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Maestro Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-23-07 04:25 PM
Original message
Green Mountain Energy provider
I am trying to lower my carbon imprint and do my bit for global warming so I was considering a switch to this provider since my current uses primarly coal to produce electricity. However, since I am talking about a necessity here I would like to know if anyone has any experience with them. They are just a tad more expensive than what I pay now, but if service is as reliable I will switch. Anybody have any experience with them here in Texas? Green Mountain Energy
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tbyg52 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-23-07 06:29 PM
Response to Original message
1. I heard some talk a few years ago
about billing problems, but I haven't really researched lately. I'd be interested in some feedback on electric companies as well, as I'd like to leave Reliant.

If no one answers here, start with the names of the companies and try Googling groups. Or if I get a round tuit (doubtful anytime soon), I'll do so and post what I glean.
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muse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-23-07 07:14 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. go to this website
http://www.powertochoose.org/

And, PLEASE ditch Reliant. They are overcharging you!!
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tbyg52 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-25-07 04:57 AM
Response to Reply #2
7. I know about that website
should have posted a link to it myself. But it just lists plans and prices, last time I looked, not any customer service problems.

Last time I researched, I went there to get names and then Googled groups. That's why I'm still with Reliant at the moment - the last time I researched (quite a while ago), I couldn't find any company that didn't seem to have some customer service problems, or hadn't yet been in business long enough to make a judgement.
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RnR Donating Member (1 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-28-08 12:11 PM
Response to Reply #1
17. Don't trust Green Mountain Energy!!
Several years ago a Green Mt rep called me and convinced me to switch from the energy company I had been using for 20 years and never had a problem with over to them because of the "green" benefits at a lower rate. They said they had accessed my total usage for the past 12 months from the other company and averaged it out equally so I could have the same payment each month - no more high summer bills. Sounded great so I switched and all was fine for a couple years. After getting frustrated with my bill arriving at inconsistent times each month, I switched to another one with a lower rate. Then Green Mt sent me a goodbye bill for over $3,000!!! Saying I used more than my allotment.
After going round and round over several months, a rep finally admitted the reason it happened was because Green Mt never came out to read my meter until after I switched, and apologized that it was negligence on their part because they were a new company and didn't have all the kinks worked out. I thought that was the end of it until several years later I received a call from a collection agency. I know what "green" means to them!!
:evilfrown: :evilfrown:
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texastoast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-24-07 07:11 AM
Response to Original message
3. I've been with them since deregulation
And like tbyg says, I had billing problems, but not in over two years. I think they got their stuff figured out.

As far as reliability goes, you will still be using the hardware and transmission lines of Reliant. Anytime you have an outage, although Green Mountain will give you the service number to call, Reliant will be the one fixing any hardware or service problem. Buying energy from Green Mountain just means that their energy gets purchased and on the grid instead of Reliant purchasing coal energy. I believe that Green Mountain might use some natural gas energy in addition to wind. But they have completed their big wind field in West Texas, and it might be that all Green Mountain Texas energy is wind now. Not sure.

I'm very happy with them and have been for about five years now.
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Maestro Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-24-07 01:08 PM
Response to Reply #3
6. Thanks
I think I will be switching over then.
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crispini Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-24-07 12:19 PM
Response to Original message
4. I'm with Green Mountain too.
Edited on Wed Oct-24-07 12:20 PM by crispini
I haven't had any problems. The only thing I have to complain about is that I wanted to get set up on the automatic payment where you give them a credit card and they just automatically bill it, and they don't do that online, you have to print out a form and mail it in, and I have had to do that twice, but other than that minor annoyance things have been fine. AND, this includes a little episode early in my relationship with them where I sort of forgot to pay a bill :D and they cut me off and I had to call them and get service reinstated. (This is why I get auto bill pay on everything. I am somewhat absentminded!) Anyway that all went smoothly so on the whole, I'd recommend them. :)

It is certainly nice to have guilt-free electricity, although I went ahead and installed a solar clothes dryer anyway:

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Maestro Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-24-07 01:07 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. Thanks for the info.
And I like your solar dryer. It looks like it is low maintenance as well. :)
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Honeycombe8 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-03-07 10:40 AM
Response to Reply #4
16. LOL! I heard that solar appliances were expensive, but it doesn't look that expensive to me. nt
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dkofos Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-26-07 03:32 PM
Response to Original message
8. The only problem I have with them is they cost more than most.
It should not be this way but it is. Wind energy should be cheaper because they don't have fuel costs.

I have been with them for 4 -5 years and haven't had any problems.
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johncoby2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-27-07 06:00 AM
Response to Original message
9. look at Power Watch: Highest and lowest electricity rates for November.
http://bayareahouston.blogspot.com/2007/10/power-watch-highest-and-lowest.html

Good links.

