In general, you’ll need a minimum credit score of 580-600 with one of the major credit score companies (Experian, Equifax or Transunion) to get an electricity plan without a deposit requirement in Texas.
But there are ways around paying a deposit, including no deposit electricity, which is prepaid lights. But you can also get a deposit waived.
In this article we review no deposit electricity plans, how to get a deposit waived, prepaid electricity and minimum credit score for electricity.
How Much is a Deposit for Electricity in Texas?
The Public Utility Commission of Texas sets the maximum amount of electricity deposits in Texas.
According to regulations, the deposit can’t exceed “one-sixth of the estimated annual billing,” or 2 months worth of electricity. So what’s that mean for the average consumer?
Based on a deposit being 2 months of estimated billing, the average Texas electricity deposit is around $350.
Most providers have a single deposit amount based on the average Texas household. Others have a different deposit based on the type of home (apartment vs. house). Below are approximate deposits for Texas homes based on the size of the home.
Assuming a 750 square foot apartment, energy use around 750 kWh/month and 14.8 cents per kWh, the deposit would be $220.
Assuming a 1000 square foot apartment, energy use around 1000 kWh/month and 14.8 cents per kWh, the deposit would be $296.
A home around 1800 square feet will use around 1250 kWh/month. At 14.8 cents per kWh, the deposit would be $370.
Electric Companies that Waive Deposit in Texas
Every electric company in Texas must waive your deposit if you meet one of these four criteria. That’s the law.
- Meet minimum credit threshold when they run a credit check.
- Can provide a letter of credit from your current electricity company showing not more than 1 late payment in the prior 12 months.
- Are over 65 and can provide a copy of your ID and your most recent electricity bill with no past due balance.
- Are a victim of family violence and can provide a certified letter for victim of family violence.
If you can’t qualify for a deposit waiver under these 4 criteria, there are still options for no deposit electricity.
Options for No Deposit Electricity Plans
If you don’t pass a credit check, can’t pay a deposit and don’t qualify for a deposit waiver, here are your options for electricity in Texas.
- Prepaid Electricity: With prepaid electricity, you will make a minimal upfront payment as low as $40. You’ll receive text alerts on your daily account balance, and can add money as needed when your balance gets low. There’s no deposit and no credit check.
- Deposit Alternative: Some electricity companies, like Champion Energy and Reliant Energy offer a deposit alternative. This is a non-refundable fee that’s around half what a normal deposit is. That allows you to get a competitive rate regardless of your credit score. Just apply for service and request a deposit alternative if they require a deposit.
- No Credit Check Electricity. There are some providers that offer no credit check electricity. In one such “deal” we looked at, the price was 60% higher than other offers. This is not worth it. You would be better off with Prepaid Electricity.
Prepaid Electricity: The Best Option for No Deposit Electricity
With Prepaid Electricity, you pay a small amount up front to get your service started.
There’s no credit check and no deposit. And you won’t be charged more than $75 to start service. In most cases, you can start service with just $40.
You’ll get regular notices of your daily balance. And you can set up automatic payments from your debit or credit card to make sure your lights stay on.
The biggest benefit of prepaid electricity? Keep your lights on and you’ll establish a positive payment history. Then you can convert to post-paid power for your next electricity plan and pay no deposit with your good payment history!
Shop Prepaid Electricity Plans
No deposit electricity and prepaid electricity plans are available for all major deregulated electricity markets in Texas, including: Dallas, Houston, Fort Worth, Killeen, Corpus Christi, Abilene, Round Rock, Odessa, Galveston, and many more.
We hope this helps you understand a little more about deposits for electricity in Texas.