Power to Choose Texas

Energy Choice in Texas

Texas is big – not only when it comes to land size and population, but also in the energy choice it offers. On January 1, 2002, Texas deregulated its retail electricity industry and allowed competition between several energy suppliers for the attention of residents, and as a result, Texas’ electricity rates are very attractive. 

Today, over 85% of Texas territory is deregulated (with only a few exceptions, like Austin, San Antonio, and El Paso). If you live in or are moving to Texas, there is a very high chance, that you can choose your electricity supplier too

Texans who are interested in switching can use Power to Choose, the state-sponsored site run by the Public Utility Commission of Texas. However, this might not be your best choice. Even veterans of the Texas deregulated system have trouble wading through the amount of data about rates, suppliers, and plans. Not knowing how to go about choosing the right plan can put you off switching all together.

You have an alternative. Our website aggregates information not only about the best rates in your area but also about all major suppliers including their BBB rating, customer support hours, ratings, and extra benefits that they provide. All you need to do is enter your zip code on our website.

Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT)

To oversee the deregulated energy market and to ensure that the customers’ interests are put ahead of the profits of retail providers, the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT) was set up. PUCT fulfills several important roles in the Texas energy industry:

  • Informing Texans about their rights as energy customers
  • Resolving customer complaints and disputes between the customer and electric providers
  • Running the Power To Choose tool where Texans can shop for an alternative energy plan
  • Providing bill payment assistance
  • Regulating and approving delivery rates and “standard service offer rates” (SSO) 

If you need to get in touch with the PUCT, you can do it in one of the following ways:

Power to Choose Texas

The official deregulated energy program in Texas is called Power to Choose. The program, run by the Public Utility Commission of Texas aims to shield Texans from unnecessary high energy costs by making it easy to compare available energy offers and if needed, switch to another power company. Using the tool is straightforward:

  1. Enter your residential zip code
  2. Narrow your search for electricity plans (by indicating your energy usage, if you are searching for a fixed or a variable plan, and the desired duration of the contract)
  3. Hit ‘View Plans’ and choose one of the electricity plans available for your zip code

However, despite the Power To Choose being a great initiative by the PUCT to inform Texas about their energy choice, the tool itself has several downfalls.

First of all, Power To Choose displays the available plans only based on their price, ignoring the providers’ BBB rating, PUC violations, reputation, and complaints. The devil of the displayed plans is often in the details of fine print, tiered rates, and confusing plan structures.

For example, many plans carry hefty early termination fees that aren’t always visible at first sight. Skimming through the energy plan, thinking you have found a very cheap rate can cost you dearly in the future.

In order to eliminate the stress out of the experience, ElectricRate provides a simple, intuitive energy plan comparison tool, displaying only reviewed and carefully vetted plans. In addition, we review all major electric suppliers to include information, such as the BBB rating, customer complaints stats, contact details, and extras that they offer.

Current Electricity Rates in Texas

Residential Electricity Rates

Texas homeowners can compare electricity rates on the official state website Power To Choose. To avoid later bill surprises and gimmicky rate structures, you should always review the Electricity Facts Label (EFL) before you sign up for a plan. Additionally, you should regularly check the electricity providers’ reviews on the Better Business Bureau (BBB) website.

If you want to avoid all this hassle, you can skip the Power to Choose and compare electric rates on our website. We carefully vet through all major providers and read their fine print, so that you don’t have to. All you have to do is enter your zip code and choose the plan that best fits your needs.

Commercial Electricity Rates

The Lone Star state is home to a large number of thriving businesses, including well-known natives, such as AT&T, American Airlines, JCPenney, Dell, and many others. If you have a business of your own, Texas has got your energy needs covered.  

You probably will need a customized quote, depending on the size of your enterprise. You can find the contact details for the commercial customer service team of any retail energy provider on the Power to Choose website.

Alternatively, search for the ideal commercial plan on our website or get in touch with one of our specialists.

Cities with Deregulated Energy

The Texas energy deregulated market is one of the most advanced in the U.S. Over 85% of the territory is deregulated (with only a few exceptions, like Austin, San Antonio, and El Paso). The deregulated electricity service areas are divided up into 5 Transmission and Delivery Utility Companies:

  • Texas New Mexico Power Company (TNMP), including cities of Kermit, Pecos, and Fort Stockton, Lewisville, Clifton, and Glen Rose
  • AEP North, serving major cities 53,000 square miles including Abilene, San Angelo, Alpine, and Vernon
  • AEP Central, serving Corpus Christi, McAllen, Harlingen, Victoria, and Laredo
  • Oncor (most of Dallas-Fort Worth included)
  • CenterPoint (Houston and surrounding areas)

If you are a customer of one of these utilities, you can choose alternative electric providers and plans.