I've been with Reliant, Green Hills, and now Amigo. Green Hills just got too expensive for me.

Before deregulation, I didnt need to call my electric company ever. My power never went out either.

same with the others, except for Amigo when they screwed up and cut my power. I'm giving them a second chance. But with all of them the power was on and that is all I wanted.
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johncoby2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-27-07 06:05 AM
Response to Reply #9
10. Green Mountain is the highest. Gexa the lowest for green energy.
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tbyg52 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-27-07 11:15 PM
Response to Reply #10
11. Gexa has green power?
I need to look into that.

I heard about billing and plan problems with them too, back when I was researching and then just stayed where I was. (As in Gexa promised one thing and delivered another, i.e., raising rates.)

Any other reports on Gexa? I'd like to go green, but I'm certainly looking for the least expensive provider that is both reliable and honest.
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Maestro Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-28-07 10:38 AM
Response to Reply #11
12. Ouch, while researching them I found this.
Edited on Sun Oct-28-07 10:47 AM by Maestro
http://www.complaintsboard.com/complaints/gexa-energy-c6110.html

I think I am switching to Green Mountain. In my research, while not the cheapest, it seems to have the best reliability. TXU and Reliant offer comparable plans obtaining some of the electricity from renewable sources but these two companies still use mostly coal to produce electricity whereas Green Mountain is 100% renewable.
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tbyg52 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-31-07 05:59 AM
Response to Original message
13. Fact check (if anyone knows off top of head) on my husband
I was talking to him about switching to Amigo (anyone have any experience with?) because they have a month-to-month plan and also a green plan, and are less expensive than Reliant. (I know, I know, who isn't...? ;) )

My husband piped up that he'd seen something on TV about green power being a scam and something about 1% green.

As usual he didn't know where or when he saw it, or any details.....

I can't find any complaints about Amigo, and some good comments, but I don't know how long they've been in business, either.
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johncoby2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-31-07 07:10 AM
Response to Reply #13
14. Just make sure you pay on time.
Their customer support sucks. Big time.

I had a NASTY exchange with them. Nasty!

But, they are the lowest of the lowest. If you pay on time you should be fine.
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tbyg52 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-01-07 05:05 PM
Response to Reply #14
15. Hmmm... Well, customer service means something to me
as accidents can happen to anyone.

It just did to us a couple of months ago. We didn't get the Reliant bill (who knows why) and we didn't notice because we just get a bill, pay a bill, get a bill, pay a bill....

When the next one came with the late notice for the previous one, we called and explained, and they didn't charge us the late fee and removed the record of the late payment. (They *said*--I'll believe it when I try to change companies and don't get asked for a deposit....)

The thing I find interesting is that the missing bill incident happened right after they'd tried to talk us into going for a contract plan. My first thought (paranoid? yep.) was that they were trying to fix it so we couldn't change....

Anybody know about this "myth of green power" (i.e., report that it's a scam) that my husband kinda sorta remembers hearing on TV?
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BrightKnight Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-29-08 12:50 AM
Response to Reply #14
18. They triple billed me the first month and I never got it cleared up.
Edited on Fri Feb-29-08 12:56 AM by BrightKnight
My bank thankfully refused the multiple charges. I couldn't get it straightened out so I switched back. They went after the money for years. It finally aged off of my credit report. I probably could have sued them But I did not have the time or money.

---
http://www.austinchronicle.com/gyrobase/Issue/story?oid=oid%3A80638

"It was founded by billionaire Bush supporters Sam and Evan Wyly, who donated almost a quarter-million dollars to Bush's presidential effort." I remember that they funded ugly ads against McCain in Bush's primary run.

"In Ohio, according to business news site LocalBusiness.com, 98% of the electricity Green Mountain provides will come from gas, with wind, solar, and geothermal energy filling out the remainder."

There was a site called "http://boycottGreenmountain.com". I think that the might have had questions about how much of the power was "pollution free".
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hemery Donating Member (1 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-11-09 11:19 PM
Response to Original message
19. I have experience with Green Mountain Energy to share with you
I was a Reliant Customer for years, but switched about a year
ago to Green Mountain Energy solely because it is 100%
renewable and I felt I needed to do my part for the
environment, even though they were a bit more expensive.

After 9 months with them, I noticed my bill had really
increased (in the winter...when my electric bill is usually
lower).  So I started studying all of my bills.  The reason
for the increase was that they increased my kw/H
charge..really hiked it.  But per my contract, they can do
that.  But what I found that was really disturbing was I was
charged late fees on 3 of my 9 bills.  I'm never late with
bills!  I do online banking and my bank guarantees the
merchant will have the payment by the due date input by me and
I always put the due date or the day before.

