When shopping for an electricity plan in Texas, the popular approach is to find the plan with the lowest per-kilowatt-hour rate, and lock it in for the longest amount of time. It makes sense for other financial transactions, so why not electricity?

Except buying electricity is not like buying a house or a car or insurance, because the terms for pricing electricity are completely different. Everyone understands that what you pay for electricity is determined directly by how much electricity you use. The less you use, the less you pay. Only most plans available on the market today don’t work that way. The amount you are charged per kWh of electricity you use often changes based on how much your total usage is. There may be a fee if you don’t use “enough”. There may be a fee if you use “too much”. There may even be a fee if you don’t use “just the right amount”. Oh, and “just the right amount” is likely an arbitrary amount. So even in cases where the price of electricity is “the same”, the overall amount you pay may change because of additional charges you can incur based on your consumption.

So you’re in Houston and you need to get to Dallas. You can fly, take a bus, get a ride or drive yourself. Maybe you could take a tollway for part of the ride and shave off some time. Maybe you have a travelling companion and you could take the HOV lane. Maybe there’s congestion on the highways and it makes more sense for you to take the back roads. Each option brings you to Dallas, and if the end goal is to get there using the most cost effective way possible, the option that makes sense for me in Downtown may not be the same option for you in North Houston. Buying electricity under the traditional shopping model would be like signing a contract to always take a Southwest Airlines flight every time you need to make this trip, for the next 3 years, at a price that looks good today.

This old-fashioned approach to shopping for electricity doesn’t make much sense either. It’s 2015. We have robots on Mars. We have self-driving cars. We even have hover-boards. Hover-boards, dude! It makes no sense to still be shopping in the one-size-fits-all racks of electricity plans.

Energy Ogre has completely ogrehauled the approach to shopping for electricity by using technology to facilitate a simple idea: keep looking till you find the option that is just right for you.

We start by looking at how much electricity you have used in the past, along with some other factors about your home, which help us forecast how much power you will use in the future. For example, if you have gas heat and you prefer your house to be chilly, your summer usage would be very high but your winter usage would be very low. So what you would need is a plan that has a low rate for high usage in the summer, and a plan that rewards low usage in the winter. Our systems apply this basic principle on a much larger scale, and perform a “what-if” analysis on hundreds of different offers. Would you save more money if you were in a 3-month plan now and a 9-month plan after that, or a 6 month plan now and 2 3-month plans after that? They consider thousands of such permutations using a whole host of other factors and find options that make the most sense for you. We then consider the situation with your current energy provider, factor in any outstanding balance or early termination fees, and recommend the option that saves you the most money. If what we recommend involves you terminating a contract early, we let you review your options and only make changes once you have approved them. If you don’t like what you see, you can opt to have us keep looking for more options, or cancel your membership for a refund.

Once we have switched you to the new provider, we continue to monitor your account and your usage. If you happen to have an issue with your new provider, we work with them to get it resolved, so you don’t have to stay on hold with them. We monitor the market continuously, so we can notify you if an offer comes along that could save you enough money to justify making a move. When the offer we enrolled you in comes up for expiration, we do the whole process over again, and make the necessary changes to ensure you never fall out of contract.

Not convinced? Check out our Savings Calculator, which applies the same basic principles of our systems, but estimates how much electricity you would use based on one bill, instead of looking at a year’s worth of historical usage. It should give you a fairly accurate estimate of how much money, if any, we may be able to save you. If you’re in a great plan already and we can’t save you any money, it’ll tell you that too. So what do you have to lose? Give it a try right now!