Prepaid Texas Electricity product offerings are becoming a great electric product for low end as well as high end consumers and businesses in Texas. Due to ease of service, customer requirements, and product offerings, when making a utility choice, one should take into consideration the new prepaid products in the marketplace.Prepaid electricity, prepaid electric, and prepaid power does not discriminate. A lot of times a customer has a past due balance with a previous company, has no credit, or has been quoted a large or unsatisfactory deposit to commence service. With a prepaid provider none of these issues are a problem and prepaid electricity solves all of these issues.Prepaid electricity is fast, easy, and efficient. Customers are usually turned on in 1 to 3 days. There are no questions asked. A customer simple gives a REP or Retail Electric Provider a name, address, and optional phone number or email address. Once the service order is sent to market a customer is usually contacted by the service provider with a due date for service to start or the consumer can call the provider to receive the start up date and time information.Prepaid Electric Providers cater to customers unique needs. Often times Retail Electric Providers that cater to prepaid customers have specialized call centers to help the customer. Often times there are more call center representatives in the company to serve the prepaid electric needs of the customers. Typically there is 1 call center representative for every 500 to 750 customers.There are many ways to receive information about your electricity service. If you give your cellphone number to your provider they can send you optional balance information as well as suspend, restore, and disconnect information in real time to your phone. A paper statement or disconnect notice can be provided, sometimes upon request.Often times select prepaid electric, electricity, and power providers have great rates. Many prepaid Retail Electric Providers rates are either the same rate or very close to the same rate as postpaid providers for customers with little or no credit or negative credit.Prepaid electricity is becoming attractive for customers with good credit as well as no credit customers. Individuals as well as businesses with great credit can choose to pay in advance, avoid a long term contract, avoid credit checks, save time, and get a reduced rate per kwh for paying in advance. Also, by electing to enroll on the internet as well as receive an electronic statement, further savings can be realized. Customers and businesses with great credit can receive a “buyers club” or “wholesale price” for simply agreeing to pay in advance. Paying automatically each month by auto draft of checking account, credit card, or debit card can increase the savings as well. Optional email monitoring and energy buying recommendations can be sent to the consumer or business as alerts giving renewal options based on market indicators such as NYMEX natural gas prices.Retail Electric Providers catering to prepaid electricity and electric power offers often times have extended hours. Most Retail Electric Providers are open well into the evening. Also, on weekends and holidays the prepaid providers often times have extended hours.Thee are two main methods in which prepaid electricity and power is billed is vastly different than postpaid electricity. One option is estimated once a month billing and payment, the other is a real time usage based product that can be paid daily, weekly, or monthly.Consumers will receive a monthly estimated amount to pay to get service established based on the address of the location as well as the last 12 months historical usage of the dwelling. Weather factors as well as square footage and dwelling type are often factors in determining the startup amounts. The monthly estimated amount billed to the consumer is based on dwelling information. Once the Retail Electric Provider receives actual meter read data from the Transmission Distribution Service Provider, or TDSP, a true up credit or debit amount will appear on the consumer’s bill as an adjustment on an estimated prepaid product and will be reflected on the monthly paper statement.If the consumer or business has a smart meter and prefers to elect a real time prepaid product instead of a once a month billed estimated product, then a Texas PUC 25.498 prepaid electricity product can be chosen. This product works similar to a prepaid calling card. A customer or business will pay in advance for electricity. Once the kwh usage is received, typically once every 15 minutes by the Retail Electric Provider, a real time true up or deduction will be debited from the customers prepaid balance on their account. When the balance is getting low a text message, email, or even outbound recorded or live call will be made to the consumer or business advising them to make a prepayment in order to avoid disconnection of electricity. However, if no payment is made service is suspended or disconnected in real time once the balance reaches zero or a minimum amount established by the Retail Electric Provider.For apartment residences, apartment managers, and apartment leasing agents, prepaid electricity products can solve many problems. If there are any red tag issues with the TDSP, prepaid electricity removes the tagging issue almost immediately when the service order is sent to market. Leasing agents are happy as often times commissions and quotas are met based on occupancy rates. Due to the fact that 100 percent of customers wanting to establish service are approved, occupancy rates improve as getting power established in the residence’s name is no longer an issue.Many Retail Electric Providers specializing in prepaid electricity have master agency, agency and referral programs for sending business to the providers. There are many ways to make part time or even full time income. Check with different providers to see if they offer an indirect sales or referral program program.Most major cities that are deregulated in Texas have prepaid offers. Fort Worth, Arlington, Houston, Dallas, Corpus Christi, El Paso, as well as many other major cities in Texas offer prepaid products. Often times you can find providers advertising in penny shoppers, yellow pages, online, as well as television, radio, door to door sales teams, and mailer post card advertisements.In closing, the market for power has changed. Individuals or companies should consider prepaid electricity as a great alternative to postpaid to save time, headache, and hassle. Check with the many prepaid providers now offering programs in Texas.