So, I called them to see when they had received these 3
"late" payments (they don't put that information on
your invoice like most companies) and they kinda hide the fact
they you were even assessed a late fee...I think they don't
want you to notice...just like I didn't until I studied them. 
Turns out that they did receive each of these 3 payments on
their due dates, but received them after 11 am, so they didn't
post until the next day and hence they consider them late.

I questioned how they can be late if they are received ON the
due date.  It's just how their receiving department works...if
they don't make it in the morning "batch" to be
posted, then they make it in the evening one which doesn't
actually post it in their system until the next day (1-2 am
the next day).  I told them this wasn't right, that they need
to tell their customers that (i.e. tell them that they will be
assessed a late fee if it is not received by 11 am on the due
date....you know...be honest with them).  They refused to
change anything even after I told them I'd report these
dishonest practices to the BBB.

So, I ended up having to report them to the BBB.  The
resolution I requested was to have them either change their
posting system to not assess late fees if it came in on the
due date OR to let customers know that they will be charged a
late fee if received after 11 am on the due date.  Green
Mountain responded simply that they are allowed by law to
assess late fees.  So basically they didn't address the issue
at hand.  So I responded (via the BBB process) that they did
not address my issue.  My issue is not with them assessing
late fees, but that they do it when the payment was not late. 
Green Mountain's response was that their position remains the
same (i.e. they are not going to be honest with their
customers).

So I wanted to warn consumers out there about this.  My
feeling is that if you cannot trust a company to be honest,
even with the things customers can see, how can you trust them
with things that you cannot see (i.e. is their energy really
100% renewable)?  We have no way of knowing...and frankly I
don't trust them to do the right thing based on my experience
with them.

So, I've looked on the internet for other electrical provider
options.  Turns out there are plenty!  People (like me) think
that Green Mountain is the only option if you want all green
(renewable) energy.  But wow, there are many others who offer
100% renewable and most of them are cheaper!  There are all
sorts of things to compare (locked in rates for 12 months or
18, etc).  I found a great deal and have switched.  It was so
easy.  Not only will I be paying less, I can remain green
without paying a company who is consciously deciding to
partake in dishonest business practices.

I also found an interesting site about their energy.
http://www.boycottgreenmountain.com/index.html

If you want to see the other options for your energy provider,
there are many websites (google with the words energy company
texas).  One that is really insightful is
http://www.powertochoose.org/    Read all about it and compare
companies and their rates.  There are programs within most
companies that are 100% renewable.

Good luck, and please join me in not giving dishonest
companies our business.

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sonias Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-12-09 12:40 AM
Response to Reply #19
20. Welcome to DU hemery!
:hi:

And thank you for that thoughtful write up. I wonder if a complaint could also be made with the Attorney General about their deceptive practices. I would agree with you that a payment received on the due date is received on the due date. I don't care that they don't process it until the next day. It was received during their working hours of the due date. And I'm with you they are dishonest about it.

I didn't trust them from day 1. They were involved with all of those deceptive ads for G. W. The Wyly family dynasty is as bad as the BFEE (Bush Family Evil Empire) in case you really are new to DU. They always gave off a wiff of "fakeness" especially when it came to the environment. Sounds more like they just branded themselves with "green" to make a quick buck.

www.boycottgreenmountain.com/gm-moves-to-tx.html
CRUDE AWAKENING

There's more Lone Star than Long Trail in GreenMountain.com
(snip)
Even with its successes, GreenMountain.com has a hard time escaping criticism, thanks in part to Wyly. In March, Washington, D.C.-based Environmental Working Group reissued its call for a boycott of GreenMountain.com after Wyly dropped $2.5 million for a flight of pro-Bush ads before Super Tuesday elections touting the GOP nominee's record as an environmentalist.


Sonia
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johncoby2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-12-09 07:45 AM
Response to Original message
21. No matter who you pick good luck.
You will need it in Texas.

Look here for some ideas:

http://bayareahouston.blogspot.com/search/label/electricity
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Citizen_Penn Donating Member (359 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-13-09 12:16 PM
Response to Original message
22. Green Mountain screwed over my elderly mother, too
She thought she was doing her part for the environment.

Bragged to the grandkids, etc. about going green.

Then they jacked up her rate, and charged her $2000 in fees - kept her from switching back to Reliant.

It was a nightmare.

I still have Reliant myself. If I want to go green, I buy the light bulbs and conserve.

Direct and effective, and without the drama.

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