Process To Shop Electricity in Texas

What To Do When Shopping For a New Electricity Service Provider

Since 2002, when the electricity market was deregulated in the state, Texas consumers have had the power to choose their electricity service provider. Many companies offer different plans and rates, so you can choose a plan that suits your electricity consumption needs. Some companies offer electricity generated from renewable energy sources. Some companies offer plans that have other value-added services or promotions, such as air conditioning maintenance, reward programs, or other customer service benefits.

However, when choosing a new service provider or a new plan, you should consider if your current plan has a contract, as there may be penalties if you terminate your service with your current electric company. If you are not sure how to disconnect your service, or are unclear on possible consequences when terminating your electricity service, the Public Utility Commission has a very informative fact sheet about electricity service disconnection. Here are some excerpts:

There are conditions under which a Retail Electric Provider (REP) may disconnect your service without prior notice:

  • If there's an immediate safety issue

  • If the service is unauthorized or hooked up without a service contract

  • If the power company's equipment, such as the meter, has been tampered with

On the other hand, the following are conditions when a REP may disconnect your service after proper notice:

  • If you don’t pay your bill on time or don’t make arrangements with the REP to pay the charges you owe over time

  • If you don’t meet the terms of any deferred payment arrangement you’ve made with your REP

  • If you use your electric service in an unsafe manner as outlined in your service agreement

  • If you fail to pay deposits as required by your REP

In the event that your electricity service got disconnected, "you can have your service reconnected, usually within 48 hours, by paying all overdue charges and disconnection and reconnection fees and making a deposit equal to one-fifth of your average annual billings or the next two months’ estimated billings, whichever is greater. You can pay a priority reconnection fee for faster reconnection."[1]