Category Archives: Your Plans and Choices

Combat the Cold Winters and Warm Summers by Choosing Free Power Saturdays Now

shutterstock_58461355That power outage North Texas experienced in December because of harsh winter weather has some consumers worrying about the chance of rolling blackouts in the summer. This is especially true when you consider the high prices that come with ultra-high demand for summertime, as usage during the work week can drive wholesale prices up to an insane $30/kWh.

Thankfully, you can do something right now that could help prevent that sort of thing from happening months from now.

What if you and your neighbors signed up for an electricity plan that let you shift all your energy-hungry tasks to a day in the week when most office buildings, industries, schools or other institutions are also closed? The price of electricity would be lowest, right?

Let’s say this day of the week would be Saturday. You could wash laundry and dry it all day long. You could vacuum and steam clean your carpets. You could bake cookies with your kids. Get some heavy-duty house repairs out of the way and later relax in hot, steamy tub. Sounds like a lot of usage, right?

According to the Department of Energy, if you use all these for just an hour, that’s 9.9kWh. If we assume a ¢10/kWh, that adds up to ¢99 for one hour of energy use. It’s much better than $30/kWh, but after in a month of Saturdays, that adds up. And there’s also your other appliances – like your all-important air conditioner and refrigerator that are running at the same time too. Even if you’re an average Texas consumer using 1,168 KWh/month, a typical Saturday bill could be $5.00; $20 for a month of Saturdays.

But what if Saturdays were FREE?

Not only could you save money by time-shifting your cleaning chores to a no-charge day, but you and your neighbors reduce the need to run those appliances during the week. This helps reduce high-energy demand throughout the ERCOT grid and reduces the threat of rolling blackouts that inconvenience everyone.

By signing up with one of First Choice Power’s Free Power Saturdays Price Protection Plan™ or Free Power Saturdays E-Plan™ for 12 or 24 months, you can not only enjoy a fixed low-rate plan but also get free electricity every Saturday. There’s also and added discount of 0.5¢/KWh when you sign up for e-billing and automatic payments. All you need is an AMS Smart Meter installed at your home to enjoy low rates, free electricity, and help keep Texas bright.

In 2014, why not make managing your home electricity usage more effectively one of your New Year’s Resolutions? You can with First Choice Power!

Save Money Doing 3 Big Chores with Your Free Power Saturdays

Save Money Doing 3 Big Chores With Your Free Power SaturdayNo one really likes to do household chores. Unfortunately, there’s three big jobs that most home owners know they should do a few times each year.

Wash and dry bulky items. Specifically, we’re talking about pillows, comforters, heavy drapes, jeans, and (especially now) winter coats. Drying time alone on any of these items can take up to an hour or more.

Steam cleaning the home. There are times when our carpets and area rugs need special attention, but steam cleaners can eat up to 1,000 watts, which includes heating the hot water heater energy.

Pressure wash outside. The exterior of our home gets dirtier than we realize including, the decks, siding, outdoor rugs, and vehicles. A 14 amp pressure washer used for an hour will eat up 1.5 kWh and if you have a lot to clean, that energy use can add up fast.

All of these are big cleaning jobs that can greatly increase your energy usage. Luckily, the Free Power Saturdays Price Protection Plan from First Choice Power takes cost out of the equation. Just how much is that? For example, if you use 2,000 kWh/month at 10.1¢/kWh (based on CenterPoint price), the electricity use portion of your bill would normally be about $202. That breaks down to about $6.52/day. So, subtract four free Saturdays and you can save $26.08!

After a month of free power Saturdays, go celebrate the savings with your family.

photo from MorgueFile.com

Turn On a Friend

First Choice Power customers are the kind of folks who are always there to help out a friend. And, as grandma liked to say, one good turn deserves another.

You already like First Choice Power. When you spread the word, you’ll love the rewards. Now introducing our new Turn On a Friend referral program. When you turn a friend on to First Choice Power, you’ll earn rewards that just keep on giving —for up to 3 years! And every friend who signs up will get a $60 prepaid VISA® card they can use for whatever they like.

Here’s how it works

For every new “Turn On a Friend” referral program customer you refer, you can receive up to a $5 credit on your bill every month for up to 36 months. That means you can earn up to $180 for each friend you refer! That’s three times the reward of other electric programs, and you don’t have to pay a fee to participate!

And, with no limit on the number of bill credits you can earn, big referrals mean big rewards.

You can start referring your friends today. Your Referral ID is already on your monthly bill. Find your Referral ID on top of the 1st page directly under your account number. This is the number you will give to your friends when they sign up.

Login and get started today or have your friend call (866) 469-2464 with your Referral ID!

Check out “Turn On a Friend” referral program for more information on our Refer-a-Friend program!

 

UPDATE: 8/12/2013 – The Refer-a-Friend program has been changed. To review the changes, please visit this “Turn On a Friend” referral program.

Texas Invoicing Update

Due to a recent system upgrade, some customers in Texas may receive delayed monthly bills. We have been working hard to correct the error for those customers who have been impacted. If you have not already received your bills for the past months usage, you should be receiving them soon.

We are always prepared to work with our customers and have options available for bill payment arrangement due to the close timing of the invoices. Please call us on 1-855-291-5741 to discuss ways in which we can help you with available payment options.

