Answers

Deregulatwhat? What is Energy Deregulation? (6)

What is Energy (Electric) Deregulation, anyway?

Deregulation allows for open competition in the energy markets, and it forces those competing for your business to “raise the bar” of services and incentives offered in order to gain and retain your business. Gone are the days where we’re all forced into paying for a necessity without any power on how we’re treated in return. You now have the power to choose which retail energy provider will receive your hard earned money, and that’s awesome.

Does everyone have a choice in who provides their energy services?

Unfortunately, no. Several states have opened the doors to open competition in the energy markets serving their residents, but many have not. And to make matters even more confusing, some cities within deregulated states aren’t deregulated at all. To find out if you have the power to choose your electricity and/or natural gas provider, simply enter your zip code and we’ll show you your options.

How will this all affect the reliability and availability of my electricity service?

Know this: the providers have nothing to do with actually delivering your energy services – they just bill you for your usage. They typically buy or reserve energy in bulk and hope to turn a profit by taking on the overhead of attracting and maintaining customers. Your electricity is delivered by the still-regulated local wires company, ensuring for you the same safety and reliability regardless of which provider you choose.

What happens if my electricity goes outage? What do I do?

All of the delivery is handled by the local wires company, so give them a call. Your energy provider should give you details on how to contact the wires company on the bills they send you in case you need to report an outage or want to contact them directly for any other reason.

What happens if I have a billing issue with my provider?

You just call and talk directly with your retail provider. The key thing to understand is that your retail provider handles the billing and customer support for your energy services, and the wires company handles the delivery of those services, maintains the delivery system, and handles any outages that may occur. If you have customer service or payment related issues with your bill, you’ll call the company that sends you your bill. If you have an outage, you’ll generally call your “Wire and Poles” company – also known as your Utility Company.

How do I Report a Power Outage?

Call the number corresponding to your Wires and Poles (Utility) Company – DO NOT CALL YOUR PROVIDER (REP).

ONCOR Delivery Company (DFW area)
1-888-313-4747

CenterPoint (Houston Area)
1-800-332-7143

AEP North Texas (WTU Service area)
1-866-223-8508

AEP Central (CPL area)
1-866-223-8508

Texas-New Mexico Power Company (TNMP area)
1-888-866-7456

Sharyland (McAllen and Mission areas)
1-956-668-9551

Sharyland (Stanton, Brady, Celeste, & Colorado City areas)
1-800-442-8688

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How this works: Choosing and Switching (6)

Does it cost anything to switch providers?

Some providers charge startup or setup fees associated with reading your meter, so be sure to check the facts label carefully anytime you are switching or signing up with a new provider.

Be aware of cancellation fees though – if you sign up for a contract (fixed term length), you may be subject to a cancellation fee if you change your provider before the end date of your contract. There is typically a grace period in which you can switch near the end of your term, so check the facts label and terms of service of your current provider to be sure.

What if I have to move before the end of my contract term?

In general, if you’ve moved out and are no longer residing at the service address under contract, you will not be subject to any cancellation fees. The cancellation fee is typically assessed only when changing providers prior to the end of your fixed term. As always, check with your particular retail provider to be sure, btu there are laws to protect you from this and you should not be subject to a cancellation fee if you legitimately move from your home and can provide a forwarding address.

Can I change my mind after I switch?

In Texas, you have 3 days to change your mind before the switching process is initiated. So rest easy – if you feel you’ve made a mistake, just contact your new provider, tell them you’d like to cancel, and come back to ComparePower.com to find a provider or plan that suits you better.

If you are setting service for the first time (you’re moving in), this “right of rescission” may vary. Check with your provider before signing up to be sure.

How long does the switching process take?

It will take you less than 10 minutes to compare providers and “make the savings switch” at ComparePower. The physical switch from one electric provider to another, after you signup, generally occurs within 1-7 days. Your next bill coming from your new provider. Rest assured, there will be no interruption to your service during the transition. If you are signing up for new electric service, the date of service start will be setup during your enrollment.

Do I have to notify my current provider that I’m switching providers?

When you use ComparePower to signup or switch to a new provider, your new provider is going to handle all of that for you. You’ll never have to contact your old provider. It’s very easy and painless.

What if my provider goes out of business? Will my service stop?

Never. Usually you will be given notice if such an event occurs that allows you time to come back to ComparePower.com and find a new provider. Even if your provider shuts their doors suddenly and without notice you will not be without power. You’ll be switched to a different provider automatically, known as Provider of Last Resort (POLR), and will have the chance to come back to our site and choose an alternate provider.

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Using ComparePower (9)

Why are there different prices for different usage levels?

This is perhaps the most important consideration in comparing your power company choices. Many providers charge fees in addition to usage charges. Sometimes referred to as Base Charges or Minimum Usage Charges, these can greatly affect the pricing you see on your bill, particularly if you use less than 1000kwh per month. Check your recent bills and use ComparePower to compare plan pricing that matches your usage. The best way to see the real price you pay currently? Take the total Dollar Amount due, and divide it by the total KWH usage you had that month. This will give you the same pricing we list here at ComparePower… the all-in, true-cost pricing that you’ll actually see when the bill is due.

Before ComparePower, all of us had to spend a lot of time searching calling and clicking around, reading through lots of Energy Facts Labels, if we wanted to see the true-cost pricing for our usage level. We’ve solved that issue for you by ensuring all providers displayed accurately represent their pricing at 500,1000, and 2000kwh usage levels. It’s our way of putting all the providers on a level playing field, where they compete on things that matter most, like pricing, term lengths, and renewable content. No hidden fees allowed at ComparePower.

How do I sort my results after filtering?

This one is easy – just select your sorting preference in the drop down menu and watch the magic happen.

Why are there so many plans to choose from?

ComparePower is unlike any other energy comparison experience ever created. We have made every attempt to give you an unmatched shopping experience where available plans are filtered and sorted only by those options that you choose and control. If you find there are too many plans to choose from, use the filters on the left of the plans page to narrow your search and target in on those plans that meet your needs.

I’m confused by all of this. Can I talk to some one instead?

Yep – we’d love to help you out. Call us at 214-865-6511.

What is Renewable Content?

Renewable content is the percentage of your electricity that is generated from renewable resources, such as wind, solar, or hydro electric dams. It’s your option, and if it’s important to you that you lower your carbon footprint, be sure that your filter those plans that help you accomplish that goal.

What is the difference between Fixed and Variable terms?

Fixed pricing allows you to lock in the rate you pay for electricity with a contract for a given time period, usually 3-60 months (depending on your selection).

Variable pricing, also known as Month-to-Month pricing, may fluctuate with the energy markets. There is no contract in a variable plan. Your pricing could go up, stay the same, or even go lower, all of which is out of your control and is determined by the energy company offering the variable plan.

Why are there “handles” on some filters?

With ComparePower, you have more comparison power than ever before. Many of our filter controls allow you to set a range of values that meet your needs, and the two handles allow you to do just that. Play with them, and if you’re at all confused – contact us and we’ll quickly find the best plan for you.

Shoud I come back to ComparePower when it’s time to renew?

Energy prices change daily. Just because one energy provider gave you the best price when you found them on our site doesn’t mean they will have the same rate tomorrow, and certainly not by the end of your contract term with them. Before renewing or responding to any direct-mail offers, always run your energy search at ComparePower.com and you won’t find yourself wondering later if you could have done better.

What’s in it for you? How do you stay in business?

This is a FREE service for you. Some of the energy companies pay us a fee when we help them enroll customers, but you’ll never pay anything.

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