It seems that no matter how close we are to our settling in our new home, there’s always dates, fees, or other obstacles that make moving such a headache. For those that are heading to Texas, it’s no different. However, things might be not what you’re used to - especially if you’re from a state that has a regulated electricity market.
Moving to your new Texas home and setting up utilities can be a breeze. Here’s what you should know and how to get started so that your home can be illuminated as soon as you arrive.
About Energy Deregulation
Electricity rates are one of the factors to consider when moving to a new location. Fortunately, Texas is an energy deregulated state, which gives you the option to choose a retail energy provider.
Retail Energy Providers (REPs) are licensed companies that supply electricity for residents. Since it’s a competitive market, REPs offer great plans, rates, and more to attract and keep customers.
If you’re moving to Texas from another state, or if moving to a different city within Texas, this is the perfect time to explore your options. Here’s how to get started with your utilities, and how to choose your retail energy provider.
How to Sign up for an Electricity Service in Texas
Contact a Retail Energy Supplier (REP) on their online platform. Usually, you’ll need to enter the zip code you’re moving in to get a quote and select an electricity service plan.
From there, you’ll need to provide your service address or your ESI ID, which is your utility account number. You’ll also need to provide them with the following information:
- Contact Information
- Date of Birth
- New Address
- Move-in Date
- Name and Rate of Selected Plan
- Social Security Number or Driver’s License
When you contact the REP to request activation of your electricity service, do so a week in advance. They’ll contact the local utility to have the service scheduled. Everything else is taken care of for you by your REP.
Stopping or Transferring Electrical Services
When terminating service from your old address, you want to give them a 30-day notice. It may help you avoid penalties.
If you want to keep the current REP you have but move to a new address, check your contract and inform them of your move. The same process applies to transfers as well as new utilities and must be done one week in advance.
Choosing Your Retail Energy Provider in Texas
With so many options available in your area, how do you know which one you should choose? Here are some factors to consider.
Length of Plan
The length of time you decide to reside in your new home may determine what kind of plan will benefit you the most. If you’re going to live there in the long run, selecting a long-term plan will prevent you from having to pay higher rates over time.
The Size of Your Home
Your rates are often determined by square footage. Your home uses more energy if it’s large, is equipped with central heating, or has a pool. If you live in a house that’s expected to have a higher kWh usage per month, keep a close eye on what you’ll be charged per square feet.
It pays to go green, especially with local utilities. Many companies offer discounts for using eco-friendly energy. Talk with your REP to see what discounts you would qualify for or how much you would save if you add or switch to renewable energy systems.
How’s Your Credit?
In Texas, you have to have your credit checked before setting up your utility plan. If your credit isn’t looking too good, REPs may require a deposit or sign up for a no credit check electricity plan.
Compare Additional Fees
There are fees that may pop up later on in your plan. For instance, some REPs charge a monthly fee on some plans when you consume a certain amount of kWh per month. Another fee that’s determined by the length of your stay is early termination fees. Read your agreement thoroughly to make sure you know what to expect.
Whether you’re moving to or within Texas, setting up utilities doesn’t have to be complicated. When you plan accordingly and do your research, you can enjoy great and affordable electricity in your new Texan residence.