How To Switch Electricity Providers in Texas – Easy as 1-2-3

Since the Texas electricity industry was deregulated in 2002, the majority of Texans have the power to choose their retail electric provider (REP). Here’s how to switch electricity providers in three easy steps and what to expect when switching, which is a simple, straightforward process.

Before we get into how to change providers and what to expect, you should first know that there is no interruption of service when you switch electricity providers.

The only thing changing when you choose another REP is the business that’s selling you power, not the company that maintains the poles and wires delivering electricity to you. Your electricity will continue to function as it does now during and after the transition.

1. Research

First, you need to find out if you’re in a deregulated zone and can choose a provider. To do this, visit the Public Utility Commission’s website, PowerToChoose.org, and enter your ZIP code.

Once you’re sure that you have the option to switch electricity providers, research the REPs in your area.

Some criteria to consider:

  • Fixed-rate vs. variable plans
  • Length of contract – one month, six months, one year, etc.
  • Monthly fees – Do they charge you if you want to speak to a live agent? Are there reconnect or disconnect fees?

You’ll also want to find out if you’re currently in a contract, how much time you have left in the contract and what the cancellation fee is. Then, do some math to determine if breaking your current agreement will pay off in the long run.

You’ll be comparing the termination fee to potential savings if you switch now. If the potential savings is higher, then it pays to break your current agreement and switch electricity providers.

2. Make the call to switch

Call the Texas retail electricity provider that you’d like to do business with or visit their website to sign up. You’ll provide details about when you would like to change. If calling, you can expect it to take about 10-15 minutes.

The provider will then handle the rest for you, including sending you a contract. You have three business days to review it and cancel it without incurring any cost.

3. Receive confirmation from ERCOT

ERCOT is the Electric Reliability Counsel of Texas, which manages the power flow for the majority of Texas and makes sure there’s enough electricity for Texans.

The confirmation from ERCOT of your new provider will come in the form of a postcard. If the information on the mailing is correct, you do nothing. If it’s incorrect, you will have three business days to call the number listed and resolve the situation.

Switching retail electricity providers in Texas really is as simple as 1-2-3.

Print Friendly

Comments

  1. You need to make consumers aware that when changing electric providers to make the change no sooner than the last day of their current contract to avoid a cancellation charge.

    • Lindsey Perkins Wade says:

      Thanks for mentioning that, John!

      You’re correct — you don’t want your new contract to start before your current contract ends. However, you can schedule the switch with your new electric provider up to 90 days prior to the end of your contract. Just make sure that the switch date is after the last day of your current contract.

      Great point!

      • I’ve seen several terms of service which waive the ETF starting 14 days prior to the end of the contract. I can’t find this written as anything other than a recommendation by PUCT, but the wording was in the “contract expiring soon” notice I recently received from my REP.

    • You don’t have to switch on the last day of the contract. You can switch up to 14 days in advance, without penalty according to the PUC FAQ as follows:

      “The residential customer can switch without incurring an early termination charge if the switch is no earlier than 14 days before the contract expiration date”

      http://www.puc.texas.gov/consumer/facts/faq/Electricity.aspx

  2. I think you meant to say there IS uninterrupted service when you switch… Or there is no interruption of service. You’re saying the opposite of what you’re meaning to say (I think?). Kind of a big deal! :) good article though, thanks!

Trackbacks

  1. [...] No, you do not get to choose who your TDU is. Your TDU is determined by your geographic location and will remain the same even if you switch electric providers. [...]

Speak Your Mind

*