How to Choose a Provider
Deregulation resources

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A guide to choosing a retail electricity provider (REP)

In 2002, most of Texas’s energy market was deregulated, giving many of the state’s residents and businesses the freedom to choose their retail electric provider (REP). With so many options now on the market, it can take some effort to choose an electricity provider that works for you. 

Choose Texas Power can help you simplify this process to find electric plans tailored to your needs. Follow these steps to find an electricity provider, choose a plan, and set up electricity service in Texas:

  • Understand your energy usage. Before you begin shopping for a provider, it’s essential to understand how much energy you typically use. Review your past energy bills to find out your average electricity consumption. Be sure to consider factors like the size of your home, the number of occupants, and any energy-efficient appliances you have installed.
  • Research providers. Because there are many electricity provider options in Texas, it’s important to do your research to find the one that fits your needs. To begin, enter your ZIP code, and we’ll show you a list of the available Texas electricity providers in your area. You can filter your options by home size, contract length, type of rate, and more. If you have questions, our energy experts are standing by to help.
  • Sign up. Once you’ve found a provider and plan that meet your needs, you can easily choose your electricity provider and sign up online or by calling the number on your screen.
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What to consider when shopping

Choosing an electricity provider involves more than just selecting the one with the lowest rate. To make an informed decision, consider the following factors and determine what matters to you:

  • Plan type: The best electricity providers offer different types of plans, including fixed, variable, and indexed plans, each with different pros and cons depending on your budget and situation. Since not all providers offer all plan types, it’s important to closely compare electricity providers and plans.
  • Contract length: Depending on how long you plan to live in your current location, you may want a month-to-month plan or a longer-term option. Since Texas electricity providers offer various short- and long-term contract options, it’s crucial to weigh what works best for you before picking a plan.
  • Size of home or business: Certain plans are better for certain levels of energy usage. You may be comparing electricity providers offering 12-month fixed-rate plans, but one may provide incentives for using 2,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity while the other penalizes you for exceeding 1,500 kWh. Your usage will determine which plan is a better fit.
  • Additional options: REPs may offer additional choices, including green energy plans sourced from solar and other renewables, no-deposit options, bill credits, prepaid plans, and home bundles. Some offer free electricity during specific periods of the day or week. 

Switching electricity providers is about much more than the price or brand name. It’s essential to consider the plan type, rate structure, and additional choices that align with your energy needs. To learn more about plan options you can choose, check out our guide to picking a plan.

What to look out for when shopping

In addition to knowing the value you want to get from your energy provider, it’s also important to keep an eye out for potential drawbacks when buying electricity. With careful research, you can find an electricity provider that meets your needs and doesn’t give you any bad surprises down the road.

  • Early termination fees: These fees (also called ETFs) can be a concern for some customers. While variable-rate plans (where your rate fluctuates depending on the electricity market) typically do not impose an ETF, fixed-rate plans do. You are not charged ETFs for moving to a new address but may be charged for switching electricity providers.
  • Monthly fees: Some providers may list their rates but exclude monthly fees, which can lead customers to pay more than the advertised rate. At Choose Texas Power, we show rates that include all fees to prevent confusion, something not all energy websites do.
  • Minimum usage fees: Some energy companies require customers to use a specified minimum amount of electricity each month.
  • Online billing: Paperless billing is now the norm for most energy providers. However, some charge customers who opt out of paperless billing. Keep this in mind if you prefer to receive a paper bill.

If a plan has any of these limitations, they will be noted on its Electricity Facts Label (EFL). You can review each plan’s EFL in the Choose Texas Power marketplace when you enter your ZIP code.

Available electricity providers

Deregulation in Texas allows for any company to participate in competition with other providers in the energy market. However, some providers have better track records than others. At Choose Texas Power, we vet and partner with REPs who offer quality features, affordable pricing, and truly reliable service. With the help of our marketplace, you can confidently exercise your power to choose in Texas.

Some names you may find in our list of trusted providers are TXU Energy, Reliant Energy, Gexa Energy, Frontier Utilities, and Direct Energy. For a complete list of the Texas electricity providers we work with, click here.

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FAQs about choosing a provider

How soon will my power be turned on?

You can schedule a start date when you sign up for a plan. Some energy companies allow you to schedule your plan activation up to 90 days in advance. Others offer same-day service. If you’re interested in same-day service, give us a call.

What do I do if my power goes out?

Usually, switching electricity providers or plans doesn’t interrupt your power supply. However, if you experience an outage, 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 at least a 30-day notice before their current electricity plan ends. After that, you can sign up for a different plan with the same provider, switch providers entirely, or reenroll in your current plan.

I don’t like my provider. What do I do?

If you are dissatisfied with your current provider, you can switch to an REP that better fits your needs. However, be sure to check if your current plan includes an ETF before switching electricity providers. If you have further questions, check out our guide to switching energy companies for more information.

Deregulated energy made easy

Let us put the power in your hands with a new electricity plan.

Or call us today:  1-877-425-9108
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