Moving to Texas? A lot of people are. It’s the number two destination for moves in the country. But electricity is different in Texas. Use this guide to understand how to set up electricity for your new Texas home.
Things That are Different in Texas
When you move to Texas there are some things you need to know.
First, Texas is big. Like “drive for 12 hours and still in the state” big.
Second, it’s hot, with summer temperatures in the mid to high 90’s. (That makes the average Texas electricity bill higher than in other states.)
Third, Texas is well known for its friendliness. So don’t be surprised if your new neighbors invite you over for a barbeque or a dip in their pool on a hot summer day.
But something uniquely different about Texas? Shopping for electricity.
Texas has its own electric grid, managed by ERCOT (Electricity Reliability Council of Texas).
And, approximately 87% of Texans live in an area where electricity is deregulated. You can’t set up electricity with your local utility. You have to choose an electricity provider for electricity service.
And that’s what the rest of this article is all about – how to set up electricity in your new home in Texas.
Tip: Moving within Texas? You may be able to transfer your electricity contract to your new home. But should you? Read our article to decide.
Moving to Texas: Start Electricity Service in New Home
If you move to a regulated area like San Antonio, The Woodlands, or Austin, you have to buy your electricity from your local utility company.
Here’s how it works.
Deregulated vs. Non-Deregulated Areas of Texas
Texas deregulated electricity in 2002. Deregulation separated the supply of electricity from the delivery of electricity.
If you live in a regulated area, you don’t have electricity choice. You have to set up your electricity service with the local utility.
Consumers in deregulated areas must shop for an electricity plan, with hundreds of options to choose from.
The Public Utility Commission of Texas approves and licenses Retail Electricity Providers and handles consumer protection.
And no matter what Retail Electricity Provider (REP) you choose, your local utility company will deliver electricity to your home, read your meter and respond in the case of an emergency.
This map shows areas of Texas that are regulated vs. deregulated.
How to set up electricity when you move to Texas
Starting electricity service in Texas is actually quite easy when you use the right tool, like ElectricityPlans.
- Enter your zip code to see available plans in your area.
- If you know your new home’s average monthly usage, enter that information to see your estimated price per kWh and monthly bill for every plan. If not? Select 500 kWh/month for a small apartment, 1000 kWh/month for an medium home or large apartment, and 2000 kWh/month for a large home.
- Use the Advanced Search function to select Basic Electricity and sort by Price: Low to High
- Select the REP with the cheapest electricity rate for your home!
- During enrollment, select “Start Service in a New Home.” Then select your start date for electricity service.
Tip: We always recommend no gimmicks fixed rate electricity plans. In our Advanced Search, you’ll find these called “Basic Electricity.” No bill credits, no tiered rates, no free electricity. Just the same price for every kilowatt hour of energy, no matter how much you use.
What information do I need to set up electricity in Texas?
When you sign up for electricity for your new home in Texas you’ll need the following:
- Move-in date (start date)
- Date of Birth
- Social Security Number or Driver’s License (depending on the REP)
If you are renting, your landlord may require proof that utilities have been set up in your name before you can get the keys to your new place. Your REP will email you a confirmation of your enrollment. Just print that off or screen shot it to show your landlord on move-in day.
What’s the electric utility for my address?
Most of the time, it’s easy to find your utility and shop for plans. Some web sites even tell you to just enter your zip code to find rates in your area.
The reality is, the dividing lines for utility in Texas were created in the 1890s. That means some zip codes in Texas are split between utilities.
You could have one utility and your next door neighbor could have a different utility. And you need to know this so you can shop for your electricity provider.
Going to the PowertoChoose.org (the state shopping site) isn’t going to be much help. You’ll just get a list of utilities to pick from if you enter a zip code that’s split between utilities.
Luckily, our address lookup tool helps you easily find your utility company.
And once you know your utility? Just enter your zip code to find the best electricity rate for your new home.
