A guide to choosing a retail electricity provider (REP)
Deregulation laws, which took effect more than a decade ago, give most Texas residents and businesses the right to choose their retail electric provider (REP) from a competitive market of options. With so many providers on the market it can be hard to choose. Choose Texas Power was founded to make that process easier, clearing through the excess to help Texans find electric plans that really work for their needs.
When you enter your ZIP code above, we’ll take you to our marketplace. You’ll be able to filter your options by home size, contract length, type of rate and more. If you have questions, our team members are standing by to help. Sign up easily, all in one place, and take the guesswork out of deregulated energy. We believe that information is power, and we’re here to give you all the information you need to make an informed choice.
Here’s what to look for when searching for a new electricity provider.
What to consider when shopping
The first step to choosing a new energy provider is determining what matters to you. This includes more than just price. Other factors to consider include:
Type of plan. The most common options include fixed, variable, and indexed plans, all of which come with varying levels of stability. Not all providers offer all options.
Type of rate. This is different from plan type, and it’s not all about the price. Some rates are very stable. Some fluctuate frequently. Some offer free electricity at certain points of the day or week. Knowing which kind of rate you’re interested in can help weed out providers that aren’t a good fit.
Length of contract. How long will you be in this location? Providers may offer month-to-month, contract-free plans or could specialize in more long-term options.
Size of home or business. Certain plans are better for certain levels of energy usage. You may be undecided between two providers offering 12-month, fixed plans. But one of them may offer incentives for using 2000 kWh of electricity while the other penalizes you for going over 1500 kWh. Your usage will decide the better fit.
Additional options. This includes green energy, deposits, bill credits, prepaid plans, and home bundles.
Choosing a provider is about much more than just the sticker price or brand name. Much of it depends on the plan type, rate structure, or additional choices that best fit your needs. To learn more about plan options you can choose, see our guide to picking a plan.
What to look out for when shopping
Beyond knowing the value, you want to get from the provider you choose, it’s also important to keep an eye out for a few catches when buying electricity. With some due diligence, you can find a provider that suits your needs and doesn’t give you any bad surprises down the road.
Early termination fees. This is a big one. Variable plans (where the rate changes depending on the electricity market) usually do not charge early termination fees, but fixed plans do. You are not charged early termination fees for moving to a new address but may be charged for switching providers.
Monthly fees. Some providers list their rates but leave out monthly fees, which leaves consumers paying a higher price than they saw listed online. At Choose Texas Power, we protect consumers from this confusion by showing rates inclusive of all fees, but not all energy websites do this.
Minimum usage fees. Some energy companies have a minimum amount of usage they require customers to use.
Online billing. Paperless billing is now the norm for most energy providers. However, some have begun charging customers who opt out of online billing. Keep this in mind if you prefer to receive a paper bill.
If a plan has any of these caveats, it will be listed on the Electricity Facts Label (EFL). You can see each plan’s EFL in the Choose Texas Power marketplace, when you enter your ZIP code above.
Available electricity providers
Because the Texas energy market is deregulated, any company can join the fray of providers competing for business. Some providers have better track records than others. At Choose Texas Power, we make it our business to find out which REPs provide truly reliable service.
We believe building relationships with electricity providers we know we can trust allows us to set our customers up for success. Therefore, our marketplace is selective. When you enter your ZIP code above, you won’t be overwhelmed by plan offerings from companies with bad customer service records or gimmicky deals. We’ll show you only providers and plans that are proven to work for Texans across the state, so you can choose with confidence.
FAQs about choosing a provider
How soon will my power be turned on?
When you sign up for a plan through our platform, you’ll be able to schedule a start date. Some energy companies also offer same-day service. If same-day service is something you are interested in, give us a call.
What do I do if my power goes out?
Usually, energy provider switches and set-ups are handled without any interruption to the power. If you do experience an outage, though, you’ll need to call your utility company, which you can find here.
What happens when my plan ends?
REPs in Texas are required to give customers 30 days’ notice before their current electricity plan expires. Then, you can sign up for a different plan with the same provider, switch providers entirely, or be reenrolled in your current plan. We do not recommend this last option because you will often be reenrolled at a higher rate.
I don’t like my provider. What do I do?
If you find your current provider isn’t working for you, you likely have an option to switch to a REP that better fits your needs. However, it’s important to be strategic about when you switch, as your current plan may require you to pay an early termination fee. To learn more about switching providers, click here.