Sometimes, it’s just better not to know. Ever look up how hot dogs are made? If not – and trust us on this one – don’t do it. Your summer cookouts will never be the same again.

When it comes to your electric bill, though, keeping yourself in the dark isn’t the right move. Figuring out how much money you could have saved after years of dealing with greedy energy companies will have you feeling like our pal Gob Bluth.

See, the big guys don’t want you to know everything. It’s hard to get excited about your electric bill (unless you’re one of our customers), and that’s not lost on those companies. Between their long-winded contracts with hidden fees and obscure clauses, misleading advertising and a laundry list of rules and stipulations, it can be hard to know exactly what you’re paying for – and it’s a chore to actually figure it out.

Who wants to spend an afternoon digging into their electric company’s contract, or hours on the phone trying to dispute a fee? For burned-out millennials – scratch that, for everyone – it’s probably easier to just shut all that out and go out for tacos instead. Hey, we don’t blame you, we love tacos.

But ask yourself honestly, are you getting a good deal on your electricity? Do you even know what a good deal is? What’s a good kilowatt-hour rate? What companies have the fewest fees? (We do!) How much does it cost to get out of your current contract?

If you know those answers off the top of your head, hey, you’re probably one of those people who watches Jeopardy and aces most of the questions.

Okay, you got us, they’re called *answers* since you reply in the form of a question. What is: our bad?

So, just for the sake of education, here are all of the things that electric companies don’t want you to know.

It’s really, really hard to leave your contract

Watching Better Call Saul doesn’t make you a lawyer. When it comes to your energy bill, even Slippin’ Jimmy probably couldn’t figure out all of the different rules and clauses attached to it.

One of the most common ones is related to the contract itself. Not happy with your energy company’s service? Tough crap, according to them, you’re stuck in it unless you want to pay a huge cancellation fee. Luckily, the PUC prevents companies from auto-renewing contracts, but if your contract expires and you don’t cancel, they’ll still bill you on a month-to-month basis.

What kind of company wants to keep customers that are clearly unhappy with their services? Ones that prioritize profits over people, that’s who. It’s like if you had a bad experience at a restaurant, and instead of getting a gift card or having your meal comped, they charged *you* extra for not enjoying it.

You know what’s better than getting stuck in an electric contract? Well, most things, but the best thing is to not get into a long-term contract at all. We don’t do those, and if you’re not happy with us, you’re free to leave any time. No strings attached.

How much energy you’re actually using

No matter what your rate is, the best way to save money on electricity is to reduce your usage. The problem is that with most (nearly all, actually) energy companies, you don’t find out how much energy you used until the end of the month.

On track for a way bigger bill than normal? Hey, don’t expect your energy company to warn you. Remember, these guys have built-in profit margins *per kilowatt*. Basically, it’s in their best interest that you leave all your lights on around the clock.

Instead of waiting to find out how much energy you used, why not get daily updates on how much you’re *using*? Our daily text alerts let you know if you’re using more energy than usual. Need to tighten your belt one month? You’ll be able to see those savings in real-time.

Knowledge is power, folks.

They get away with sketchy stuff – and are trying to get away with even more

So, in most states (aka every state that’s not Texas, the greatest state on the planet), energy companies get away with all kinds of shenanigans by default. Our deregulated energy means that consumers actually have the power to choose their energy provider, whereas other states are monopolistic and consumers have just one choice, varying by where they live.

Companies in those states get away with everything from price gouging to a mountain of hidden fees buried deep in contracts thanks to a complete lack of choice. There’s no competition, so those companies don’t have any motivation to do what’s right for their customers.

That’s… well, not right. But hey, it’s not Texas.

Here in Texas, though, you’d think the Public Utilities Commission would call out and punish companies who engage in unethical or unfair marketing practices, right? Well, it’s tough for the market to choose when these guys trying to game the system go unpunished.

It’s not that the energy companies don’t get caught doing those things listed above – they definitely do – they just don’t get punished for it. It’s far more egregious for gas companies than electric ones, but it still happens in the electric sector.

What happens when these companies do get fined? They lobby the state to get rid of the PowerToChoose site entirely, arguing that customers are somehow better off in the dark.

Rather than delivering better (and more honest) service – and earning their customers’ trust – these companies want to skirt any oversight and keep their customers in the dark.

If these guys really were the best option out there, wouldn’t they want people to see that on the PowerToChoose site? Wanting to shut down the site, as a few of the big guys do (we won’t name names, but Dave Lieber will!) speaks volumes about how bad they are.

That there are better options out there

These guys lock you into long-term contracts, bombard you with fees, jack up your rates, keep you in the dark regarding your usage, give you the customer service run-around, lobby the state to give you less of a choice, skirt around oversight and are just generally awful.

Believe it or not, there is a better and greener option – like Pogo Energy!

Most electric companies don’t have your best interest in mind, or aren’t interested in giving you a fair deal. A select few, like us, wanted to see what happened if we brought ethics and new ideas into the electricity sector.

What other electricity company promises no hidden fees while also helping you reduce your usage? When’s the last time you knew your energy choices were helping the planet? We’re here to help you go totally green by giving you 100% clean energy. Ever hear of an energy company giving you a free three-day trial, and never having a cancellation fee?

