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Decoding Texas Electricity Refer-a-Friend Programs

refer-a-friend programs

This report originally appeared on the Bounce Energy Blog on August 5, 2011.

When choosing your Texas electricity provider, it's about way more than just rates (though, obviously low energy rates are key). Customers in the know also check out companies' referral programs, as this can be an easy way to cut costs on your electricity bill. And what's better for a friendship than saving each other money?

These spiffy programs allow you to tell your friends about how happy you are with your electricity company, and if they choose to sign up, you'll get cash or another form of reward. But not all referral programs are created equal.

After reading promotional material for many of the top Texas electricity brands, we've developed four ways to evaluate electricity refer-a-friend programs: what and how much you get per referral, how much your friends get, limitations to number of friends you can refer and how easy it is to get the word out about the referral program.

What and How Much You Get?
The best of the crop, based on information easily available on company's Web sites, is TXU Energy and Bounce Energy. Both of these companies offer both you and your referred friend $50 per friend referred. That can add up to tons of cash in your pocket (especially with Bounce Energy's Refer-a-Friend Program, as there is no limit to the amount of friends you can refer - but we'll get more into that later).

What and How Much Your Friends Get?
If you are planning to make a habit out of referring friends to your electricity provider, you better make sure your friends will be taken care of. Again, Bounce and TXU Energy come away the winner here: $50 per friend referred is something to be excited about - especially if you have lots of friends.But, surprisingly, several of these refer-a-friend programs give your friend nothing, with the idea that the deal that they get on electricity is sufficient. Although they may get a great electricity rate, isn't it worth a little extra time to ensure your friends get the same cash you do?

No Limits!?
Many Texas electricity referral programs offer you a good chunk of change per referred friend, but then cap you off so even if you refer 30 friends, you only get a certain amount of money. If you like games with no limits, then your best bet is to go with Amigo Energy or Bounce Energy.

How Hard Do You Have to Work for Your Money?
Making you sweat to get referral dollars is no way to treat customers. When evaluating electricity companies referral programs, you need to think through how you influence all your friends to join your company of choice. The easiest way is through a referral code, and those that advertise this simple way include Bounce Energy and Champion Energy. Bounce Energy suggests maximizing your credits by using social media options like Facebook and Twitter to get the word out to even more of your friends. Others reference that you'll get more directions once you log on to your online account. Some companies, like Green Mountain Energy, require your friend(s) to mail in a physical coupon in order to qualify for the referral program.

The Referral Program Score Card
Want more details? We put together the following score card based on our review. Some details could only be found through a login with each electricity company, which we've also noted with "NA". If you used any of these programs, please comment to us to share any additional details.

How'd we score them?
  • $50 for you: 2 points
  • $25 for you: 1 point
  • <$15 for you: 0 points
  • $50 for referred friend: 2 points
  • $25 for referred friend: 1 point
  • $0 for referred friend: 0 point
  • No limit for credits: 2 points
  • >$500 limit: 1 point
  • <$500 limit: 0 points
  • Limit not found (NA): 0 points
Champion Energy: 3
  • How much do you get? $25 bill credit
  • How much does your referred friend get? $25 bill credit
  • Is there a limit to referral credits? Limit of $599 dollars every calendar year
  • How to get the word out and get friends signed up? Referral code.
Amigo Energy: 4
  • How much do you get? $25 bill credit
  • How much does your referred friend get? $25 bill credit
  • Is there a limit to referral credits? No limit
  • How to get the word out and get friends signed up? Referral code.
TXU Energy: 5
  • How much do you get? $50 bill credit
  • How much does your referred friend get? $50 bill credit
  • Is there a limit to referral credits? Limit of $599 dollars every calendar year
  • How to get the word out and get friends signed up? NA. More info available through a TXU login.
Bounce Energy: 6
  • How much do you get? $50
  • How much does your referred friend get? $50
  • Is there a limit to referral credits? No limit
  • How to get the word out and get friends signed up? Referral code, suggests to distribute widely via Facebook and Twitter for biggest results.


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