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Reliant Offers Flat-Fee Electricity Plan

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High-voltage power lines carry electricity. (credit: David Silverman/Getty Images)

High-voltage power lines carry electricity. (credit: David Silverman/Getty Images)

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HOUSTON (AP) - Electric retailer Reliant says it’s launched an unprecedented program in Texas that allows customers to purchase their power at a flat monthly fee.

The Houston-based company says the plan makes budgeting easier for residential customers. It’s based on a computer model that considers a customer’s prior consumption to predict how much electricity that customer will use in the future.

Customers pay the flat fee irrespective of how much power they consume. But if electricity use rises, then Reliant considers that increase when establishing the fee for another 12-month period.

Reliant introduced the program for limited use in 2012, but the company declines to say how many have enrolled.

Critics tell the Houston Chronicle the plan encourages unrestrained power use at a time when energy conservation is needed.

(© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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