Know Your Energy Rights as a Customer
As a Texas electricity customer, you have certain electricity rights. First and foremost is the power to choose your retail electricity provider. Whether you stay with your original retail electricity provider or exercise your power to switch, your electricity rights remain the same.
What do your electric consumer rights include?
In addition to having the freedom to choose your provider, your rights as an electric customer include:
- Freedom from slamming — Slamming is when an electric consumer's provider is switched without her permission. Slamming is illegal in Texas.
- Freedom from cramming — Cramming is when a provider stuffs electric consumers' bills with optional services that the customers didn't choose. Cramming is also illegal in Texas.
- The right to dispute resolution — If an electricity customer has a conflict with her provider, she is entitled to file a complaint with the Public Utility Commission (PUC). The provider is obligated to investigate the complaint in a timely manner.
- Freedom from discrimination — Beyond standard Texas discrimination prohibitions, providers are prohibited from discriminating on the basis of an electric consumer's income level, location in an economically distressed area or low-income energy-efficiency services qualification.
- The right to privacy of electricity customer information — Without the electric consumer's permission, providers cannot disclose customer-specific information to other companies.
What should electricity customers expect from their electric companies?
Your electricity rights also include a list of expectations that your electric provider must meet. These electric consumer rights dictate that electric companies provide electricity customers with the following information:
- Disclosure of your rights as an electric customer — You are entitled to receive a copy of "Your Rights as a Customer," which informs you of your standard consumer rights granted by the PUC.
- Electricity Facts Label (EFL) — The EFL is the details of the electric bill information and contract terms. The EFL is presented in a standard format that is the same across all providers. This makes it easier for you to compare rates and contract terms.