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Six-month electric plan prices and a look at the "green premium"
How does your electric plan compare to what's currently available in the market?

Posted by Shane McLaughlin on 01/24/2012 at 9:49 PM

How does your electric plan compare to what’s currently available in the marketplace? Each Sunday’s Houston Chronicle business section features the CenterPoint Energy Electric Price Index, which tracks electric plan prices for six-month, one-year and two-year residential fixed-rate plans in Houston. The most recent index includes 147 plans from 45 providers.
Below is the index chart as it appeared in the newspaper January 22. Also below is a picture of the index as it appears at MyTrueCost.com. As you can see, each chart provides a slightly different view into the market.
The Sunday chart that appears in the newspaper shows the high, low and average index values for the most popular electric plans: one-year, fixed-rate plans.
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Our web-based chart, which is updated daily on our website, uses the same underlying data but shows how six-month, one-year and two-year plans compare to each other. It also presents the index values in dollars per month for a consumer who uses an average of 1,000 kWh per month. 
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Here’s what we find interesting when we look at the data in our January 22 charts:
  • Prices on one-year and two-year fixed-rate plans have remained remarkably stable
  • Prices for six-month fixed-rate plans have risen over the last few weeks (up 2.5%). We saw a similar increase in six-month prices this time last year
  • Prices for six-month plans are down 4.1% compared to this time last year
In Focus: Green Energy Pricing Trends
From time to time we’ll go beyond the standard charts to take a different look at pricing data. This week we’re taking a look at pricing changes behind the “green premium,” which is the additional monthly cost of plans with 100% renewable energy.
Below is a chart showing changes in the amount of the green premium for six-month, one-year and two-year plans. As you can see, the additional amount you pay to be green has bounced up and down in price. Of particular interest is the premium on two-year plans, which has fallen considerably over the last year. Consumers who appreciate the stability and certainty that come with a two-year plan will find that, right now at least, it doesn’t cost much more green to be green.

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Have a behind-the-data question you’d like us to answer? Leave a comment to this post. We’ll review all suggestions in search of future blog topics.

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