Common energy questions
Deregulated energy can be complicated, and Choose Texas Power is here to help with that. See below for answers to some of the questions we see the most. If you don’t find what you’re looking for, contact us here.
What is an electricity provider?
A retail electricity provider (REP), also called a supplier, is a company that sells energy directly to consumers. In the deregulated Texas system, consumers must purchase electricity from an REP. There is not an option to purchase from a utility company, though the utility still delivers the electricity to your home or business.
What is a utility and how do I know which one is mine?
A utility company is who maintains infrastructure (including power lines, wires, and pipelines) and works with your REP to deliver energy to your home or business. If you have a power outage, you call your utility company, not your REP.
Utilities are assigned by service area and cannot be switched or chosen by the consumer. To learn which utility company serves your area, please see our list.
How much does electricity cost?That depends on many factors, including your location, time of year, and whether energy demand is high or low. Prices fluctuate throughout the year, though there is a pattern. Electricity is usually cheaper in the spring or fall. It is more expensive in the summer and winter. When you enter your ZIP code above, we’ll show you current rates for your area so you can compare options.
Why do electricity rates fluctuate?Electricity rates fluctuate due to changes in wholesale electricity costs. During winter storms or summer heat waves when electricity is at its peak demand, rates can spike suddenly. Wholesale prices change every five minutes.
Most consumers don’t have to worry about wholesale prices. One popular electricity plan choice is a fixed-rate plan, specifically because it protects you from these changes for the duration of your contract. The only reason you’d need to pay close attention to wholesale rates is if you choose a wholesale provider, which we don’t recommend and don’t work with.
What is the difference between a fixed and variable rate plan?
A fixed-rate plan protects consumers from the frequent price fluctuations of the energy market. Your rate will remain the same for the duration of your contract, though your usage will still affect your final bill.
A variable-rate plan offers less protection from price changes but allows consumers to capitalize on low rates when energy demand is low. The rate for this type of plan changes month-to-month depending on the market. For a full list of the plan and rate types you may see in our marketplace, click here.
How do I compare electricity rates?
The easiest way to compare energy rates from different providers is to use a marketplace, such as ours. We built Choose Texas Power so Texans could compare plans and sign up all in one place, cutting out the hassle of checking a bunch of individual provider websites.
The Choose Texas Power marketplace is free to use, thanks to many years cultivating relationships with Texas REPs. Enter your ZIP code above to see plan offerings.
Can I purchase electricity rates for my business?
Yes, businesses also have energy choice in Texas. If you are interested in commercial electricity, fill out this form and a Choose Texas Power team member will get in touch with you.
How do I purchase green energy?
Many REPs offer green energy options, whether that is a plan sourced from 100 percent wind or solar power or a carbon offset plan through the use of RECs. When you enter your ZIP code above, you’ll be able to compare renewable options to decide what will work best for you.
Will I have to pay a deposit? Is there a credit check?Each REP has different requirements for its customers, and some do require us to run a credit check. There may also be a deposit requirement. For more information about REPs that do not require a deposit or credit check, please click here.
Where can I find my plan details?
All your plan details, including rate, term length, and any green energy options, will be listed in your confirmation email. Additionally, all REPs in Texas are required to provide their customers with an Electricity Facts Label (EFL) that discloses the details of your plan.
If you did not receive a confirmation email, check your junk folder and then call us.
How can I lower my electric bill?
A majority of your electric bill is made up of supply charges, which is your rate times the kilowatt-hours of electricity you consumed. This is also the part you can control. Simple changes such as washing clothes with cold water or changing your thermostat settings can make a big difference. To learn more about what you can do to lower your bill, read our tips here.
Choosing a provider
How do I choose an electric company?
There are a number of factors to consider: term length, plan type, price and whether you want to purchase a green energy plan or add-on. For more information on the terminology you’ll see when shopping and how to decide what you need, see our page on how to choose a provider.
Can I choose my utility company?
No. Utility companies are assigned based on service area, which means everyone in your neighborhood is served by the same utility.
Who has the cheapest electricity?
Electricity rates vary by provider and area, so the best way to find the cheapest electricity rates is to enter your ZIP code and compare what's available in your area.
Can I switch providers?
If you live in a deregulated area of Texas, you can. About 90 percent of the state is deregulated, meaning residents and businesses have the power to choose an electric company and switch if they are not satisfied.
Before switching, be sure to check your contract with your current provider. It may include early termination fees.
How do I switch providers?
Once you’ve checked your contract for early termination fees, switching providers is pretty easy. Enter your ZIP code above and we’ll show you the electric rates and energy companies in your area. Once you are satisfied with your choice, you can sign up online, or give us a call and we’ll set you up over the phone. A confirmation email will be waiting in your inbox.
After that, your work is done. Your new provider will coordinate the switch with your utility company and your previous company. You do not need to cancel your old service and you shouldn’t lose power. You’ll see the change reflected on your next bill. For step-by-step instructions on switching electricity providers, click here.
Service and outages
Who do I call during a power outage?
When you have a power outage you should inform your utility. Your electricity provider will be unable to assist you, as the utility is in charge of the delivery of your electricity. Contact information for Texas electric utilities can be found here.
Why do I have to pay a fee to my utility company?
Every utility company charges a fee to deliver electricity to homes and businesses. This fee is regulated by the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT) and cannot be changed. Everyone in your service area pays the same fee for delivery, which is listed on your bill as TDSP or TDU charges.
About Choose Texas Power
Who is Choose Texas Power?
ChooseTexasPower.org is an online marketplace created to help Texans choose an electricity plan. We believe that deregulated energy doesn’t have to be complicated and strive to give you the resources needed to make an informed decision about your energy supply.
We are partnered with SaveOnEnergy.com, which has a decade of experience in the Texas deregulated market. This partnership allows us to offer our customers the best selection of providers and plans possible. To read our story, click here.
How does Choose Texas Power work?
Because of our partnership with SaveOnEnergy.com and the relationships we have built with Texas REPs, we are able to offer the Choose Texas Power marketplace as a free shopping tool.
When you sign up with us, we will communicate with all necessary parties to make sure your transition is seamless. We get paid by our partners so you can find the right electricity plan for you at no cost.