Check this out: TXU Free Nights promises free electricity every day from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. But what about the rest of the time? A residential customer gets slammed with an outrageous 18 cents per kilowatt-hour rate, about double what anybody else would pay on a normal price plan offered by most companies.

TXU Free Weekends promises free electricity for 48 hours beginning at midnight Friday. But during the week, expect to pay 19 cents per kwh. Holy moly! It’s free, but it’s expensive when it’s not.

Both plans are 18-month contracts with whopping early cancellation fees of $295 that aren’t even prorated. The only good thing — and this is important — is that TXU gives you 60 days to bail out of these programs without a cancellation charge if you’re not happy.

Reliant’s Free Weekends plan tacks on an extra four hours on Friday night, starting at 8 p.m., but the cost is almost 15 cents per kwh the rest of the time plus an extra $6.48 a month, which is part of Oncor’s delivery charge.

A difference is that TXU says it waives the Oncor charge during free hours, but Reliant doesn’t, meaning electricity used during free time is not entirely free. Reliant also gives its customers a free Nest Learning Thermostat, a $249 value.

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