cover image for definitive guide to electricity shopping in texas

Everything You Need to Know About Shopping for Electricity in Texas

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

  • Shopping for electricity in Texas? You’ve probably jumped around to a lot of electricity shopping sites and are now more confused than ever.

    If you want to understand how to shop for electricity in Texas, or more on switching electricity providers you’ve come to the right place.

    Here’s the definitive guide to shopping for electricity in Texas, to answer all your questions in one place. When you use this guide, you’ll find what you need to know about how to shop for an electricity plan.

    Just use the table of contents to jump to what you are looking for. Then search for electricity by zip code to shop Texas electricity plans near you.

    Table of Contents

    Shop Electricity Plans in My Area

    Basics of Texas Electricity Deregulation

    Texas has been deregulated since 2002. That means you can shop for your electricity supplier in most of Texas including Houston, Dallas, Fort Worth, Waco and more.

    The local transmission and distribution utility company (TDU) still manages the poles and wires, reads your meter and responds in case of an electrical outage.

    You can choose from over 40+ retail electricity suppliers (REP) in the state, offering a variety of plans. With electricity deregulation, you can choose from fixed rate plans, free electricity at certain times, 100% renewable energy, and even prepaid electricity.

    It’s all managed by the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT)

    The PUCT is responsible for:

    1. Licensing Retail Electricity Providers (REPs) and Aggregators,
    2. Monitoring competitive activity in the state to ensure a level playing field,
    3. Approving delivery rates for the regulated transmission and distribution service providers (TDSPs), also knows as the local poles and wires company,
    4. Regulating ERCOT (Independent System Operator – ISO) with oversight from the Texas legislature, and
    5. Monitoring and responding to consumer complaints.

    Using a Power to Choose Alternative

    The PUCT also manages the state-sponsored shopping site,

    This site was intended as an unbiased shopping environment where all retailers could display their offers. However, retailers quickly started gaming ths site.

    REPS bombarded the site with multiple offers. Plus they used tiered rates, bill credits and minimum use fees to make their electricity plan look like the cheapest plan based on 1000 kWh/month level. (That’s the default display on Power to Choose.)

    The result? You would select a plan that you thought was a good deal, only to find hidden fees that you weren’t aware of. Power to Choose became known as the Power to Confuse.

    Learn more about Power to Choose and why is the best power to choose alternative.

    Why Shop for Electricity Plans in Texas?

    Now, despite all that we’ve said about tricks and games, there are many reasons why you should shop for a Texas electricity plan.

    Here are some of the reasons why people shop for an electric energy plan in Texas:

    1. Save Money. For most Texas electricity customers, this is the number one reason to shop for electricity. A couple of cents per kilowatt-hour may not seem like much, but when you consider how many kilowatt-hours you use every month, those pennies add up on your electric bill. Over the course of a year it can amount to hundreds of dollars in savings.
    2. Fixed Rate Plans. The second most common reason for electricity shopping is to lock in a fixed rate. If your contract expires without renewing or shopping for electricity you will go on a variable rate. That means your rate changes every month, and you pay whatever your electricity company wants to charge you.
    3. Green Energy. A third reason for electricity shopping is to support renewable energy, like wind and solar. If you want to reduce your carbon footprint, you can choose green energy.
    4. Special Electricity Offers. And the last reason to shop for electricity? It’s the variety of offers you can take advantage of. There are plans like free nights electricity or free weekends electricity, where you can save money by picking a plan that matches your electricity usage. Or pick a plan that supports charity.

    How to Shop for an Electricity Plan in Texas makes it easy to find the best electricity plan for your Texas home. Shopping online lets you compare the many electricity plans available near you. Just shop by zip code and usage. Once you’ve picked a plan, you can pick your start date and start saving.

    Here’s the step by step on how to shop for an electricity plan in Texas.

    Time needed: 15 minutes

    How to shop for electricity in Texas:

    1. Know your current electricity rate and usage

      Knowing your current electricity rate helps determine if you can save money by shopping for a new electricity plan. And, if your electricity plan is expiring, you’ll want to know what your renewal options are. You’ll get an offer from your current supplier 30 days ahead of contract expiration.

