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, 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.
- About Texas Deregulation – Why you can shop for electricity in Texas
- Why you should use a Power to Choose alternative
- Why Should I Shop for an Energy Plan in Texas
- How to Shop for an Electricity Plan in Texas
- How to Compare Electricity Plans in Texas
- 5 Things to Consider When Shopping for Electricity Plans
- How to Find the Best Electricity Plan in Texas
- Texas Electricity Rate Trends
- Moving to Texas – How to set up electricity in your new home
- Can You Shop for Electricity for Me? Yes we can.
- FAQs about Switching Electricity Company in Texas
- Phone Numbers for Texas Utilities – Meter Set or Lights Out
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Why You Can Shop for Electricity in Texas — About Texas Deregulation
Texas has been deregulated since 2002. That means you can shop for your electricity supplier.
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:
- Licensing Retail Electricity Providers (REPs) and Aggregators,
- Monitoring competitive activity in the state to ensure a level playing field,
- Approving delivery rates for the regulated transmission and distribution service providers (TDSPs), also knows as the local poles and wires company,
- Regulating ERCOT (Independent System Operator – ISO) with oversight from the Texas legislature, and
- Monitoring and responding to consumer complaints.
Why You Should Shop for Electricity with a Power to Choose Alternative
The PUCT also manages the state-sponsored shopping site, PowerToChoose.org.
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 ElectricityPlans.com is the best alternative electricity shopping site.
Why Should I Shop for an Energy Plan 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:
- 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.
- 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.
- Renewable 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.
- 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
ElectricityPlans.com 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:
- 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.
- Enter Your Zip Code
Enter your zip code on ElectricityPlans.com to get electricity rates near you.
- 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.
- Pick Your Electricity Plan
Sort all plans by low to high to find the cheapest electricity plan for your zip code and usage.
- 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.
- 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
How to Compare Electricity Plans in Texas
When you’re comparing electricity plans in Texas, you want to know you got a good deal.
So here’s why you should use ElectricityPlans.com to compare electricity plans and shop for your electricity.
First, we do the leg work for you by thoroughly reviewing the details of every plan we offer.
Second, we focus on accurate, transparent pricing. ElectricityPlans makes it easy to determine each plan’s actual price with a Electricity Bill Calculator, plus Pricing Details for every plan. We clearly identify tiered rate and bill credit plans. And, we don’t post every plan. Just the ones we think are good!
Third, you’ll find helpful posts to walk you through the electricity shopping process, give you ideas on how you can save on your energy costs, and keep you updated on the deregulated electricity market.
Lastly, you will find advanced shopping tools like this:
Rate History by Plan
Curious to see if a plan’s price has gone up or down? For select plans, we show a graph of the plan’s price history.
Accurate Pricing Details (No More EFL Mysteries!)
Want to see exactly how a plan is priced? We comb through the Electricity Facts Label details for you and show the exact pricing for each plan in an easy-to-read format.
Simple, Easy Plan Summary
We clearly display each electricity plan’s quick facts in a simple, clean format for easy comparison. And our one-line description on each plan tells you the basic info.
Shop by Type of Electricity Plan
Our unique (and growing!) list of plan searches allows you to filter to the exact group of plans you’re looking for. Shop for free electricity, support a charity, choose renewable energy or shop for basic electricity.
Electricity Bill Calculator
Hate math? We understand. That’s why we made the Electricity Bill Calculator. Just enter your average monthly usage. We’ll instantly recalculate your average price per kWh, and the estimated monthly bill, and re-sort all the plans to show the cheapest electricity plan for you.
5 Things to Consider When Shopping for Electricity Plans
Here are a few other things to keep in mind when you are shopping for electricity.
Contract Length – Short Term or Long Term
You can choose from plans that are locked in for years, plans that are renewed each month, or somewhere in between.
The time of year and the wholesale market price of energy will determine whether short term or long term is a better deal.
For more details see: Is a short or long term electricity contract a better deal?
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.
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. Our favorite no deposit plan is the Payless Power Premier 12 plan.
For more information, see our page on No Deposit Electricity.
Free Electricity Plan Reviews
Depending on your lifestyle and routine, free electricity plans are something that you may want to consider.
There are multiple plans with free electricity in Texas including:
- Champion Energy Free Nights (our favorite free nights plan)
- Direct Energy Twelve Hour Power
- Reliant Energy Truly Free Weekends
- Reliant Energy Truly Free Nights
Renewable Electricity Options
Although price is a hugely motivating factor with electricity plans, you should also remember to check the green or renewable electricity 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 plan 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 ElectricityPlans.com, helps you find the best electricity plan:
- Popular electricity plans are listed on our home page at ElectricityPlans.com/Texas.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- Plan details revealed. You can review all the Plan Details. That’s where we deconstruct the Electricity Facts Label.
- Quick summary. You can see a quick summary of the plan in our Plan Description one-liner.
- 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
Texas Electricity Rate Trends
Texas electricity prices for 2020 are expected to be higher than average due to supply and demand. Longer term plans — those into 2021 and 2022 — are less expensive.
You can read more about our 2020 Texas electricity rate projections online.
If you have a contract that ends in the summer time (June/July) we recommend that you shop 60 days before your contract expiration. Most retailers will let you pick a self-selected start date. Pick a start date that’s 10 days before your contract end date. That way you don’t pay a termination penalty, and you can start your new rate early.
If you have a contract that ends in August, stay put. Shop in August, or wait it out til September. If we don’t have a hot summer, prices may start to full in August. And they typically drop like a rock in the 2nd week of September. (Note: this is all based on what “usually” happens, but we don’t have a crystal ball and can’t guarantee it.)
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.)
Once you have selected a plan and start enrolling, you will be asked the type of service you want. 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.
Can You Shop For Electricity 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.
Frequently Asked Questions About Switching TX Electricity Companies
We’ve answered some of the most commonly asked questions about switching electricity providers in TX below:
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
- AEP Texas Central (Corpus Christi, Brownsville, South Texas) 1-866-223-8508
- AEP Texas North (West Texas) 1-866-223-8508
- Centerpoint Energy (Houston area) 1-800-332-7143
- Oncor (DFW and scattered Central Texas) 1-888-313-4747
- Texas New Mexico Power (Friendswood and scattered Central/North Texas) 1-888-866-7456