Moving to Texas? Shop Electricity Rates by Zip Code
Moving to Houston? Shop Latest Electricity Rates
Moving to Dallas-Fort Worth? Shop Latest Electricity Rates
Shop Electricity Rates by Zip Code
Moving to Texas FAQs
Check out “Moving To Texas Reddit” and you’ll see all sorts of information about the topic, both good and bad! Below, we gathered answers to some of the most common questions on Reddit moving to Texas.
How much does electricity cost per month in Texas?
The average home in Texas uses 1300 kWh per month. And electricity rates change constantly. So just finding a bill estimate based on average prices from 3 months ago won’t help you.
If you want an accurate bill estimate for your new home, multiply 1300 kWh per month by the average rate for your utility. These rates are refreshed daily. That will give you an accurate estimate for your new home’s electricity bill.
- Average electricity rate in AEP Texas Central: 16.12¢ per kWh
- Average electricity rate in AEP Texas North: 16.46¢ per kWh
- Average electricity rate in CenterPoint Energy: 16.69¢ per kWh
- Average electricity rate in Oncor: 15.74¢ per kWh
- Average electricity rate in TNMP: 17.61¢ per kWh
But what if your home is larger than the average 1800 square foot Texas home?
Enter your zip code, then enter your estimated monthly usage. ElectricityPlans will automatically show the estimated monthly electric bill for your new home, based on available rates.
If you are moving into a new home, your realtor can request copies of the current owner’s electricity usage. And if you are moving into a apartment, the office manager can tell you the average usage based on the number of bedrooms in your unit.
Does Texas electricity require a deposit for new service?
When you enroll for new service, your electricity provider they will run a “soft hit” credit check.
You will need a minimum of 600 on your credit score to avoid paying a deposit. Some electricity companies even have a higher minimum.
The deposit for electricity is 1/6 of your estimated bill, or 2 months worth of electricity bills. That means most electricity companies charge $300-$400 for your deposit.
There are alternatives to paying a deposit.
For example, you can provide a copy of your payment history from your old utility company showing not more than 1 late payment in the prior 12 months. Or, shop for a no-deposit electricity plan.
Does my electricity contract term need to match my lease?
No, your electricity contract term does not need to match your lease.
Most people sign a 1 year lease. But feel free to pick the cheapest electricity rate you can find, even if it’s a 2 or 3 year contract.
That’s because under Texas law, your electricity company can’t charge you an early termination fee when you move. Just provide them with notice that you are moving out, and a forwarding address for your last bill. That’s it.
Here’s more about moving before your electricity contract expires.
Can I get same day electricity when moving to Texas?
Yes, you can get your electricity service turned on the same day as your move. Or you can set it up 60 days in advance. Just pick your move-in date when you enroll.
The cut-off time for same day electricity in Texas varies by provider. Check our resource for same day electricity in Texas. You’ll find a list of providers, phone numbers and the cut-off time for same day electricity.
Shop Electricity Rates for Your New Texas Home
Why are People Moving to Texas?
Texas is the number 2 destination for moves in the country, after Florida.
Here are the top reasons why people are moving to Texas:
- Employment opportunities. Texas consistently ranks in the top 2 states for job growth.
- Low cost of living. Texas has a lower cost of living than many areas of the country.
- Low cost of housing. The average home in Texas is 1800 square feet and costs around $200,000.
- No state income taxes. Texas is one of the few states in the US that doesn’t have a state income tax (though our property taxes are higher than average if you buy vs. rent)
Basically, moving to Texas is about financial opportunity. And so is shopping for the best electricity rate!
Moving to Texas – Additional Resources
Here are some great resources on moving to Texas:
- If you are looking for a moving company to move to Texas, check out Consumer Advocates. Their guide to finding the best moving companies is a comprehensive review.
- Bookmark our Pinterest boards on Moving to Texas, Moving Tips to Save Money and Military Move Tips and Checklist.
- Read our article on 10 Best Moving Tips from Relocation Experts.
- Register your car, then get your driver’s license. You have 30 days to register your car and 90 days to get a new driver’s license.
- Moving to Texas Memes, so you know what you’re getting into.