FAQs

The Milestone Electricity Alliance:

What is the Milestone Electricity Alliance?
The Milestone Electricity Alliance is a residential electricity broker and is registered with the Public Utility Commission of Texas as an Aggregator. As an Aggregator we are licensed to combine customers into a buying group and negotiate electricity rates for them as a group with any licensed REP in Texas. PUCT #80322
How is it different from other companies that sell electricity in Texas like TXU, Reliant, Direct, Amigo, Gexa, Cirro, and all the others I hear about?
All those companies are Retail Electricity Providers (REPs) and are licensed by the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT) to contract with and bill you for your electricity use. We combine the purchasing power of our customers and negotiate with the REPs to get our customers the best rates in the market year after year. Our customers are then billed directly by the REP we have negotiated the best rates with.
Who actually delivers my electricity and maintains the meter, poles and wires?
Electricity in deregulated areas of Texas is only delivered by regulated Transportation Distribution Service Providers (TDSPs) such as ONCOR, Centerpoint, AEP and TNMP. These companies cannot "sell" you electricity or bill you for it they can only deliver it to you.
There are still a large number of electrical cooperatives in Texas that deliver and bill for electricity, but their member/owners do not have a choice about who sends them a bill or who they contract with for price. Electrical CO-OPs are de facto monopolies.
How does the Milestone Electricity Alliance work with the REPs and TDSPs to manage my electricity?
We negotiate fixed rate electricity contracts with the top REPs to make sure our customers are getting the best price and terms for their electricity purchases. We are constantly negotiating in the market and when we contract with an REP we make them our preferred billing partner. Our preferred billing partner then sends the bills and collects payments due from our customers. We also work with the TDSPs like ONCOR or Centerpoint if our customers have any issues with their electricity delivery service.
We provide any assistance our customers may need, whether they have a billing or service delivery issue. We are better at dealing with these companies than you as an individual consumer so we can get to the bottom of any issue and resolve it quickly and easily.
What is a full service residential electricity broker?
We provide a full service for our customers to completely manage their electricity. The services we provide our customers are:
  1. First we help determine whether they are in an existing electricity contract
  2. If they are; we track their existing contract with our contract expiration alert service to insure they don't let a contract expire and start over paying for electricity. Almost all REPs will start slowing raising the rates of customers when contracts expire to their current retail variable rate
  3. If they aren't in a contract or if theirs will expire within 90 days we offer them access to sign up for our pre-negotiated electricity prices with our currently selected REP as our preferred billing partner
  4. We assist our customers in selecting the right contract term, plan and price to meet their needs
  5. We help transfer their billing from their existing REP to our preferred partner
  6. We manage the entire process to insure 100% customer satisfaction
  7. If rates go down during their contract term we help move them to the lower rate and extend their contract
  8. Provide on-going 24/7 customer support for all electricity issues including sign-up, billing, delivery or outages.
How does Milestone Electricity Alliance select your preferred billing partners?
Our selection of any REP as our preferred billing partner for our customers is based on:
  • Financial stability
  • Price of electricity
  • Terms of service contracts
  • Customer service ratings
How much money will I save?
Our average customer saves between $400-2,400 per year or 20-40% when they make the initial switch from their current electricity provider. After they have moved to our pre-negotiated rates with our preferred billing partner our goal is to help them always beat the current market rates by 5-10% year after year, guaranteeing you always have the best electricity rate in the market
How much time will I save?
Our average member will save between 6-18 hours of time each year evaluating retail electricity providers in the market in order to properly manage your purchasing of electricity and even by spending this amount of time that will not necessarily guarantee you found the best electric rate or terms.
Milestone Electricity Alliance offers multiple electricity plans, which one should I select?
We only negotiate fixed rate electricity plans with terms of 1-2 years. Over the past 10 years of deregulation this has proven this is proven to be the most effective and cost efficient way to manage your electricity purchases over time. All our plans have the ability for our customer to move to a lower cost, for that plan, should it become available from our preferred billing partner
Is there any cost to change my billing REPs?
No! There is no fee to change your retailed electricity provider (REP).
Will there be any loss of service during the billing transfer process?
No! Your electricity is actually delivered by your Transportation Distribution Service Provider (TDSP) (ONCOR, Centerpoint, AEP or TNMP) and not by the REP that sends you a bill for your monthly electricity usage.
Do I need to contact my current providers?
No, it's not necessary to contact the company that currently sends you a bill or the actual electricity provider like ONCOR, Centerpoint or AEP. This all happens automatically and is controlled by ERCOT and nothing changes or effects your electricity delivery service.
How long will it take to transfer my billing to another REP?
Usually 5-7 days from the time the order is placed
Who will I get my bill from after I switch?
After we help you transfer your billing to our current preferred billing partner you will receive your bill from that company, not from Texas Electricity Alliance
Do I pay the last bill from my current REP?
Yes, you will receive a final bill from your existing REP
Who do I call if I have billing question or dispute?
Just call us and we'll be happy to help resolve your issue. Many times it's much easier for us to answer your simple questions or even help you resolve any dispute since we do this every day and have excellent relationships in the industry.
What if I have to move during the contract term? Is there a cancellation fee?
There is no cancellation fee if you are moving and no longer need electricity service at the residence.
What if I'm already in a contract with an REP?
If you are already in an electricity contract, that's OK! You can still sign up for our contract expiration alert service. We'll track you're contract expiration and notify you 45 days before it expires and review your options with you. Alternatively, many members find that they will save enough that it makes sense to cancel their existing contract and pay the cancellation fee to start their savings.
What if I already have an energy rate as low or lower than I can get with Milestone Electricity Alliance?
If that's true then you have done an excellent job of managing your electricity purchases and contracts and we commend you. You are at the top 5% of the market for consumers and have probably invested quite a bit of time and energy to research the market, the providers and the options. However, over time as we grow in size and power we will be negotiating as a group and thereby should always get you a better rate in the market than you could get on your own. Plus you won't have to spend 6-18 hours a year researching your options every time your contract expires.
Can I find a lower rate on the internet?
It's possible, but be very careful: Many of the providers offer very low introductory electricity rates for the first month of service and then the electric rate can go as high as they want to charge. It is conceivable that you could beat the overall prices negotiated by us, but it would require a significant amount of time and knowledge and the willingness to switch providers every one or six months.

