Frequently Asked Questions about Deregulation and Shopping for Electricity in Houston, Texas

  • What is deregulation?
    • Electricity deregulation is a new opportunity for consumers to save by choosing their electricity provider. Since the Houston, Texas market is open consumers now have the power to choose from which retail electricity provider (REP) they get electricity. This consumer power creates competition in the electricity market place, and competition can help the consumer save on their electricity.
  • What is an electric supplier?
    • A retail electricity provider (REP) is the company that generates the electricity that goes to your home. Sometimes these companies are referred to as "suppliers."
  • Why shop for electricity?
    • With deregulation there is now competition in the Houston, Texas electricity market. Because of this, if you find a lower rate for your electricity, then you may be able to save money on your electricity bill. This also depends on your electricity usage as well.
  • What is a monthly/month-to-month/variable rate?
    • These are rates which can change from month to month depending on the energy market.
  • What is a fixed rate?
    • This is a rate which enables you to lock in a certain electricity rate for a determined period of time, such as 3, 6, or 12 months, or maybe, even longer.
  • Will I be informed when my fixed rated is about to expire?
    • It varies based on supplier, but in Houston, Texas, the supplier must give you advanced notice by no less than 45 days.
  • Will I have a contract?
    • This depends on the supplier from which you receive service. Some plans will have contractual terms usually dependent on the plan you select, but some plans may not. It is important to read all of the documents and forms you fill out and are given to be the most informed about your decision.
  • Are there penalties or fees for ending a contract early?
    • There may be. It is important to read your terms of service and other documents given to you by your current retail electricity provider (REP).
  • Will there be a disruption in my electricity when I switch?
    • No, you will not have a disruption in service when you switch electricity providers. It is an easy and smooth transition.
  • How will I know my online enrollment was successful?
    • You will receive an email notification from your new supplier and begin receiving a bill from them after your electricity meter is switched over to them. You do not have to take any steps after enrollment to switch your meter.
  • Can I future date a change, if I will be moving for example?
    • Almost always, yes. If you know your move-in date and address, you should be able to create a future start date. Different suppliers may offer different limitations on how far into the future you can set your service start date.

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