Austin Prepaid Electricity
Austin is not part of the Texas deregulated electricity market. Most areas of the city and its suburbs are served by Austin Energy, which means that most residents cannot choose another energy provider. However, if you consider the Greater Austin metropolitan area, there are some Austin residents that can get prepaid electricity service.
The Greater Austin metropolitan area covers five counties: Travis, Williamson, Bastrop, Caldwell and Hays.
- Williamson County and some northern areas of Travis County are in the Oncor service area, which is deregulated. This means you can choose a prepaid electricity plan.
- The Bastrop, Caldwell and Hays counties have regulated electricity in most of their territory, but some ZIP codes are deregulated and open to electric choice.
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Austin Prepaid Electricity Plans
In a traditional electricity plan, your power meter measures electricity consumption over a specified billing period, which is typically one month. At the end of the billing period, you are charged based on the measured consumption. However, this also means you can lose track of your electricity usage: after a hot summer month where your air conditioner was working at full capacity, you may get a $400-$700 electric bill.
With a prepaid electricity plan, you deposit funds in your account and all your consumption is subtracted from your balance. There are no surprises, since all the electricity you consume has already been paid for. Prepaid light companies such as Payless Power have an online platform and mobile app where you can keep track of your daily consumption and remaining balance. You get automatic notifications when the balance is low, so you can make another deposit. Prepaid electricity is also known as “pay-as-you-go electricity”.
You can choose a fixed-rate prepaid plan in Austin with a 12-month term, and your energy price will be locked for an entire year. This is especially helpful during the summer months: consumers with variable month-to-month plans pay hefty prices, but have already locked a cheap rate in advance.
Is Prepaid Electricity Available in My Area of Austin?
There is a very simple way to know if you have the power to choose prepaid lights. If your electric bill comes from Austin Energy, you are inside their service territory, which is regulated. On the other hand, if your power bill comes from another company, you are probably in a deregulated area of Austin.
Keep in mind that there are several municipal utilities and electric cooperatives operating close to Austin. If your power bill comes from any of these companies, you are outside of the Austin Energy territory, but still in a regulated electricity area:
- Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative
- City of Georgetown Utilities
- CPS Energy (San Antonio)
- Crossroads Utility Services
- New Braunfels Utilities
- Pedernales Electric Cooperative
If you live in the Greater Austin area and your power bill comes from a company that is not listed above, you are probably in deregulated territory and you can choose an electricity provider.
We have gathered a list of Austin zip codes with electric choice in the five counties covered by the metropolitan area. However, you can search for any ZIP code here:
View Prepaid Electricity Plans in Austin
Greater Austin Areas with Prepaid Electricity Choice: Travis County
The city of Austin is served almost exclusively by Austin Energy, but there are several ZIP codes with electric choice, including: 78701, 78703, 78704, 78705, 78717, 78718, 78719, 78721, 78723, 78725, 78726, 78727, 78728, 78729, 78731, 78735, 78737, 78738, 78741, 78748, 78750, 78751, 78752, 78753, 78756, 78757, 78758, 78759, 78761, 78766 and 78767.
Travis County also includes smaller cities and communities where you can choose an electricity plan. Here is a quick summary, which includes their respective ZIP codes:
|Travis County City or Community||ZIP Codes with Electric Choice|
|Oak Hill||78735 78737 78738 78748|
|Pflugerville||78660 78664 78691|
Note that most of Travis County has regulated electricity. The ZIP codes in the table above are largely concentrated in northern areas of the county, such as Pflugerville and Manor.
Greater Austin Areas with Prepaid Electric Choice: Williamson County
Williamson County is almost fully covered by the Oncor service area, which means that most residents can choose their electricity provider. Here is a list of the Williamson County cities and ZIP codes with electric choice:
|Williamson County City or Community||ZIP Codes with Electric Choice|
|Georgetown||78626 78627 78628 78633 78665|
|Jarrell||76537 78626 78633|
|Round Rock||78664 78665 78680 78681 78728|
Among the five counties covered by the Greater Austin metropolitan area, Williamson County has the largest number of cities with electric choice.
Greater Austin Areas with Choice of Prepaid Electricity: Bastrop County, Caldwell County and Hays County
Bastrop County has a much smaller number of ZIP codes than Travis County. Two of them are covered by the deregulated power market, and you can choose your electric company:
- Elgin = 78621
- McDade = 78650
Unlike Travis County, which has a population of over 1.3 million, Bastrop County only has 102,058 residents (2021 census data).
Caldwell County also falls outside of the Texas deregulated power market. However, we have identified one ZIP code with electric choice, covered by the Oncor service territory:
- Mendoza = 78644
Caldwell County also has a relatively small population of 46,791 (2021 census data).
Hays County also has a small number of ZIP codes. Based on our research, we have identified one community and ZIP code with deregulated electric power:
- Bear Creek = 78737
Hays County has a population of 255,937 (2021 census data).