meter Texas.
- Check to see if the plan has truly free electricity or not. Some plans include Transmission and Distribution Utility (TDU) charges from transmission utilities such as Centerpoint in Houston and Oncor in Dallas for every hour of energy you consume (both the “free” hours and the paid hours).
Home Energy Club is a consumer-centric site that aims to help Texas residents prevent expensive bill surprises.
Where to find the cheapest energy plans with no gimmicks?
HomeEnergyClub.com vets every energy plan and eliminates gimmick plans that result in costly bill surprises.
- When you are comparing energy plans in your area by entering your zip code into the comparison site, you will find the best and cheapest electricity plans from trusted energy providers.
- You will find discount rates lower than the regular rates shown on the energy providers’ own websites.
- For added confidence, you can check the site’s Texas Electric Companies Ratings and Reviews.
Home Energy Club uses only objective review and rating sites.
What is a good rate per kWh in Texas?
You can compare the latest in cheap, gimmick-free electricity rates in Texas at HomeEnergyClub.com. The following information will be helpful:
- Historically low per-kWh rates provide a good opportunity for locking rates long-term by enrolling in a 24-month, 36-month or 60-month fixed energy rate contract.
- The best energy rates per kWh in Texas in the last 12 months dropped to as cheap as 5-cents and 6-cents, though low rates have seasonal fluctuations and will rise as energy commodity costs rebound.
- A rate of 11 cents per kWh has recently been the average in Texas.
Instantly view the cheapest energy rates where you live by entering your zip code on Home Energy Club. The energy plans have all been vetted to ensure gimmick plans resulting in bills surprises are excluded.
How do I find the best electric plan in Texas?
HomeEnergyClub.com is a dependable online resource for finding the best electricity plans in Texas. Reviews and ratings for more than 40 electric companies from objective sources are provided. Take the following steps to ensure that the energy plan you choose is the one with the best rates for your particular size home and based on your pattern of energy usage:
- Every energy plan you consider should pertain to your home’s energy monthly usage level, whether 500 kWh (typical for apartment living), 1000 kWh (small homes), or 2000 kWh (larger homes).
- Read the Electricity Facts Label of any plan you consider, and review the price-per-kWh in relation to the monthly electricity usage levels in your home.
- To check your history of energy use, go to Smart Meter Texas or review your electric bills manually.
For more details and helpful guides, visit Home Energy Club.
Where to find promo codes for discount electricity rates?
- You will find an extensive list of promo codes and access to instant discounts on your electricity rate on the Home Energy Club Texas promo codes page.
- The promo codes can be used directly on the Texas energy providers’ websites or you can call their operators toll free at the numbers listed at Home Energy Club.
- Feel free to share the promo codes with family and friends. You can even post the codes on your social media pages.
At Home Energy Club, promotional codes are also referred to as promo codes, discount codes, referral codes and coupon codes.