Know About Your Electricity Service in Texas

Things You Need to Know About Your Electricity Service in Texas

Switching to a new electricity service provider in Texas can be an exciting thing, especially if you're looking to save on your power bill. But before you call a new electric provider to inquire about plans, here are some facts to help you:[1]

  • A Retail Electric Provider (REP) may require a customer or applicant to establish and maintain satisfactory credit as a condition of providing service. The amount of the deposit may be up to 1/5th of the estimated annual billing.
  • You may be charged the AMS meter charge. REPs are authorized to assess a surcharge to recover the costs of Smart Meters. The surcharge not only covers the installation of the meter but also the back office systems and infrastructure needed to read the new meter.
  • REPs are required to notify residential customers at least 30 days before a contract expires, but customers may disconnect service without penalty if the switch is no earlier than 14 days before the contract expiration date provided in the notice.
  • A REP may disconnect the customer's service after proper notice is given and not before the first day after the disconnection date provided in the notice.
  • If applicable, early termination fees are charged when a customer is under contract and service is canceled before the end of the contract term. Early termination fees are disclosed in the customer's Terms of Service and Electric Facts Label.

Before you switch providers, it's also best to compare rates and offers first. Confirm with your current provider the total rate they are charging you for every kWh consumed; this should include  the base rate, the energy charge, the transmission and distribution charges, as well as any monthly customer charges or other recurring fees. This rate will be your basis for comparing with your chosen new provider's offered rate.

You should also ask your new provider the following questions:

  • Do you need to pay a deposit?
  • Do you need to sign up for a contract? If yes, how long will the contract be?
  • What are the options for paying the bill?