Shopping for electricity can be daunting, especially in a deregulated market like Texas. But if you know what to look for, the process is simpler than it might seem. Around 85% of Texas residents choose their retail energy provider. Use this guide to learn how to switch power suppliers and shop for better rates.
1. Know Your Usage
Thanks to energy deregulation, most Texans can choose their electricity provider. However, it might be challenging to know where to start if you have to become familiar with how to switch electric companies in Texas. First, you need to understand how much electricity you use. It’s helpful to look at your historical kilowatt-hour usage from the previous year to know how much you typically use.
You can also ask your realtor or landlord for a history of the home you’re moving into to help estimate your usage. Rates vary between providers, and knowing your usage can help you compare plans more effectively. Once you’ve reached rates, ensure you’re comfortable with the contract length (typically 12 to 36 months) and any early termination fees (ETFs).
2. Compare Rates
You can choose your retail energy provider because Texas is a deregulated electricity state. If you are dissatisfied with your current electricity supplier or rate, shopping for other offers is simple. The best way to shop for the most cost-effective rates is by understanding how different plans work.
The underlying structure of rates, contract terms, and rewards or incentives affects how much you pay per kilowatt hour. With hundreds of plans on the market, comparing rates is the only way to ensure you spend appropriately. It’s also important to remember that even if you do your homework and choose the lowest available electricity rates, there could still be other fees or charges involved with your plan.
Whether a delivery fee or an early termination fee, these extra expenses can add up and cancel out any savings you have seen on your new plan. That’s why monitoring your contract expiration date and comparing electricity rates is important. Most providers offer a free reminder service that will email you 30 days before your contract ends. That’s one less thing you must worry about setting a self-reminder for or marking on your calendar!
3. Choose a Plan
It can not be easy to evaluate and compare different electricity providers, especially if you’re already under contract with a provider. However, it’s always worth checking prices from other providers to see if you can save. Before committing to a new plan, consider any early termination fees your current supplier may charge.
There are many reasons to switch energy providers, from better customer service to lower rates and renewable energy options. You can even find plans tailored to specific usage levels or budgets. Choosing the right program can help you save money and keep your household running efficiently.
Another reason to switch is if you’re moving to a new area your current electricity provider doesn’t serve. Plenty of competitive retailers offer great rates and plans in deregulated Texas.
It’s important to remember that your local utility still delivers and maintains the poles and lines that bring power to your home or business. If you switch your electricity supplier, you’ll still get your power from the local utility company that provides distribution services in your municipality. Choosing a provider that offers delivery in your region is important before switching. To determine which providers deliver in your area, enter your ZIP code here.
4. Get Started
Knowing your usage habits and current rates is important, but you should also consider how you want to manage your energy budget. Most cities in Texas have deregulated electricity so you can choose your electric company and plan. Power companies are no longer monopolies in deregulated markets — they manage the grid and distribute electricity to homes and businesses. Independent companies do the remainder of the work — generating companies, transmission and distribution utilities, and electricity companies that purchase energy in bulk and sell it to consumers.
You can change your electricity provider anytime — and it’s easier than you might think. It can usually be done in a few days or less. To ensure the switch is seamless, plan it before your current contract ends. Otherwise, you risk paying early termination fees or getting placed on a month-to-month variable rate by mistake.
When choosing a new power supplier in Texas, it’s important to find one that offers competitive prices and a variety of plans. It would help if you also looked for a company that prioritizes customer service and provides many ways to contact them, such as email, phone and social media.
Finally, it’s important to consider whether you want to opt for a renewable energy plan or other features that can save you money. While these plans may come with higher rates, they can offer unique benefits like free weekends or bill credits based on usage. Read the Terms of Service and Supplier Electricity Facts Label carefully to ensure you’re not getting a plan with hidden fees or gimmicks.