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Comparing electricity rates can cut costs

It's the middle of summer and in Texas, that means higher electricity rates than any other time of the year. However, thanks to energy deregulation, residential energy customers have the option to compare electricity rates to find the best deal.

According to ABC affiliate KTRK, websites that allow residents to compare electricity rates side-by-side have taken off in competitive energy markets. Sandra Jones, who has switched retail energy providers several times, said the websites have been a great resource for her.

"I originally started out with Reliant and then TXU offered me a better price and there was a lot of drama with them and then I switched to Green Mountain," she told the news provider.

The highly competitive retail energy environment has prompted many providers to offer their customers perks to attract them to switch. Texas' Bounce Energy announced on July 23 that it had debuted its fifth rewards program called Mommy Merits.

The system focuses on moms who can earn rewards by paying their bills on time. For every six consecutive payments, the company said, the mother is given the option of a reward.