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Smart Ways to Lower Your Texas Electricity Bill

As spring unfolds in Texas, we’re treated to pleasant temperatures, colorful blossoms, and sun-filled days.

It’s the perfect time to explore energy-saving opportunities and lower your electricity bill.

While we bid farewell to winter and enjoy the warmer days ahead, let’s explore some practical tips to keep those pesky electricity bills in check. Ready? Let’s dive in!

Shop Around for the Best Electricity Plans

In Texas, the competitive electricity market allows you to choose from various providers and plans. Check your electricity contract end date.

If your electricity contract has expired or expiring soon, it’s time to re-shop and save money by finding a deal that suits your needs and budget.

With Compare Power, you can compare electricity rates, contract lengths, renewable energy options, and more. By switching to a more affordable energy plan, you could save a substantial amount on your electricity bill.

Embrace Natural Ventilation and Cooling

Make the most of spring’s fresh air and cool breezes by opening windows and doors instead of relying on heaters or air conditioners.

Using fans, blinds, curtains, and shades helps regulate temperature and airflow in your home.

Keep your air conditioner well-maintained and set it to a reasonable temperature. Remember that every degree above 78°F saves you up to 7% on cooling costs.

Opt for Energy-Efficient Appliances and Lighting

Upgrading to energy-efficient appliances and lighting can significantly impact your electricity bill. Look for ENERGY STAR-labeled appliances which meet the EPA’s strict energy efficiency standards.

Switch to LED bulbs, which use 80% less energy and last up to 25 times longer than incandescent bulbs. Plus, they produce less heat, helping to keep your home cooler.

Maximize savings by turning off or unplugging devices when not in use. Power strips and smart plugs make it easy to control multiple devices with one switch or an app.

Your Turn to Save

Spring offers a fantastic opportunity to save on your electricity bill in Texas. Follow these simple strategies:

  • Compare electricity plans and providers.
  • Utilize natural ventilation and cooling.
  • Upgrade to energy-efficient appliances and lighting.

These steps can significantly lower your electricity consumption while maintaining comfort and convenience in your home.

5 star ratings ComparePower

Any product or company names, marks, or logos shown on this page are the property of their respective owners. ComparePower is an unaffiliated, independent marketplace. Get unbiased, accurate information backed by our commitment to editorial integrity.

Published on January 31, 2023

TLDR: Maximize winter energy savings by using your home’s historical kWh usage to find the best energy plan. Comparing energy plans with your electricity usage can lead to lower energy bills and more informed decision-making. Learning energy-saving tips and regularly reviewing your plan can also help reduce costs.

Maximizing winter energy savings

Winter months can bring great joy with the festive season, but they can also be harsh on your wallet due to increased energy consumption. Heating homes and offices can consume a lot of energy and significantly increases energy bills. With energy prices constantly fluctuating, finding an energy plan that fits your usage and budget is more important than ever. This is where your historical kWh usage comes in.

Understanding historical kWh usage

A kilowatt-hour is a unit of energy used to measure electricity consumption. Your historical kWh usage data records how much energy you have consumed over a specific period, typically one year. This data lets you find the perfect energy plan by comparing energy plans according to how you use electricity.

To access your historical kWh usage data, check your monthly energy bills or log into your energy provider’s account dashboard. Understanding this data is important in finding an energy plan that fits your usage and reduces energy bills.

How to use historical kWh usage to find the perfect energy plan

Comparing Texas electricity rates based on your historical kWh usage is easy. Start by collecting your historical kWh usage data monthly for one year. Enter your usage history on ComparePower’s historical usage calculator. Compare plan prices based on your historical kWh usage.

Comparing energy plans with your historical kWh ensures that you select a plan that fits your consumption pattern, reduces energy bills, and helps you make an informed decision based on your actual usage rather than just an estimated average.

Check out this short 2-minute video to learn how shopping with your usage works on ComparePower.

What length plan should I choose?

A common question we get when switching is the term length of the contract.

Is it best to choose a 12, 24, or 36-month plan? The length of your energy plan depends on your individual needs and preferences.

A 12-month plan offers stability, predictability, and the flexibility to shop again in 12 months.