Electricity Facts Label (EFL)

When you sign up for a new electricity plan, the excitement from a low price can quickly be substituted with frustration over lengthy legal documents and perplexing fees. That’s why PUCT requires retail providers to publish an Electricity Facts Label (EFL) for every energy plan they offer.

This document contains all information about your plan in a standardized language and learning to read can save you a lot of pain down the road.

Let’s start with the price. You might not be aware that the price per kilowatt-hour of electricity that you see on your energy plan differs based on your consumption. In other words, if you sign up for a plan that advertises a great price per kilowatt-hour of electricity for average consumption of 2000 KWh, but you only consume close to 500 KWhs, you might not be getting as good of a deal. That’s why it is very important to be aware of how much electricity does your household consumes on average on a monthly basis.

The Electricity Facts Label (EFL) for your electricity plan will have the average prices for 500 kWh, 1000 kWh, and 2000 kWh consumption, to give you an idea of what to expect in your electric bill.

Next, EFL will include the contract length, type of plan (fixed, variable, prepaid), early termination fees (if any), and the percentage of renewable content. 

Where to find the Electricity Facts Label (EFL)? When you shop for electricity plans, there should be a link labeled “EFL” above the “Sign Up Now” button. Once you choose your plan, the EFL should be sent to your email as well.

Why is ElectricRate a Better Comparison Site Than Power to Choose Texas?

Like Power to Choose, ElectricRate also allows you to compare available Texas electricity rates, but our web-based comparison tool also offers additional benefits.

duke-energy-apples-to-applesSwitch to your new service in a few clicks - When you enter your zip code on ElectricRate, you will not only see all rates, with the cheapest deals displayed on the top of the list, but you can also sign up immediately with just a few clicks.
apples-to-apples-comparisonAll the information you need in one place - As customers, we all like excellent customer service and extras. That's why at ElectricRate, we carefully review all major suppliers and compile information about customer support hours, ratings, and extra benefits that they provide, such as attractive referral programs, complementary goods, and value-add services.
apples-to-apples-ohio-electricGet the support you need: Our team at ElectricRate is ready to provide ongoing support to customers, including helping you choose the plan that best fits your lifestyle, notifying you when your plan is about to expire and any additional support you might need. All you need to do is give us a call at 1-888-307-9636 or email  [email protected]

FAQs

How do I Choose an Electrical Provider in Texas?

When it comes to energy deregulation, Texas is one of the most advanced U.S. states in terms of the choices for customers. Some 85% of Texas territory is energy deregulated, which means that if you currently live or are thinking about moving to the Lone Star State, you will most likely have a choice of your supplier too. One option to switch electric suppliers is through the official state energy comparison website Power to Choose. Alternatively, you can compare electricity plans by entering your zip code on ElectricRate, to see not only available rates, but also additional information about providers, including the BBB rating, customer support hours, ratings, and extra benefits.

Who Has the Cheapest Electricity Rates in Texas?

The average retail electricity rate in Texas is 12.30 cents per kilowatt-hour, which is well below the U.S. national average. However, your actual rate will depend on the type of contract you are on and the provider you will find. Our website aggregates information from all major Texas providers and reviews them based on the BBB rating, customer service stats, and other criteria. When you enter your zip code, you will see a list of rates, from the cheapest ones on the top that are available in your area.

What is A Good Rate per kWh in Texas?

Thanks to the widespread energy deregulation across the territory, the average retail electricity rate in Texas is 12.30 cents per kilowatt-hour, which is below the U.S. national average. However, your electricity rate will vary based on the type of plan you are on, as well as your provider. When you compare plans online, you should look out for ones with a lower price per kilowatt-hour than you are currently on. Make sure you read all the fine print – sometimes an electricity plan has a very good rate, but it comes with a hefty cancellation fee or is tied to a very high monthly consumption.

Are Free Nights and Weekends Worth It?

Free nights and weekends electricity plans are another kinds of a contract offered by Texas providers. This deal allows residential electricity customers to use power for free either all night, every night, or for the entire weekend. The Electricity Facts Label (EFL) of your plan will specify the times, during which the electricity you consume is truly free. As attractive as it sounds, these plans are not always designed to save you money. For starters, the electricity during the other hours comes with a much higher rate. If you’re not 100% certain that the savings you will make during the night or the weekend will make up for the rest of the month, you should consider going for a standard plan.