      Look at your bill to find out your average monthly electricity usage. Electricity rates in Texas are displayed based on 500 kWh, 1000 kWh and 2000 kWh. Knowing your electricity usage is key to finding the cheapest electricity plan.

    2. Enter Your Zip Code

      Enter your zip code on to get electricity rates near you.

    3. Enter Your Average Monthly Usage

      Enter your average monthly usage. We’ll update the average price per kWh based on your usage. Plus show your estimated monthly bill for every plan.
      electricity calculator enter usage get price

    4. Pick Your Electricity Plan

      Sort all plans by low to high to find the cheapest electricity plan for your zip code and usage.

    5. Review the details

      You should always review the fine print before signing a contract. Luckily, we include the details in the plan description, plan type and in the pricing details. Here’s an example of what you’ll find.
      chart showing plan details bill calculator

    6. Sign up for Your Electricity Plan

      Now that you’ve completed the process of shopping for your electricity plan, you’re ready to enroll!

    Enter your zip code below to start the process of electricity shopping!

    Shop Electricity Plans Near Me

    4 Things to Consider When Switching Electricity in Texas

    Here are a few other things to keep in mind when you are shopping for electricity.

    1) Contract Length – Short Term or Long Term

    You can choose from plans that are locked in for 1-3 years, plans that are renewed each month, or somewhere in between.

    Also consider the time of year you are shopping. The best time to shop for an electricity plan in Texas is the spring or fall. Rates are lowest during this time period. Keep that in mind when you pick a short or long term contract.

    For more details see: Is a short or long term electricity contract a better deal?

    2) Types of Electricity Plan

    What type of plan do you want?  There are two main plan types: fixed rate and variable rate.

    • Fixed rate plans have the rate per kilowatt-hour locked in for the length of the contract.
    • Variable rate contracts have a rate that will vary based on electricity costs and the discretion of your electricity provider. Variable rates are typically associated with month-to-month contracts.

    For more details see Understanding Electricity Plan Types: Fixed, Variable, and Indexed.

    3) Your Credit Score & Electricity Shopping

    Your credit score will impact your ability to enroll with the electricity provider of your choice.

    In general, most retail energy providers want a minimum credit score of 600. Customers who have a credit score below that may be assessed a deposit. This deposit will be 2 months worth of  your estimated electricity bill.

    Some consumers prefer the simplicity of prepaid electricity. Prepaid plans are plans where you pay for your electricity before you use it. There’s no deposit and no credit check.

    For more information, see our page on No Deposit Electricity.

    4) Renewable Electricity Options

    Although price is a hugely motivating factor with electricity plans, you should also remember to check the green or renewable energy plans. Some 100% renewable energy plans are very affordable and will only cost you a small premium compared to traditional energy plans. 

    How to Find the Best Electricity Plan in Texas

    Hate to break it to you. There is no one best electricity rate in Texas. Everyone’s usage is different, and everyone’s needs are different. The best electricity plan depends on what you want.

    But here’s how we help you find the best electricity plan:

    1. Popular electricity plans are listed on our home page at
    2. Recommended plans are always highlighted at the top of the list, as featured plans. These are plans that offer a solid value or a low electricity rate for most people
    3. Cheapest plans first. All other plans are sorted in order of lowest average price first. No games here. And we will highlight if there’s a bill credit or tiered rate.
    4. Exclude tricky plans. Bill credit and tiered rate plans are good for some people, but only good for you if you’re in the right usage level. To make it simple, you can just look at Basic Electricity plans.
    5. Plan details revealed. You can review all the Plan Details. That’s where we deconstruct the Electricity Facts Label.
    6. Quick summary. You can see a quick summary of the plan in our Plan Description one-liner.
    7. Shop electricity by usage. You can shop based on your electricity usage, instead of 500, 1000 or 2000 kWh.

    Shop Best Texas Electricity Plans Near Me

    Moving to Texas – How to Set Up Electricity in Your New Home.

    Texas is the fastest growing state in the country, according to the US Census. And the Texas electricity market is very different then other states, where there is just a single utility for each market area.

