Paying 7.8 cents per kilowatt-hour seemed like a good deal to John Wheat when he signed up for a month-to-month electricity plan in June.

But in July, when record-breaking heat led to record-breaking power use statewide, Wheat’s rate soared to nearly 19 cents per kilowatt-hour.

“I thought since I’m in the business and watch pricing every day, I could cancel at any time with a month-to-month,” said Wheat, a Sugar Land resident who sells TXU Energy electric plans to businesses. “Unfortunately, I didn’t take into account what they would charge based on demand.”

Rates in a variable plan can fluctuate monthly based on the company’s costs and other factors.

In recent weeks wholesale power prices – what power retailers pay for the electricity they sell to customers – spiked to as much as $3 per kilowatt-hour during some particularly hot days.

Wheat’s bill last month, $586.65, was the highest he’s ever paid to power his 1,450- square-foot house.

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