How to Choose a Provider
Deregulation resources

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A guide to choosing a retail electricity provider (REP)

For more than 20 years, residents and businesses throughout Texas have had the power to choose their electricity plan and provider. Many Texas cities have deregulated electricity markets, which allows residents and business owners to shop for rates and plans from various retail electric providers (REPs) rather than only buying from their local utility.

That choice makes it possible for you to save big on your energy costs, but exercising your power to choose an electricity provider can be a daunting process. Choose Texas Power makes sorting through your options less overwhelming — we’ll walk you through the process and help you shop for plans. Here are a few steps you’ll need to take:

  • Understand your energy usage. Before you begin shopping for an electricity provider, it’s essential to understand how much energy you typically use, as this can help you find the ideal rate plan and structure. Review your past energy bills to calculate  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 you have so many  Texas electrical choices, it’s important to do your research to find the provider that fits your needs. To begin, enter your ZIP code to see 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 sign up online or call the number on your screen.
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What to consider when shopping

Choosing an electricity provider involves more than just selecting the plan with the lowest rate. To make an informed decision, consider the following factors and determine your top priorities:

  • 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, you should consider how long you want to be locked into a fixed rate when exercising your power to choose in Texas.
  • Size of home or business: Some plans are better for specific levels of energy usage. You may be comparing electricity providers that offer 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 typical energy 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. These extra features may make one plan or provider more attractive, even at a higher electricity rate.

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 deliver any unpleasant surprises down the road. Here’s what you should know, whether you’re exercising your power to choose in Houston or any other Texas city. 

  • 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 you may be charged if you switch electricity providers before your contract expires.
  • 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.
  • Minimum usage fees: Some energy companies require customers to use a specified minimum amount of electricity each month. If you don’t meet the minimum, you may have to pay a penalty.
  • Online billing: Paperless billing is now the norm for most energy providers, and you may be able to get a discount for the paperless option. 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 compete 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 that offer quality features, affordable pricing, and truly reliable service. With the help of our marketplace, you can confidently exercise your Texas power to choose.

Our trusted partners include TXU Energy, Reliant Energy, Gexa Energy, Frontier Utilities, and Direct Energy, among many others.

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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 a fast setup, give us a call at the number on your screen.

What do I do if my power goes out?

Usually, switching electricity providers or plans won’t interrupt your power supply., if If you experience an outage at any time, 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 re-enroll in your current plan.

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

If you are dissatisfied with your current provider, the Texas power choice means you can switch to a REP that better fits your needs. However, be sure to verify whether your current plan includes an ETF before switching electricity providers. If you have further questions, check out our guide to switching energy companies.

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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