    Don’t worry, we make it easy to set up electricity in your new home.

    Talk to the prior homeowner (or the apartment complex manager) to understand the electricity usage in your new home. (If you’re leasing, don’t worry about matching your contract term to your lease. Moving out is an automatic waiver of your early termination fee.)

    There are 2 types of electricity set up. One is switching electricity. The other is moving in electricity.

    Once you have selected a plan and start enrolling, you will be asked whether you are switching or moving. Typically you will have three options:

    • Standard Switch. With a standard switch, you are switching service to a new provider, at a home where you already reside. A standard switch happens immediately, within 1-2 days.
    • Self-Selected Switch. With a self-selected switch, you are switching service in your current home. However, you are selecting a specific date, up to 60 days in the future.
    • Move-in.  Yup, that’s the one to pick. You are moving in to a new home and setting up service in your name. You will be able to pick a date up to 60 days in the future to schedule your move-in.

    Here’s more info on moving to Texas.

    Electricity Shopping Concierge – Shop for Me

    If you are confused by electricity shopping, you aren’t alone.  After all, it’s why we started this shopping site for electricity. We figured if an IT guy and a CPA were confused by shopping for electricity, there must be other people who are confused.

    We provide a lot tools to help you shop for electricity.  But if you want us to help you shop for electricity, we can do that to.

    There are paid electricity shopping subscription services out there like Energy Ogre (where you pay $120 a year for someone to shop electricity for you.. yikes!)

    Or Power Wizard (which is owned by the parent company of two retail electricity companies… surprise!).

    We prefer to think of ourselves as the Good Energy Fairy. We will shop for you as part of our free electricity shopping service, PlanScan.

    Just send us a copy of your most recent bill and let us know your contact information.

    We’ll evaluate your usage and send you back up to three offers that we recommend based on your usage. This includes a review of electricity plans that we don’t post on our site! It’s personal shopping for your electricity.

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    Frequently Asked Questions About Switching Electricity in Texas

    We’ve answered some of the most commonly asked questions about switching electricity providers in TX below:

    Does it cost anything to switch electricity providers in Texas?

    There won’t be a cost to switch to your new electricity provider if you’re at the end of your contract term. However, your current provider may charge cancellation fees for early contract termination, so check your existing contract before you switch.

    What if I have to move before the end of my TX electricity contract?

    If you’re moving within the service area of your electricity provider, you can often transfer your service plan to your new address. When you’re moving out of the service area, many electricity providers will work with you. You’ll simply need to explain the situation to a customer service representative. If you can prove that you are moving with a valid change of address, the plan’s early cancellation fees are waived

    Can I change my mind after I switch TX electricity providers?

    For a switch, you have 3 days to change your mind, called the right of rescission. During these 3 days, you can terminate the new contract with no penalty.

    How long does it take to switch electricity in Texas?

    Once you’ve chosen your plan and signed up with a new electricity provider, it will take less than 3 days to become active. In most circumstances the enrollment switch happens the same day in Texas. You can also pick your own switching date in the future, usually up to 60 days out. That helps you line up the new plan with the expiration date of your old plan.

    Do I have to notify my current TX electricity company that I’m switching electricity providers?

    Absolutely not. Your new electricity provider will take care of everything behind the scenes on your behalf. All you have to do is pay the new bill when it arrives. You may also get a final bill from your old provider.

    What if my TX electricity provider goes out of business? Will I lose electricity?

    You will not lose electricity if your new provider were to go out of business. The electric utility in your area is required by law to continue providing power to your home. Your electricity provider will change to your utility’s provider of last resort (POLR). Every utility has a POLR and they act as your electricity provider at least temporarily. You can choose to stay with the POLR or you can switch to a different electricity provider all over again.

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    Phone Numbers for Texas Utilities

    If your lights are out because you received a disconnection notice from your electricity provider, call them immediately to make a payment arrangement and get your lights back on.

    But, if your lights are out because of a storm or other reason, you will want to contact your local utility company.

    You can find your local utility’s phone number on your bill, or check the list below:

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    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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