Last Updated on April 16, 2023 by Mary Pressler

Reliant Prepaid vs Payless Power 

Both Reliant Energy and Payless Power offer prepaid electricity plans. In this article, we compare the two providers, plans and rates and give our recommendation on who to choose.

Here are the prepaid energy plans offered by Reliant and Payless:

Prepaid Electricity Plan Contract Term Energy Charge First Payment
Payless Power Simple 6 6 months Fixed $40
Payless Power Premier 12 1 year Fixed $40
Reliant Prepaid Power Plan 1 month Variable $50

There is an important difference between their electricity plans: the type of electricity rate. 

Reliant Prepaid Electricity Rates Can Change Without Notice

While Reliant offers only variable rates, Payless Power rates are fixed.  A fixed rate means that the kWh will not change with the weather.

  • Payless Power offers you a fixed price for 6 or 12 months, depending on the specific plan you choose. You don’t have to worry about price hikes during the contract term, and being on a fixed-price plan is especially useful during the summer months.
  • Reliant Energy offers you a variable price, which can change any month depending on Texas’ energy market conditions. When using variable electricity plans, you can expect a price hike during summer.

Reliant Energy does not have a minimum contract term or early termination fee, but they don’t guarantee fixed energy prices the next month. This means you can expect higher rates during summer – in summer 2022, prepaid electricity rates in Texas surpassed 20 cents/kWh.

It’s not good to have a variable electricity rate because it can change at any time. Due to the unpredictability of the Reliant prepaid rate plan, we recommend you choose Payless Power.

We recommend Payless Power over Reliant Energy Prepaid

Compare Payless Power and Reliant Electricity Rates 

Another reason we endorse Payless prepaid electricity is because Payless Power is cheaper than Reliant Energy.

The following table summarizes the fixed charges and energy prices charged by Payless Power and Reliant Energy. Note that the Simple 6 and Premier 12 plans from Payless Power have identical pricing conditions, and the only difference is the contract term. The comparison below assumes the user is located in the Oncor service territory.

Retail Electric Provider Payless Power Reliant Energy
Average price at 1,000 kWh, considering all fixed charges. 16.6 cents/kWh 18.2 cents/kWh
TDU charges from Oncor $3.42/month fixed charge

3.5899 cents/kWh delivery

$3.42/month fixed charge

3.5899 cents/kWh delivery

Fixed charges from the Retail Electric Provider $2.73/day – covers 17 kWh including their TDU charge None.
Energy price (per kWh) 12.80 cents/kWh – for daily consumption over 17 kWh 14.289 cents/kWh

Here is the electric bill calculation for a homeowner using 1,000 kWh/month, considering both options. With Reliant Energy, the monthly bill is higher by $16.

Payless Power

Oncor fixed charge: $3.42

Payless fixed charge: $2.73 x 30 = $81.90 (covers 510 kWh, includes TDU delivery charges)

Energy charge for remaining 490 kWh = $0.1280 x 490 kWh = $62.72

Oncor delivery charge for remaining 490 kWh = $0.035899 x 490 kWh = $17.59

Total electric bill = $165.63

The Oncor fixed charge and delivery charges are not controlled by Retail Electricity Providers, and they can change during the contract term (even if the REP energy charge is fixed). Utility companies in Texas normally update these fees twice per year, in March and September. 

However, TDU charges only represent around 25% of the monthly bill in this case, and the price impact of periodic updates is minimal. For example, if Oncor decides to raise their TDU fees by 10% while your fixed price contract is still active, the impact on your total bill is less than 3%.

Reliant Energy

Oncor fixed charge: $3.42

Reliant fixed charge: None

Energy charge for 1,000 kWh = $0.14289 x 1,000 kWh = $142.89

Oncor delivery charge for 1,000 kWh = $0.035899 x 1,000 kWh = $35.90

Total electric bill = $182.21

Payless Power and Reliant Energy: Other Terms and Conditions

By law, all Retail Electric Providers in Texas must provide an Electricity Facts Label (EFL) and Terms of Service (TOS) with detailed information about their energy plans. Here is some important information from the documents provided by Payless Power and Reliant Energy.

Prepaid Electricity Plan Additional Information from EFL
Payless Power

Simple 6 and Premier 12

No credit check or deposit required

No solar buyback / net metering offered

Minimum balance required to start service = $40

Minimum payment when using credit/debit card = $75

Early termination fee = $99

Payment processing fee = $4.95 for payments below $150, can be avoided by enrolling in autopay

Reconnection fee if balance drops to zero = $25

Returned check / non-honored credit card fee = $29

Reliant Prepaid Power Plan No credit check or deposit required

No solar buyback / net metering offered

Minimum balance required to start service = $75

Minimum balance to sustain electric service = $5

Early termination fee = None

Payment processing fee = Not specified

Application fee = Not specified

Reconnection fee if balance drops to zero = $30

Returned payment fee = $25

Enrolling in autopay is recommended in both cases, since you can avoid payment processing fees and reconnection fees. In case you own solar panels, these prepaid electricity plans don’t include net metering. However, there are many solar buyback plans available in Texas.

We Recommend Payless Power Over Reliant Energy Prepaid

There’s no doubt that Payless Power is the leader in Texas prepaid electricity with over 17 years experience in the deregulated energy market. Not only was Payless the first prepaid electricity company established in the Lone Star State, but it’s still owned and operated by Texans today. Other light companies, such as Reliant, cannot make this claim.

When choosing a prepaid electricity company, it’s important to select a fixed rate plan. Otherwise you’re subject to unannounced rate hikes that can drive up your electric bill. With Payless Power, you can secure your kWh rate for up to one year. Reliant prepaid energy, however, has riskier terms.

One of the best features of Payless Power is their five star customer service. If you’d like more information about prepaid electricity in Texas, call today.