People go through tough times, and odds are, your current energy company isn’t exactly understanding if you fall short on a payment. With Pogo, we’ll never disconnect you on nights or weekends, and if you need some more time, we’ll give you a zero interest payment plan.

Also, we sometimes tweet about how much we love Whataburger. The other guys don’t do that. So grab a honey butter chicken biscuit in one hand and take the 60 seconds to sign up on your mobile phone with your other hand.  

Looking for cheap electricity? Hey, good for you, more people should! Unfortunately, it’s almost as tough to find as it is to define – despite all of the advertisements out there promising low rates – but hey, you’ve come to the right place for both of those answers!

First, yes, we have cheap electricity – but don’t call us “cheap”, please. We certainly provide energy at a lower cost to you than a lot of the other guys, because we know that in our modern world, electricity is a necessity, and shouldn’t cost you an arm and a leg.

Why do some electric plans on the Power To Choose site cost less, though? For that, let’s go to our Marketplace Fairness Correspondent*, Caelynn from ABC’s The Bachelor. Hey Caelynn, is cheap electricity different than expensive electricity, or the same?

Season 23 Episode 6 GIF by The Bachelor - Find & Share on GIPHY

[*Note: She doesn’t work for us, it was just the first GIF that popped up when we typed ‘same’]

Thank you, Caelynn from ABC’s The Bachelor!

So, will your lights flicker if I choose a “cheap electric company”? Absolutely not.

Will your grandma’s chili recipe take longer to bring up to a simmer on your electric stove? Dude, no, but share that recipe with us.

Is the electricity different in any way? Nope!

See, we all get our power from the same Transmission and Distribution Utilities (TDUs) across Texas. You have the power to choose how much you pay, and how you pay for it. So “cheap lights” doesn’t mean lower quality.

In other instances, yeah, going cheap isn’t a great idea. How do you feel after picking Taco Bell over Torchy’s or Chipotle? Not great!

Sxsw 2016 Omg GIF by Torchy's Tacos - Find & Share on GIPHY

Love you, Torchy’s! Send us free tacos please!

Sometime we have to buy some  cheap shoes, and they just don’t last as long and they’re not as comfortable. And let’s skip past that time you saved some money one-ply toilet paper. You see where we’re going with this, folks, and “cheap” can get pretty ugly.

What about with utilities? Good luck streaming the best show on Netflix (spoiler alert: it’s Jeopardy! reruns) on the cheapest internet plan. Skimping on your cable TV package (or skipping it altogether) might not be a huge deal if you have your friend’s HBO Go password. But don’t you hate getting cheap (and bad) internet service. After all, Game of Thrones is coming back soon, and we can’t wait to see if [REDACTED SPOILER] finally kills [REDACTED SPOILER].

Game Of Thrones Puppy GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

We’d just be happy with more screen time for the direwolves, to be honest.

Electricity is a different story, though, because of *what* makes it expensive. Why do the big guys charge more? Do they have some kind of special VIP electrical grid with a velvet rope, sparklers and bottle service? Nope. Is it artisanal, hand-crafted electricity? Nope.

Obviously, if there was some kind of VIP section, we would’ve been on the guest list.

The difference isn’t the electrons themselves – it’s the companies peddling it. They pretend that their plans are the cheapest, then lock you into a long-term contract and make their profits off of all the hidden fees they didn’t tell you about. You shouldn’t need a law degree to save on your energy bills – electricity is a necessity! – but with some of these contracts, that’s the only way.

Contracts and fees aren’t the only shady practices these companies engage in. That “free nights and weekends” plan you signed up for is probably a scam, too.

And energy companies with higher rates don’t have much reason behind that. Do they charge more because of their customer service? Ha, good one. You’ve called your electric company with a billing questionThat usually ends with their customers doing this.

Angry Hate GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

(Of course, if you do want good customer service… well, click here)

So, even if a company claims that they have the lowest rate, you can bet they’ll make up for it with fees. And… if a company has a high rate, you’re not really getting anything extra for that money.

Want actual cheap electricity? Here’s how: find a better energy company. Like us!

You won’t find any hidden fees here, not because they’re hidden *really* well, it’s because we don’t have any to begin with. Same goes for things like deposits, credit checks, annual contracts, snakes, etc.

What we do have, though, is a ton of extremely satisfied customers, low rates, full transparency, excellent service, 100% clean energy, fresh baked cookies (just kidding on that one – we wish!) and a burning desire to change the electricity game in Texas. In other words, you could pick us on price alone, but there are so many other reasons to switch.

Speaking of paying less, you know the best way to do that? Actually being aware of your usage in real-time! Our pay-as-you-go model (also known as prepaid electricity, but without all the dirty tricks that many prepaid providers pull) includes daily text alerts telling you how much energy you’re using. Putting you in control helps you reduce your usage, which means reducing your bill no matter what your rate is.

Looking for cheap electricity? Hey, it doesn’t get any cheaper than free – and we’ll cover your first three days at no cost to you and no strings attached. Don’t like us? No worries – you can cancel any time – but we’re confident that won’t happen.

Between helping you cut your usage, not charging you hidden fees and not locking you into a long contract, we think we’ve got the perfect recipe for *actual* cheap electricity.