Last Updated on February 9, 2024 by Mary Pressler
How to Switch Electricity Providers in Texas
Changing electric companies in Texas is possible thanks to the deregulation of the power sector. In regulated states, power companies are monopolies that control the entire electric delivery process – generation, transmission, distribution and commercialization.
However, these roles are carried out by independent companies in Texas: generating companies who sell power in a competitive market, transmission and distribution utilities who manage the grid, and electricity companies who purchase energy in bulk and sell it to homes and businesses.
Most of Texas is energy deregulated, except for cities like Austin, San Antonio and El Paso. If you recently moved to a city where you can choose your power company, or you have never switched your provider before, perhaps you are not familiarized with the process. However, the procedure is very simple and can be completed without leaving your home.
This article summarizes the main steps to change your electric company.
Step One: Review Your Current Electricity Contract
A deregulated electric market brings many options to purchase electricity, just like there are many types of cell phone plans. Before choosing an electricity provider, you must verify your current condition:
- If you have a fixed price contract, where the same kilowatt-hour price is charged every month, there is normally a penalty for early termination. The best way to find out is by calling your current provider.
- If you have a variable price contract, the kilowatt-hour price is adjusted every month based on the conditions of the energy industry. However, the contract normally allows a provider switch at any time without penalties.
Step Two: Compare Texas Electricity Plans
Comparing electricity plans is easy with Quick Electricity. In most cases you have the option of switching online or by phone, which means you can complete the process without visiting your new electricity provider.
Check the features of each plan carefully, to ensure you get the option that works best for your house or apartment. For example, some plans offer perks like free weekends and bonuses for early payments. Also, if you focus on a green lifestyle, you can select an electricity plan where 100% of the power comes from renewable sources.
Step Three: Choose an Electric Provider and Sign Up
Once you have chosen a provider, sign up online or by phone and complete their sign-up process. Depending on the type of electricity plan, you may be subject to a credit check and the provider may request a deposit.
Most electricity bills are paid after consuming electricity, and retailers require your credit record before signing you up. Consider that electric companies do not use your FICO score, but instead your TEC score (telecommunications, energy and cable).
After the credit check is completed, the provider might ask for a deposit to sign you up. An electricity deposit normally ranges from $100 to $400, based on your credit check. These funds are refunded if you switch your electricity provider again in the future, minus any pending payments.
Prepaid Electricity Companies
If you choose prepaid electricity from Payless Power, there is no credit check and no deposit because you are paying for electricity in advance. Payless will notify when the balance in your account is low, so you can purchase more electricity. For $40 down, Payless will connect your electricity today.
Step Four: Get to Know Your New Electric Company
Once you switch your electricity provider, the process is completed electronically and automatically and your TDU will have your power on the same day, in most cases. Visit your provider’s website to review contract terms, and learn important energy efficiency tips.
- There is no need to change the physical connection that supplies power to your home.
- Your electricity supply is switched seamlessly without an interruption.
Keep in mind that the switching process may take longer if you have pending payments with the previous provider. In this case, the procedure is placed on a switch hold until the pending balance is paid.