4Change Energy – A New TXU-Branded Texas Electricity Provider

by admin on February 7, 2013

Energy Future Holdings, the troubled parent of Texas electricity provider TXU,  has rolled out a new brand in hopes of competing in the tough Texas electricity market without some of the baggage of the TXU brand.

The new electric provider owned by TXU’s parent company is named 4Change Energy.  The cleaver name is an allusion to the fact that the company gives 4% of their proceeds to charitable causes.   According to 4Change there are four categories in which they make charitable contributions; food banks, cancer prevention and research, disaster relief, and children’s medical charities.

Despite deregulation being over 10 years old in Texas, TXU still enjoys significant momentum and brand recognition among Texas consumers.  Many people still don’t understand that they are not required to get their electricity from TXU or just don’t care to take the time to shop for a lower rate.  Because of this, TXU is able to get away with charging most of their customers rates that are substantially higher than what other competitive retail electric providers are charging.  If you are TXU why would you lower your rates when most of your customers are perfectly content paying a higher rate?

This makes it more difficult for TXU to compete for those consumers who are savvy enough to shop for better rates. It’s not really profitable for them to lower their rates.  That’s what makes 4Change Energy a cleaver vehicle for the parent company to aggressively go after cost-aware consumers without diluting the high margins TXU enjoys with its current customers.

The casual observer wouldn’t even know 4Change is affiliated with TXU.  With 4Change they have created a separate and distinct brand that will allow them to offer lower rates.  For example, in Dallas 4Change is currently offering a 12 month plan for 9.1 cents per kwh.  TXU meanwhile is charging 10.4 cents for a 10 month plan and a whopping 13.0 cents for their TXU Cash Rewards plan which offers a small annual cash rebate.

While the 4Change rate is certainly better than TXU’s, its still not as good as others.  Bounce is offering a 12 month plan at 8.6 cents in the Dallas area.  Some customers may be willing to pay the higher 4Change rate, however,  in order to see a portion of their electricity bill go to charity.

4Change does offer some of the best rates currently for shorter term plans. In Houston 4Change is offering a 3 month plan for just 6.9 cents per kwh.  This rate compares well with other providers and is a lot better than the 7.9 cents TXU is charging for their 4 month plan in Houston.

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