ABSTRACTHigh-speed Internet seamless access is the expectation of recent technology trends. While many of the technologies like High Speed Internet Access (HSPA), Wireless Interoperability for Microwave Access (WiMAX) & Long Term evolution (LTE) are promising and meeting the expectations appropriately, ‘Digital Divide’ still exists when penetrating to the rural areas in a seamless and the cost effective way.The solution to the above situation is having a way of channeling the broadband internet on the electricity supply so that networking is carried out on power mains. Distribution of internet data on the power lines is called as HomePlug or Broadband over Power lines (BPL).Electric Broadband!, is an innovation in the recent technology trends. This technology is certainly encouraging and infrastructure cost effective model to offer broadband at high speed internet access – having penetration even into the rural areas since every home in the world is served by power lines.INTRODUCTIONRealizing how the Communications landscape is changing rapidly since the inception of Internet, Broadband Internet, as known to everyone, is a data transmission mechanism over high bandwidth channels through cables or over the air. Wireline broadband is called Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL) and Wireless Broadband technologies emerging are Mobile WiMAX and Advanced LTE. However, all these technologies require much infrastructure costs to cater the needs of the general public. Hence they are mostly limited to the urban areas and the digital divide is prevailing still by internet not reaching to the masses even at rural geographies.WHAT IS ELECTRIC BROADBAND?On the contrary to the technology barriers, new innovative technology called ‘Electric Broadband’ is on the way to reach even the rural areas with NO much infrastructure costs to carry the Internet data over relatively medium/high frequency electric signals. Usually Broadband uses low-frequency electric signals to carry ordinary phone calls and higher-frequency signals to carry Internet data as we see in the ADSL technology. Electronic filters separate the two kinds of signal, with the low frequencies going to your telephone and the higher frequencies to your Internet modem. The principle behind Electric Broadband technology is fairly simple – because electricity routes over just the low-frequency portions of power lines, data packets can be streamed over higher frequencies.HOW ELECTRIC BROADBAND WORKS?Key technical concept for the data transmission of the Electric Broadband technology is devised on the fundamental concepts of Radio Frequency (RF) energy bundled on the same line that carries electric current. Since the RF and electricity vibrate on different frequencies, there will be no interference between the two and also the packets transmitted over RF are not lost due to the electrical current. Electric Broadband system consumes only a part of the complete power grid. Usually electricity power generating plants carries to transmit power to substations which then distribute the current using high-voltage transmission lines of 155K to 765K volts and these are not relevant for packet or RF transmission. Solution for the Electric Broadband technology is to bypass the substations and high-voltage wires and concentrate on the medium-voltage transmission lines which typically carries around 7,200 volts and then the transformers convert the electrical current to 240 volts – where the electrical current supplied to the households. Putting in simpler words, standard fiber optic lines are specifically designed for Internet transmissions are going to be used to carry data. These fiber optic lines will be connected to medium-voltage lines. Repeaters are installed at these junction points to repeat the data and boost the strength of the transmission. Couplers or specialized devices are also going to be installed at the transformers to provide a data link around these. After that, the digital data will be carried down the 240-volt line that connects to the residential or office building’s electrical outlets which become the final distribution point for the data.At this juncture, the residents and the enterprises have two options for Internet connectivity. They can get wireless transmitters that will wirelessly receive the signal and send the data on to computer stations or they can get Broadband over Power Lines modems for data filtering -the Electric Broadband will screen out power line noise and let only data through – then send the data onwards to the stations. The wireless transmitter or the Electric Broadband modem can transmit the signal to end-users or computer stations wirelessly (which may require WLAN-capable devices) or through wires (which require computers connected to the data transmitter or Electric Broadband over modem Ethernet cables.TECHNOLOGY BENEFITS & BUSINESS CASEElectricity being the widely spread across the global landscape including the rural areas, electric broadband is going to be a penetrating technology to reach the rural areas and breaking the digital divide in the communication space.Many benefits can be foreseen by the deployment of this technology. It is affordable because, it uses existing electrical wiring and outlets to avoid expensive data cabling pulls-save up to 75% of the infrastructure spend. It is very convenient for the end-users since every electric outlet in every room becomes Internet-enabled. Very easy to use as no software is necessary, simply “plug and play.” Technology is reliable unlike wireless solutions that suffer from hit-and-miss service coverage and moreover provides the solutions for universal coverage operating a data transmission speeds of up to 6 million bits per second connectivity.One of the best business cases will be – Power Grid Management Solution which will become very effective after realizing this Electric Broadband technology. Utilities are able to manage their systems better by having the data streamed to them on the power lines. Because this has such a benefit relating directly to the management of electricity there remains a high likelihood of electric utilities investing more money into Electric Broadband. Being able to monitor the electricity grid over the power grid network will create a virtual workforce with many less man hours needed.TECHNOLOGY CHALLENGESWhile this technology has many advantages, there are some challenges as well. RF Interference is the most serious challenge that this technology is currently impacted with. It is facing opposition from ham operators (Amateur Radio) and the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) who are concerned that Electric Broadband technology will reduce the number of radio frequencies available for ham and short-wave radio operators and that RF transmission over unshielded medium-voltage lines will cause interference with already-assigned frequencies. One another challenge is the considerable delays happening in the technology standards ratification. Transmission standards for Electric Broadband technology is emerging and yet to see draft versions released. This is further hampering efforts to have the technology adapted by more Service Providers.CONCLUSIONOn a final note, Electric Broadband is at least 2 years away from now. However, from the Google research in vendors involved, Electric Broadband is already happening to the tune of about $10 million annually. Since the technology serves a much larger audience than any of its competing technologies. With that kind of potential, it should be able to sustain a growth rate of two to three times that of either cable or telephone companies.