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TXU Free Nights and Solar Days Review

TXU Free Nights and Solar Days Review

Find out if the TXU Free Nights and Solar days plan is right for you.
Written By:
Anna Grisham
4
min read
Last Edited By:
Thad Warren
On:
May 23, 2024

If you live in Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, or any other area with deregulated electricity you are inundated with marketing for "free nights and weekends" electricity plans.

On the surface, these seem great. Who doesn't want free electricity?

But, like most things, if it sounds too good to be true it probably is. This case is no different. Free nights, weekends, or other plans that offer time windows for free or reduced pricing are called time-of-use plans.

Time-of-use plans offer discounted or free electricity during certain times of the day, typically when there is less load on the energy grid.

Pros for TXU Free Nights and Solar Days

While we don't recommend time-of-use plans in most cases, for the right type of person they can offer some savings. Here are some of the most common reasons Texans enroll in the Free Nights and Weekends plan from TXU.

Potential Savings

If you watch and manage your energy consumption closely, especially during the daytime hours there is the potential to reduce your electric bill.

Running energy-hogging devices like your washer and dryer or air conditioner at night when it's "free" versus during the day when the rate per kWh is higher can save you money.

Save on Energy Hogging Devices

For customers with a swimming pool, EV, or other electricity-heavy devices free night plans allow you to run or charge equipment at night for free.

Thanks to smart devices and tools most of this can automated with a little bit of effort.

Cons for TXU Free Nights and Solar Days

In our opinion, the cons outweigh the pros for just about every time of use plan. This case is no different.

Even if you manage your usage closely it can be hard to make the rate structure save you money. Even if it does save a few dollars a month the inconvenience and headache of worrying about your energy usage constantly isn't worth it.

Electric Bill Spikes

Imagine this. You're hopping in the car for a week-long road trip. You go through your checklist.

Lights off, bags packed, doors locked, so on and so forth. But, you miss one thing. You leave your A/C at 70 degrees in the middle of summer. The entire week while you are away from home your A/C is running on full blast to keep up.

Fast forward to your next electric bill. It's $100 higher than normal. Turns out running your A/C at 20¢ per kWh while you were gone caught up to you. One event like this and any savings you may have had from trying to conserve electricity during the day was all for nothing.

Early Cancellation Penalties

Many electricity plans have early termination fees, that is not limited to the free nights and solar days plan. But, if you do decide to try out the plan only to find out you aren't good at conserving energy during the day, you're on the hook for $150.

Limits to Using Your Electricity

The headache and effort required to make a free nights plan financially viable are not worth the trade-off for most.

Keyword: most.

We've spoke with some customers that are happy to run their A/C only at night and do their laundry in the middle of the night. If that's you, go for it. But, we have a suspicion this isn't ideal for most.

Who Should Avoid TXU Free Nights and Solar Days

If any of these sound like you, then you should probably avoid the TXU Free Nights and Solar Days plan

  • You like to keep your home cool during the day
  • You work from home
  • You have devices or appliances that use a lot of energy during the day. Multiple refrigerators, deep freezes, computers, etc...

Good Candidates for Free Nights and Solar Days Plans

If you like to squeeze out every cent of savings possible and don't mind minor inconveniences to your daily life, a time-of-use plan may work well.

It also helps if you are tech-savvy and are able to automate devices in your home.

We actually had a customer email us the other day who was a perfect candidate for a free nights plan. He was a welder who worked at night. He slept during the day while keeping his small home at 78 degrees. The largest portion of his energy usage was from his welder and shop. Both of which only used power at night.

This is a pretty rare use case, but nonetheless, it goes to show that there are opportunities for time-of-use plans to be a good fit for the right person.

GridHacker's Recommendation

There are so many plans with lower rates that allow customers to run their air conditioners, pool pumps, or other devices anytime during the day without having to worry about what time it is. The Free Nights Solar Days plan is simply not worth the effort it takes to save money to outweigh the cons.