Additionally, some of the term plans that might initially appear lower than our pre-negotiated rate with our preferred billing partner might not actually be lower after you read and understand the Electronic Facts Label (EFL) and Terms of Service (TOS). Many plans appear to be lower in cost but have additional requirements and costs that are not associated with our pre-negotiated rates and plans.

Last but not least, there have been many REPs that entered into the electricity market only to fail and then leave their customers holding the bag and being moved to the highest rates in the market as they have to scramble and look for another provider. We carefully review the financial stability of the providers in the market and never select any that does not meet our financial criteria.

Support:

Who do I call if my electricity is out?
You can always call us anytime at 214-865-7550 and we will connect you with your TDSP to report the outage and track restoration of service. Alternatively you can contact your TDSP directly (ONCOR, Centerpoint, AEP, TNMP) since they actually deliver your electricity.
CenterPoint Energy- 1-800-332-7143, toll free or 713-207-2222
Texas New Mexico Power- 1-888-866-7456, toll free
Oncor Electric Delivery- 1-888-313-4747, toll free
AEP- 1-866-223-8508, toll free
Who do I call if I have a billing question?
You may contact Milestone Electricity Alliance 24/7 for all general questions or issues including service outages. If you have a specific billing question we can't handle directly on that call, one of our billing and order specialist will get back to you ASAP the next day and are available 9AM to 6PM Monday-Friday at 214-865-7550 You also have the option of contacting our currently preferred billing partner Amigo Energy at (888) 469-2644 between the hours of 8am-7pm Monday-Friday and from 9am-2pm on Saturday.

Deregulation:

