In this blog we will explain what is an early termination fee (ETF) and if/when you have to pay it.

Some people interested in Energy Ogre are faced with a choice: Do I pay my early termination fee with my current provider now or wait until my contract expires? The good news is that we can help you decide!

The Public Utility Commission allows your REP to charge an early termination fee (ETF) if you switch to another provider before your contract expires.

Some potential members are unaware they’re in a contract when they come to us. Keep an eye out for the fine print on your bills. Often times your contract end date is listed in very small print and/or placed in the middle of a paragraph so it doesn’t stand out.

Electricity contracts can be extremely confusing, especially at the end of the contract term.

Can You Avoid Early Termination Fees?

A customer can avoid an early termination fee if they switch no earlier than 14 days before their contract expiration date. Of course, this is the tricky part. Because Texas REPs are required to notify you 30 days before your contract expires.

This leaves you a very tight window to shop for a new provider and then switch without incurring the fee or getting moved into a variable rate. More often than not, the renewal rates offered by your current provider are much higher than what yu can secure by switching to a new provider.

You can also avoid an early termination fee if you are moving from a home. The contract stays with the location, not the person. If you are an Energy Ogre member, just give us a call and we will help make it a smooth transition!


Early Termination Fee Traps

There are a couple of “gotchas” to be wary of when it comes to contract end dates and early termination fees.

  • Confusing contract end dates

Many electricity customers have a difficult time discerning when their contract actually expires.   This bill is a perfect example. What would be your guess on the end date?

This particular verbiage means your contract may not end until the date your meter is read AFTER the date listed. Unfortunately, if you were to decide to switch within the allowed 14 day window before your end date, they can try to slap an ETF on you for not understanding this.

  • Early renewal notices

According to The Public Utility Commission, the REP shall send a written notice. A contract expiration must be sent. It has to be at least 30 days or one billing cycle prior to the date of contract expiration.

But, it can’t be more than 60 days or two billing cycles in advance of contract expiration for a residential customer. From our experience, some REPs send these renewal notices 60 and even 90 days in advance.

Consequently, it ropes you into renewing earlier than you really need to. Hence, eliminating the option of choosing another provider offering a better price.

Does Energy Ogre Pay Early Termination Fees?

At Energy Ogre, we only charge you $10 per month for our service or $120 per year. You’ll never be charged another dime. Nada. Niente. Nothing.  

But can we pay your termination fee in order to become a member?  Sorry, no.  At $10 a month, we aren’t in the business to get rich quick. If we were paying our members ETF, our Ogre would be “ogre-the-top” broke!

The decision of whether or not to switch, as well as paying the fee, will be up to you. Weighing out the options? Look at it this way…

Give Us a Try and Get Back to Living Your Brightest Life!

When you sign up for our service, we will ask you to send us a copy of your most recent bill. That way,  we can read the fine print to confirm the terms of your current contract. We’ll also request your historic usage from your Transmission/Distribution Service Provider (TDSP). Finally, we will calculate what you are currently paying for electricity.

We want to make sure the plan we recommend will actually save you money if you break your contract. Speaking of plans, now’s a great time to run our free Savings Calculator, which will show you exactly how much you could save with us!

We can’t help you avoid paying any termination fees required by your current provider. But, we can present you with all the real information you’ll need to know to make the decision to switch.

This will include the real costs to switch, and the real savings you can achieve—not a guess based on what seems to be a low kilowatt-hour rate.

Ready to view your options? Sign up for Energy Ogre here.

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