TXU Takes Shot at Energy Ogre and Electricity Shopping Services, but Fails

TXU Takes Shot at Energy Ogre and Electricity Shopping Services, but Fails

A win for the Ogre! Energy Ogre must be making some sort of savings impact in Texas when a large retail electricity provider writes about concerns people should “watch out for” before signing up with  “electricity shopping services” or “3rd party companies” such as Energy Ogre.

Really?

Some of these retail electricity providers (REP) have chosen to generate unsubstantiated fears about how we serve our members.  These are the same providers that offer you “time of use” plans like Free Nights/Weekends – even though these may not actually be saving you money, but costing you more. That said, we want to put any concerns to rest and directly address TXU’s article with real facts.

 

TXU states: How will the shopping service keep your confidential information secure?

When you share private information like your social security number and banking information with services like Energy Ogre, you could be handing it over to several providers. You may not have even heard of some of these providers.

Energy Ogre’s answer:

Because electricity is typically paid for after the service has been provided, the REPs are required to validate your identity. To do this, the REPs run a soft credit check that requires your full legal name, social security number, and date of birth. We do not send your information to multiple providers. It is sent to the ONE provider we have chosen for you that offers you the most savings on your electricity bill. We only need this personal information because the REPs require it.

Your information is secure with us. If you look at the address bar in your browser while you’re signing up, there will be a green padlock icon. This icon confirms that the connection between your computer and Energy Ogre’s servers is secure. It also means that every bit of information you enter in your browser is encrypted on your computer before it is sent to us, so even if it were intercepted by anyone it would be unreadable. The information is then encrypted and stored on our servers. It’s shared only with a retail electricity provider when we enroll you with them.

 

TXU states: How frequently will credit checks be run?

Credit checks will be run each time a shopping service switches you to a new provider and potentially multiple times with each switch. Find out if they can initiate credit checks without your consent.

Energy Ogre’s answer:

Energy Ogre will enroll you in electricity plans that typically require 6-12 month contracts. It all depends on your particular situation and what the marketplace is offering. You could have a soft credit check a couple of times a year.

US News does a great job at explaining the difference between a hard and soft inquiry or credit check. In short, a soft credit check is an inquiry that occurs when a person or company checks your credit report as a background check, like when you check your credit score or a mortgage lender preapproves you for a loan. Soft inquiries can occur without your permission – but don’t worry, they won’t affect your credit in any way.

When Energy Ogre selects a plan for a member, we choose only one provider that will work best for them based on their usage and preferences. Energy Ogre then enrolls the member for service and will be subject to one soft credit check. The only reason Energy Ogre would need a second soft credit check for a member is if the first enrollment fails and Energy Ogre has to find the member a different provider.  This situation would be no different than when a consumer shops online for their own electricity every 6-12 months.

Energy Ogre CEO, Jesson Bradshaw shares more insight.

 

TXU statesHow does the shopping service incorporate an electricity provider’s customer service and reputation into their decisions?

It’s not clear if these shopping services consider a provider’s customer service or track record. They also tend to ignore the value of important services like budgeting tools, flexible payment options, and online tools that can save customers time and money.

Energy Ogre’s answer:

This is another fear-mongering tactic. The fact is, you can’t buy a “better” kind of electricity. All of the electricity that REPs sell is the same. So why should you pay more for it? Shouldn’t the consumer strive to get the best rate for their specific needs? The switch between electricity providers is entirely a financial process, and no physical changes are made to your electricity delivery systems. So paying more for electricity doesn’t mean you will get a superior product. And you can rest assured that we vet all REPs before we connect our members with them.

Bradshaw shares more below about how Energy Ogre takes reputation and customer service into consideration when choosing REPs for our members.

 

 
Energy Ogre works with its member’s special needs or requests including payment options, green-energy requests and much more. We value budgeting and online tools and realize they are readily available via a simple Google search, along with the tools available from the REP that Energy Ogre signs our members up with.

 

TXU statesIf you sign up with an electricity shopping service, which company do you call for help?

Since services like Energy Ogre tend to switch your provider more frequently, you may not always know exactly what you’ve signed up for, and it may be tough to keep track of whom you’re signed up with. Service questions or requests can be confusing because now two companies are involved instead of one, which could lead to a frustrating runaround you definitely don’t have time for.

Energy Ogre’s answer:

Energy Ogre maintains constant email communication with our members when we switch plans. We also provide a Member Portal where our members have instant access to their current and past retail electricity providers, previous bill analyses and much more. Energy Ogre handles all service questions or special requests on our members’ behalf. Therefore, they need to make only one call.

In addition, did you know if your service goes out or you have an interruption in service, the REP is not responsible for fixing the issue? So if you live in the Dallas area, your electricity is delivered by ONCOR, regardless of who your REP is. When you have a power outage, and even if you call your electric provider to report it, the requests are always handled by ONCOR. They own and service the lines and the equipment.

Click here for a power outage tracker and a list of numbers for your quick reference.

 

TXU statesHow much does the shopping service charge?

Make sure they include the cost of their services in the savings estimate they provide. And if they don’t charge a fee, ask what they’re getting from electricity providers in return for their recommendations.

Energy Ogre’s answer:

We charge $10 a month or $120 a year. We do not include this in the savings estimate, as there are two separate invoices. You pay your REP (like you do today) and you pay Energy Ogre a $10 fee per month. We are completely transparent about what we charge our members. There are no hidden charges and no confusion. We are paid only by our members – you – and receive no commissions or compensation from the electricity providers. This means our only priority is focusing on your needs.

 

TXU statesDoes the shopping service guarantee the rates and service you’ll receive from electricity providers they choose?

While some shopping services offer satisfaction guarantees for their own services, they don’t guarantee the savings you’ll receive from the electricity providers they choose.

Energy Ogre’s answer:

Energy Ogre is proud to offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee! We will enroll you with an energy provider in a competitive rate plan that best fits your needs. Then, lock you into that rate, so we know exactly what you will pay each and every month you are with that provider. Finally, we do not believe in variable-rate plans, so you know EXACTLY what you will pay per kWh.

 

In conclusion:

Perhaps the folks who wrote this article about Energy Ogre should have tried our services before attempting to instill fear in our members about what we do. Perhaps we could save them a bundle, too! Remember, we are simply here to help you, the electricity consumer.

Energy Ogre understands REPs have a tough job, as explained in a recent article we shared. We should know: Members of our team have built power plants. They have scheduled fuel and electricity and even owned and managed REPs in the recent past. As a company, Energy Ogre respects the risk that REPs take. We also recognize that they play an important role in the electricity space. We’re just here to make sure REPs don’t get too greedy and play with your hard-earned dollars.

 

 This was fun!

 

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