Choosing Wisely with Tara Energy

quality electricity provider in TexasTara Energy is a retail electric provider in Texas with an interesting history. It was licensed in August 2002 by the Texas Public Utility Commission (PUC) to operate as an Option I retail electric provider (REP) across the state. It was later on acquired with Fulcrum Power Services, which in 2007, merged with Amigo Energy.

In October 2011, Just Energy announced its acquisition of Fulcrum Power Services. “ Fulcrum was a privately held retail electricity provider, operating in the State of Texas under the brands Tara Energy, Amigo Energy and Smart Prepaid Electric, focused on residential and small to mid-size commercial customers and selling primarily through online and targeted affinity marketing channels. The consideration for the Acquisition is approximately US$79.4 million, subject to customary working capital adjustments.”[1] Currently, Tara Energy operates as a subsidiary of Just Energy Group, Inc..

According to a review, “Tara Energy is home to perhaps the best customer service for consumers in the area place the needs of their customers first. The company also gets involved with the communities they serve, contributing energy to said communities throughout the year. Tara Energy currently offers a wide selection of residential energy products, which includes a line of products designed for more environmentally aware consumers. The company makes the electric transitioning process easier for prospective consumers, especially if they want to lower their electricity rates.”[2]

Tara Energy offers many plan options for customers to choose from, with reasonable rates ranging from just 8.5 to 10.2 cents per kWh. Tara Energy also offers 100% renewable green energy for a fixed rate of 9.9 cents per kWh.

When signing up for Tara Energy, one must always review the fees the company charges. For its cheapest plan, for example, the Simplicity 24 plan, the fixed rate is 8.5 cents per kWh (for sample zip code 77014). But you will get a monthly base charge of $19.95 if your usage is less than 1000 kWh per billing cycle. And if you pay over the phone, you will be charged an extra $10, while credit card auto-draft payments are charged $2 per transaction. They also charge a one time fee of $5 if you pay over the web using a check, and $2 if you're using a credit card. Even though the actual rate is quite reasonable for this plan, your total bill might actually get expensive because of the non-recurring and payment charges.

For the other plans they offer, you'll have to check both the electricity facts label (EFL) and terms of service (TOS) documents, because not all the information on the charges and fees are readily available. Perhaps because of these reasons, Tara Energy has been getting mixed reviews for its billing and collections processes.

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