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Energy Deregulation in Texas
Deregulation resources
Find the electric rate that's right for you

Are you moving to a new address?

Yes

No

Find the electric rate that's right for you
Are you moving to a new address?

The history of deregulation

A majority of the Texas energy market became deregulated in 2002, when Senate Bill 7 ended the monopoly utility companies held over most service areas. Where previously, customers in a given area had to buy power from that district’s utility company, now the market was open to many electricity providers competing for business. About 90 percent of Texas is deregulated.

The idea behind this change was that competition among retailers would lead to lower prices for energy consumers, and for the most part it has. It has also encouraged growth in the green energy sector, making the Lone Star State one of the country’s leading producers. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration:

  • Residential electricity rates are 10 percent below the national average.
  • Industrial electricity rates are 16 percent below the national average.
  • Texas is first in the country for wind energy generation.
  • Texas is fifth in the country for solar energy generation.
Solar panels

How to buy electricity

Under the deregulated system, retail electricity providers (REPs) sell electricity to customers and utility companies deliver it to homes and businesses.

Residents and businesses in deregulated areas must purchase electricity from a REP. There is not an option to purchase electricity from your area’s utility company. Choose Texas Power was created as a straightforward resource to help consumers find an electricity plan in their area. Choose Texas Power works by:

Partnering with top providers. We have built strong relationships with REPs in Texas to allow customers to shop a variety of plans all in one place and at no charge. We vet each provider we show you to be sure you’ll get reliable service and we don’t work with providers we don’t trust.

Filtering plan options. With so many providers on the market, picking a plan can be confusing. When you enter your ZIP code above, you’ll be able to filter by home size, provider, rate type and other options. If you have questions, our team members are here to help.

Coordinating the set-up. We won’t send you to another website to complete your purchase. The entire sign-up process is handled by us, right here. We’ll send the information to your new provider, who will handle the set-up. Your old provider, new provider, and utility company will all be in the loop.

Utility companies in deregulated areas

Keep in mind, while you can choose your REP you cannot choose your utility company. Your utility is assigned based on the service area you live in. The delivery fees you pay to your utility company are set by the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT).

Everyone pays the same delivery fee regardless of which provider they choose. For more information on the charges you’ll see on your bill, please see our Bill Information resource. To find your utility company, click here.

What is a smart meter?

Under the deregulated system, retail electricity providers (REPs) sell electricity to customers and utility companies deliver it to homes and businesses.

Residents and businesses in deregulated areas must purchase electricity from a REP. There is not an option to purchase electricity from your area’s utility company. Choose Texas Power was created as a straightforward resource to help consumers find an electricity plan in their area. Choose Texas Power works by:

No meter reader. Utility workers no longer have to check the meter every month.

Up-to-date electricity usage data. A smart power meter records power usage every 15 minutes.

Better usage management. Customers can easily monitor their energy usage and make energy-efficient changes. You can see your data here.

Faster utility service. A smart meter will notify your utility of a power outage immediately, so it can dispatch crews to resolve the situation quickly.

Remote set-up. If you have a smart meter, you can switch electricity providers or set up a new service without a technician visit to your home. This allows your electricity supply to be turned on more quickly – within a matter of hours instead of days.

A majority of Texas homes and businesses already have smart meters. When you sign up for a plan with us, we’ll let you know if you have one. Alternatively, you can contact your utility company to learn if they have already distributed smart meters in your area.

In order to pay for statewide smart meter installation, the PUCT authorized utility companies to add a surcharge to customers' bills to help recoup the cost of these high-tech devices. The cost is split among all the consumers in your area and automatically added to your bill.

Electricity smart meter

The Public Utility Commission of Texas

The Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT) was created in 1975 to regulate the electric utilities within the state. Today, the PUCT is responsible for regulating investor-owned utilities, which operate in the deregulated part of the state’s energy market. This means most of the state is under PUCT jurisdiction, with a few exceptions.

The PUCT does not oversee utilities in the regulated parts of Texas, nor does it regulate REPs, whose prices are kept in check by market competition. It also does not oversee municipal or cooperative utilities, which are governed by the city council or local board. It does enforce the rules and regulations of the deregulated market on utilities and REPs.

Filing a complaint with the PUCT

As part of its job as a utility regulator, the Public Utility Commission of Texas is responsible for implementing energy industry legislation and resolving consumer complaints.

If you feel you have been wronged by your provider or utility on your electric bills, filing a formal complaint with the Public Utility Commission of Texas should be a last resort. The first step in resolving any issue is to contact your retail electricity provider, not the PUCT. For more information or to file a complaint, please see the PUCT’s website.

Electricity smart meter
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