In most parts of the world, your electricity supplier is not a matter of choice. You are given a supplier based on the place you are living – either the district or the county you are living in. However, in Texas, the 2002 energy deregulation policy gave Texans the right to choose the electricity provider of choice. Today, approximately 85 percent of the state of Texas is deregulated with only a few cities such as El Paso, San Antonio, Austin, and Lubbock that are still regulated.
With the deregulated Texas energy market, the retail electricity providers (REPs) can buy electricity at a wholesale price and sell it at a fairly lower rate, while still offering other customer-friendly products such as free nights and weekends that are offered by some electricity providers. Electricity consumers can purchase electricity based on customer ratings, rewards, terms and conditions, price, nature of the company’s customer care service, among many other factors. Energy companies such as Payless Power offer consumers a variety of plan options to choose from and some innovative tools that enable you to save and limit unnecessary expenditures.
When Can I Change Electric Providers in Texas?
Choosing the right time to change your retail energy provider is just as important as changing it. In most cases, when we’ve decided we want to change our electricity provider, the main thing that is usually on our mind is the price. But we need to be strategic and consider other factors such as is the timing right? Are we making the right move? Are there consequences for this move and are we ready to face them? It is only after we’ve answered these questions and we are 100 percent sure that this is the right move, that we can then go ahead and make the switch.
So, When Is the Right Time to Make the Switch?
The best time to change your electricity provider is:
- When you are at the end of your current electricity contract or your contract ended, but you’ve never renewed it or changed the electricity provider. Cheaper “new customer” offers usually expire after a certain period of time, and if you don’t switch to a new plan, you’ll be placed on a default plan which is usually a lot more expensive.
- Just before winter or summer periods especially if you are on a variable electricity plan. You see, energy demands during winter and summer periods are usually at their highest peak, and therefore, getting a cheaper electricity plan during these periods is almost impossible. The best time to switch electricity providers in Texas is just before the summer or winter period.
- When all indicators show a possible rise in electricity prices. Before an increase in energy prices, there are always some rumors and news about a probable increase in energy prices. And when the first provider announces an increase in its energy rates, the others promptly follow suit. When there is a likelihood of a spike in electricity prices, the right thing to do is to switch to a fixed-rate electricity plan.
- Just before the end of your contract with your current provider. It is advisable to make the 14 days or less before the contract with your current provider ends. If you switch providers before the contract expires, you may incur an early termination fee, and therefore, you need to choose wisely when to terminate your current contract.
- When moving houses. If you are moving to a new house or city, this is the right time to relook and assess your energy needs. Increase in appliances such as a new heating system, fridge, washing machine, or some added rooms, may change your energy consumption rates.
Can I Switch Companies if I Owe Money in Texas?
Yes, it is possible to change electricity providers in Texas if you owe money unless there is a switch-hold in your current contract. A switch-hold is a clause within your electricity contract that bars you from switching providers until you fulfil your obligations. If the contract does not have a switch-hold, you are allowed to switch electric companies as long as you pay a deposit to begin a new deal with the new electricity company. If for some reason your electricity is already disconnected, you can contact your electric provider and discuss a plan on how you are going to clear the debt over time.
If it is possible, it is advisable that you pay whatever you are being owed and switch to a prepaid electricity plan right here at Payless Power. Remember that if you don’t pay your bill as agreed, it may impact negatively on your credit score, which will make it even more difficult for you to change to a new provider in the future.
What Is the Best Way to Switch Energy Suppliers?
- Review your current electric plan: Check how much it will cost you to renew your existing contract and compare it with the other plans on the market. In most instances, the renewable rates are way higher than what new customers pay. However, if the company offers a lower rate, it is wise that you carefully read its Electricity Fact Label (EFL) before making the final decision.
- Do the shopping early: Most Texas electricity providers allow you to set a future start date meaning that you can lock in the low rate today even if you still have 90 or 30 days before your current contract runs down.
- Avoid early termination fees: Most companies will not penalize for switching electricity providers no more than 14 days before the current contract expires.
- Do not terminate your old contract: This will help you avoid a lapse in service and allow for a smooth transition. The new electricity provider will handle the matter when your new deal begins.
If you want to switch to one of our prepaid plans, contact our customer service team to get you started as soon as possible!