What Is Electricity Deregulation in Texas?
Deregulation is a new system under which one power company no longer has exclusive rights to serve a specific geographic region in Texas. Instead, the market was split into 3 distinct areas of operation.
  • Generation – This part of the market is comprised of very large companies that own and operate electricity generation plants. These plants range from traditional coal fired or nuclear plants to the more modern and environmentally friendly natural gas fired plants and wind farms.
  • Transportation Distribution Service Providers (TDSP) – These companies are the remains of the public utility monopoly providers of electricity and include ONCOR, Centerpoint, AEP, TNMP and Shadyland. Although the generation and selling of electricity has been deregulated the transportation and distribution of electricity is still highly regulated by the state and local government authorities. The reason for this is that they are still the monopoly providers (wires and poles) of the actual electricity to a business or residence. Their rates for transporting and delivering electricity are regulated and passed directly on to consumers by Retail Electricity Providers (REPs)
  • Retail Electricity Providers (REPs) – These companies are a combination of old incumbent providers, along with dozens of other companies that were started to bring pricing competition into the market created through deregulation. These companies are able to offer electricity to consumers at lower prices due to their lack of legacy organizations and lower overhead. REPs, by law, cannot generate or deliver electricity; they are all resellers and do not have any advantage over each other except price. All REPs provide exactly the same service to the consumer and can only contract and bill for their electricity usage.
Facts about Texas Electricity Deregulation:
  • Deregulation only affects ½ of Texas consumers, those not serviced by Electricity Cooperatives or public utility companies. These electricity CO-OP customers have no "choice" and no "voice" in the Texas electricity market. However, electricity cooperatives "DO" have the option of participating in deregulation thereby allowing their customers choice on price and billing company. Today almost none of these cooperatives have elected to participate in deregulation although a large majority of their customers, who are actually owner members of the CO-OP, would elect to do so.
  • In Texas there are only 4 major companies that deliver electricity to your home or business if you are in a deregulated area; ONCOR, Centerpoint, TNMP or AEP. These companies are all still regulated by the Public Utility Commission of Texas and have fixed rates to transport and deliver electricity
  • No matter which energy company you select to contract with for electricity, they do not actually deliver your electricity; they just schedule your usage and send you a bill. No energy company owns any power lines or service meters, they are all resellers
What is the PUCT (Public Utility Commission of Texas)?
The state agency responsible for regulating electric and telecommunications service. The PUCT regulates the delivery of electricity and enforces customer protections.
What is ERCOT (Electric Reliability Council of Texas)?
It is a private (non-profit) industry group that monitors electric energy supply in the state. It oversees the state's power grid and a variety of behind-the-scene operations required for deregulation. ERCOT is overseen by the PUCT.
What is a Retail Electric Provider (REP)?
A Retail Electric Provider or REP is an entity certified by the Texas Public Utility Commission to sell electricity to retail customers. A retail electric provider may not own or operate generation assets.
Who is eligible to take advantage of deregulation?
Retail Electricity deregulation only affects approximately ½ of Texas consumers; those not serviced by Electrical Cooperatives (CO-OP). CO-OP customers have no "choice" and no "voice" in the Texas deregulated electricity market.
Who actually generates electricity in Texas?
The wholesale generation of electricity in Texas was deregulated in 1996 and since that time over 60 new electricity generation plants have been built to meet the growing demand in Texas. Almost all the new generation plants are built to operate on Natural Gas but many wind farms have been built as well. Electricity generation in Texas consists of approximately 40% coal, 40% natural gas, 5% wind and 15% nuclear-fired generation.
Who actually delivers Electricity in Texas?
In Texas there are only four major companies that deliver electricity to your home or business if you are in a deregulated area: ONCOR, Centerpoint, TNMP or AEP. These companies are all still regulated by the Public Utility Commission of Texas and have fixed rates to transport and deliver electricity to your home or business. Their delivery charges are built into your electricity you receive from your selected REP. There are approximately 80 electrical co-ops in the state of Texas the serve the other ½ of the population by delivering and billing for their electricity and are owned by their members. Coops have the right to participate in deregulation but do not for a variety of reasons.
Who actually sells electricity in Texas or what is a Retail Electricity Provider (REP)?
Electricity can only be sold to a consumer by a licensed Retail Electricity Provider (REP) or a co-op. All REPs are resellers and not one who actually generates, transports or delivers your electricity. No matter which energy company you select to contract with for electricity, they do not actually deliver your electricity, they just, send you a bill, collect your payment and pay off the actual electricity generators, transporters and providers. No REP owns any generation facilities, power lines or service meters.
What is an aggregator?
An aggregator is registered with the PUCT and is a buyer's agent. Aggregators combine the power requirements for many consumers to create a buying group and negotiate service contracts with a retail electric provider on the group's behalf. Because of the volume, the Aggregator is generally able to secure lower energy prices and better contract terms for their members.

Common Questions about power:

What is the electricity grid?
Smart grids are electricity networks that can intelligently integrate the behavior and actions of all users connected to it - generators, consumers and those that do both – in order to efficiently deliver sustainable, economic and secure electricity supplies. A smart grid employs innovative products and services together with intelligent monitoring, control, communication, and self-healing technologies in order to:
  • Better facilitate the connection and operation of generators of all sizes and technologies;
  • Allow consumers to play a part in optimizing the operation of the system;
  • Provide consumers with greater information and options for choice of supply;
  • Significantly reduce the environmental impact of the whole electricity supply system;
  • Maintain or even improve the existing high levels of system reliability, quality and security of supply; and
  • Maintain and improve the existing services efficiently.
A widely overlooked fact about the smart grid is that it is not a substitute for a real grid, but only an enhancement.
The layout of an electrical distribution system.
What is Kilowatt (kW)?
One thousand watts. A standard measure of demand for power or capacity.
What is Kilowatt-hour (kWh)?
The standard unit of measure for electric energy. One kilowatt-hour is one kilowatt of electricity supplied for one hour.
What is the Electricity Facts Label?
An information sheet that provides customers with information on a REP's prices, contracts, sources of power generation and emissions, to allow customers to make apples-to-apples comparisons of offers.
What is Renewable Energy?
Electricity that is made from environmentally friendly fuel resources — such as wind, water, organic waste or solar. Sometimes called "green" energy.
How much of a provider's electricity will come from alternative sources such as wind?
That depends on the provider. Each provider is obligated under state law and PUC rules to have at least some portion of renewable resources in their portfolio of power. Provider's electricity facts labels will contain information about their sources of power.
How much will electricity cost next year or the next or the next?
Today electricity prices in Texas are directly associated with the price of natural gas, which is used to generate ½ the electricity in Texas and growing. In the past 10 years, we have discovered very large amounts of natural gas in the U.S. and specifically in Texas. The price of natural gas is expected to remain basically flat, with some seasonal adjustments for demand, for approximately 5-7 years. However, with the implementation of new EPA laws that will force coal fired plants to almost double their cost over the next 8-10 years we can easily expect electricity to double in price over the next 8 years.