city inspection and permit to get lights turned on new move-in electricity for business

City Inspections & Permits for Texas Business Electricity

  • Written By: Rebecca Bridges
  • Edited By: Kelly Bedrich

  • City inspections and permits may stand in the way of getting new electricity turned on for your business.

    It’s pretty common. The business owner shows up on the day they expected to have lights. And there’s no electricity. And it’s all due to a required inspection that no one told them about.

    If you are putting the lights in your business name, you’re scheduling a “move-in” and that typically triggers an inspection. Contact your city or county inspection office to find out if a inspection is required. The inspection certificate must be filed with your local utility before you can get the lights turned on with the retail electricity provider you selected.

    City inspection and permit: Do I need one to get my business electricity turned on?

    The short answer is maybe. In many cases you do need an inspection and permit before you can get electricity for your Texas business. In some areas, before the local delivery company will turn on your power, they need a Certificate of Occupancy on file.

    But, it depends on the circumstance, and where in Texas you live.

    If you are moving in to a vacant building or new construction, it may trigger an inspection. This is also the case when you are doing a move-in to change the electricity over to your name. And it can be required even if the electricity is already on and you’re just switching service to your name.

    Unfortunately, most business owners don’t know that they need an inspection to get the lights turned on. And most retail electricity providers don’t have the tools to know if you need a permit or not.

    So you show up at your business on the day you had scheduled your electricity move-in, only to find no lights? That probably means you needed an electricity inspection. The delivery company rejected the turn-on order. And your retailer never called to let you know.

    The good news is, most city inspections and permits can be scheduled quickly.

    For an electrical permit and inspection, you will need to contact the city or county your service address is located in. If you live in a city contact the city first. 

    Your utility company won’t work your business electricity move-in order until they receive this permit.

    Simplifying New Electricity Service for Your Business and our staff work with business move-ins daily. We’re experts in commercial move-ins. And we are an energy broker, meaning we work with multiple electricity companies.

    We can help you identify the best business electricity rates, walk you through the credit approval process, and identify what permits are required to turn on your business electricity.

    Call us at 844-214-5559. We are your first stop to get new electricity service for your business.

    Electricity Move-In Rejected: Permit Required

    Here are some of the situations where you will need a city inspection and permit to start electricity service at a new business location.

    New Construction – Meter Set. If you are starting electric service and there’s no meter installed, your builder will contact the local utility company. Your utility will assign an Electricity Service Identifier (ESID). You’ll select a retail electricity provider, who will request a meter set. Then you’ll need an inspection before you can get power turned on.

    New Construction – Existing Meter. If there’s an existing meter, you will still need to contact the utility company to ensure there doesn’t need to be a new meter added. An inspection may be required.

    Moving in Business – Lights in Landlord’s Name. Even though there is already power at the facility a change in name/account for a new tenant may still require a Certificate of Occupancy or permit from the local municipality. It will depend on the city or town you are located in.

    Moving in Business – Lights in Current Tenant’s Name. We never advise leaving an account in a previous tenant’s name and simply paying the bills. There are all sorts of negative implications . Our team can help you wade through your options and the process.

    It’s complicated. And the address and circumstance determines whether or not you need an inspection.

    My business is in Houston. Do I need a city inspection?

    Houston is one of the few cities in Texas that doesn’t require an inspection, as long as it’s a location that’s had power before. But that’s just for for the city limits. You may have a Houston address, but be in Unincorporated Harris County, which requires a permit.

    That’s where and our team of experts can help. We’ll help you navigate how to set up new electricity for your business. We know what permits and inspections Centerpoint Energy requires to turn on your electricity.

    Most importantly, call us at 844-214-5559 to discuss your new business electricity service and move-in, rather than going at it alone! We’re here to help!

    About Rebecca Bridges

    Rebecca Bridges has worked in deregulated energy markets since 2001. As chief marketing officer for ElectricityPlans, she focuses on helping consumers save on their electricity bills and find the best electricity plans. Outside of work, Rebecca uses her marketing experience to support dog rescue and can often be found hiking or biking local trails.

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