Last Updated on June 11, 2022 by Mary Pressler
How Does Prepaid Electricity Work?
The concept of prepaid electricity is easy to understand. You pay for power upfront, and not at the end of the month. Using prepaid electricity is spending the money you already have, while using a normal electricity plan is like accumulating debt on a credit card. Prepaid energy is possible with the use of smart meters.
A smart meter is an electronic device that monitors and records your home energy usage, 24 hours a day. Most Texas homes, apartments and trailers are already equipped with a smart meter that is provided by the local utility company. The live data collected by the electronic meter is sent to the prepaid electric company in real time enabling them to execute new connections and disconnections within minutes. Some consumers use prepaid electricity metering as a tool to conserve energy and lower power bills.
What’s Unique About Prepaid Electricity in Texas?
Since Texas has a competitive energy market, consumers have a choice in providers, rates and plans. However, many Texas energy providers require a credit verification at registration. People with poor credit scores are asked to pay an expensive utility deposit to get the lights on.
Prepaid electricity service is accessible to anyone living in Texas regardless of credit or income status, and for some it is the only option. It is the quickest, most convenient way to get home energy in Texas.
How to Get Prepaid Electricity Service
The Convenience of Quick, Prepaid Electricity
When people try prepaid electricity for the first time, a common concern is running into an empty account and having the power disconnected. However, surprise disconnections are unlikely to happen with daily text and e-mail notifications about your kWh consumption and account balance.
Prepaid electricity plans also give you the flexibility to switch power providers. Since you are paying in advance for the energy used, Texas electric companies do not impose a minimum contract duration. Also, since no credit verification is required, prepaid electricity can be a great option for students, renters or anyone with a tight budget.
Managing Your Prepaid Electricity Budget
When signing up for prepaid energy, consider you are depositing cash to be spent on the power you will use. Your home’s smart meter records your electricity consumption throughout the day, and the provider uses this information to calculate the daily charges based on the prepaid electricity rate you agreed to.
Electricity rates in Texas change all the time, with the exception of fixed-rate prepaid electricity plans. Power is more expensive during summer, and also during peak demand hours on a daily basis. Conditions change for every electricity plan, so you should ask your prepaid light company exactly how you will be billed for the kilowatt-hours used.
Prepaid Electricity Can Work For You
Remember, when you pay upfront for electric utilities, you avoid a credit check and contract. The convenience of smart metering makes electricity accessible to anyone who needs power. Prepaid electricity is the most popular energy service in Texas, especially in large metro areas like Houston and Dallas/Fort Worth and college towns such as Waco, Arlington and Austin.
To sign up for prepaid electricity in Texas, create a new customer account online or by calling 877-509-8946. Pay $40 cash or credit for your first week of electricity. Then, monitor your energy usage and top-up your account as needed. Keep your account balance above one cent to avoid disconnections.