We apologize for any inconvenience or confusion this may have caused and we thank you for being a First Choice Power customer.

O(Power) Boy!

You might think you’re using energy efficiently, but how can you really tell? You could do an energy audit and find ways to cut back. But imagine if you could get on Facebook to compare your energy usage to your friends’ usage, or to homes that are the same size as yours. What if you and your friends could try as a team to reduce your energy usage, and maybe even compete against other teams in a “biggest loser”-style competition?

A new company called Opower is making all of these things possible. Created with the assistance of the Natural Resources Defense Council and Facebook, the tool will let users sync their real-time electricity usage data so it can be compared to that of their friends, neighbors, and similar users. It will also provide home usage reports and customized reminders, tips and tricks for reducing usage. The beta version of the Opower app launched in April, and First Choice Power will be added as a partner later this year.

Would you want to see how your home energy usage compares to your friends’ usage? Tell us in the comments below. And don’t forget to subscribe to The Current for information on everything from energy apps to saving electricity.

Thanks Flickr user tedeytan

And our $10,000 TOAF Winner is…

Earlier this week Jesus Salazar attended a First Choice Power customer party along with his wife, Maria, and his daughter, Brianna. He thought he was just coming in for some food and a party. Turns out he was coming in to be surprised that he was the grand prize winner of our 2011 Turn on a Friend program, for having the highest number of customer referrals to the company in 2011!

Jesus works in the oil field. He wasn’t supposed to be off today but he got let off early last night. Andrhea Rivera, one of our local office representatives in Mission, kicked the party off thanking all the customers there who had referred new customers to us. She asked Jesus why he does it? And he responded that First Choice Power saved him money and he wants to pass that on to his friends and family. Andrhea called him up to the front of the room saying: “Did you know you referred the most people in 2011?” And then we brought out the $10,000 big check.

“Thank you. I’m speechless,” Maria said.

When asked what they are going to do with their $10,000, Jesus replied “We’re going to Home Depot.” The family was planning to do some upgrades on their home, including new flooring and new windows, to further save on their electric bills. Congratulations, Jesus- enjoy your cash prize!

Click on the link below to check out the video from the event, and remember, the next winner could be you.

2011 Turn on a Friend Winner: Jesus Salazar

Four Customers Won $1,000 for Referring Friends to First Choice Power

This past Tuesday we were thrilled to celebrate four of our TOAF winners from 2011, with a little celebration at our local office in Texas City. We awarded checks for $1,000 each to these customers who referred numerous new customers last year to sign up for electricity service via the “Turn on a Friend” referral program.

“I enjoy helping people out, which is why I referred my family and friends to First Choice Power,” Fuller said. “They go above and beyond when it comes to customer service, offer great prices and are there for you when you really need them.”

The ““Turn On a Friend” referral program” Referral Program rewards customers for every new customer they refer to First Choice Power. A customer can earn up to $180* for each new customer they refer. Congratulations to our 2011 winners Neal Mora, George Fuller, Joseph McGinn and Luz Santos! The next winner could be you, so visit  “Turn On a Friend” referral program to learn more.

*$180 is paid over three years. See website for full details.

Go Easy On Yourself

What have you done lately to make life easier for yourself? Made your lunch the night before? Planned out your family’s meals for the week? Coordinated a car pool?

Setting your First Choice Power account to make automated payments is another smart way to plan ahead and take something off your plate. All you have to do is save your payment information (either your credit card, debit card or bank draft information) in My Account. You can set alerts so you know when a payment is made, and many can even choose the day your bill will be due.

Once automated payments are in place, you’ll never miss a payment or find yourself with unexpected late fees. And with all that time you’ll save each month, you could even take a little longer making your lunch.

Do you have any advice or tips for making life easier? Share ‘em in the comments section below.

Arthelia Harris, Customer Care Advocate

Ask Arthelia: What Do I Get for Referring a Friend?

Arthelia Harris, Customer Care Advocate

Did you know that you could save money on your electric bill by referring your friends and family to First Choice Power? It’s easy. You tell your friends and family how much you love First Choice Power and suggest that they join. When they become customers (and give your Referral ID), they get a $60 Prepaid Visa card just for joining. You get up to $5 each month credited to your bill for each friend, for up to 36 months or as long as they remain a customer. With the summer months approaching this is the perfect time to start your savings.

Your customer referral ID can be found on your statement just below your account number, as indicated in the image below.

Have a customer service question for Arthelia? Leave it in the comments area below!

Ask Arthelia: Can I Get Bill Payment Assistance this Holiday Season?

(Photo Credit: goodcents.pocketsmith.com)

We know that this time of year is a hard one for some families – purchasing presents for the entire clan, while managing to put food on the table. At First Choice Power, we know this is also a time some customers struggle to pay their electric bill. 

Well, if you’re in this boat, we have some holiday joy for you! Just call us at 1-866-454-8387 to see if you qualify for a payment arrangement! It’s that easy. Just call! You may also find help in your community by calling 211 for information on local agencies who distribute funds. 

Also, with 2012 right around the corner, please note this important information about the LITE-UP TEXAS program:  

The program will provide discounts to eligible customers on the following months’ bills in 2012: May, June, July, August and September! Great, huh? 

For additional information on the LITE-UP Texas program, again, please give us a ring at 1-866-454-8387!
Happy Holidays!!