A 24-month plan provides a longer period of stability in energy rates, but you may miss out on lower energy bills if rates go down.

A 36-month plan offers the longest period of rate stability. This term is ideal if you find a rate you like and prefer to lock that in for an extended period.

It can be difficult to predict electricity prices as supply and demand, fuel prices, government regulations, and weather conditions influence them. The energy market is highly dynamic and constantly changes, making it challenging to predict future prices accurately.

Ultimately, assessing your energy needs and considering the current market rates is best before deciding on a plan length. You may also want to consider the plan’s flexibility and the penalty fees for early termination.

When can I switch providers?

While you can switch electricity plans at any time, it is important to note that some providers may charge an early termination fee (ETF) if you end your contract before the end of the term.

The ETF is designed to compensate the provider for any losses they may incur from ending the contract early.

Before switching plans, be sure to review the terms and conditions of your current contract and consider the ETF fees involved.

In some cases, the potential savings from switching to a new plan may outweigh the ETF fees, so it’s important to do the math and weigh your options carefully. You can quickly do the math with ComparePower by plugging in your kWh usage and letting us crunch the numbers for you.

It is also worth noting that some providers may offer ETF-free plans, so be sure to consider all your options and choose the plan that best meets your needs and budget.

Starting service for a new home

If you don’t have access to the previous usage history for your new home, you can estimate your electricity usage. You can also ask the previous landlord for a copy of their kWh usage history for 12 months.

Tips to maximize savings this winter

Aside from finding the perfect energy plan, several other tips can help you maximize your energy savings this winter.

First, familiarize yourself with the different types of energy plans and rates available. There are fixed-rate, variable-rate, and prepaid plans, each with advantages and disadvantages.

Conserving energy and reducing usage during winter is another way to reduce energy bills. Simple changes, such as lowering your thermostat, sealing drafty windows, and using energy-efficient lighting, can help you save electricity.

Finally, it’s important to regularly review and adjust your energy plan to ensure you are always getting the best deal.

5 star ratings ComparePower

Any product or company names, marks, or logos shown on this page are the property of their respective owners. ComparePower is an unaffiliated, independent marketplace. Get unbiased, accurate information backed by our commitment to editorial integrity.

New to Texas? Start here…

They say Texas has two seasons: winter and summer. Usually, they alternate days within the same week.

Finding the right energy plan can be as challenging as predicting the Texas weather. That’s where we come in.

We have been helping Texans save money on their energy bills for over a decade.

You can count on us when finding low electricity rates for your Texas home or business.  

Simply enter your zip code, and you’ll be guided to your best energy plan and rate in minutes.

Shopping for your Texas business? Get a quote from 31+ Texas energy providers in minutes 👉

I’m brand new to the area, and was a little overwhelmed when I heard that I had to shop around to find an electric plan. I found Compare Power and most of the work was done for me! It’s user-friendly and pretty idiot proof 🙂 I’ll recommend to anyone who asks!

Amanda T. (TX, United States)

How to shop for Texas electricity

Shopping for the right electricity plan for your new home might seem daunting, but we’re here to help you win the game of electricity choice. 

The best way to shop for electricity is through your home’s historical usage profile, which you can view monthly throughout the year.

The #1 most important thing to know is your home's energy usage. 

2-minute video that explains everything you need to know

Was very simple to compare pricing for electricity providers. I loved that I was able to use my actual usage (that I had records of) to compare to all the different providers. It was so easy and eye opening! Thanks Compare Power!

Cathy H. (TX, United States)

Moving to Texas

If you are moving into a home that has been around for a while, you can contact your realtor or the previous owner to get a copy of the monthly usage profile.

With that profile, you can quickly jump into our historical usage tool and find a plan that is an excellent fit for your home.

Remember that your family size and electricity usage habits might differ from the previous occupants, which could affect your bill. 

With a rough estimate of your electricity usage, you can easily compare costs and find a plan for your home in minutes. 

Regardless, shopping based on your electricity usage is the best way to find the right plan for your home and avoid falling into traps.

If you don’t have access to a historical usage profile, you can use our energy usage calculator to get an approximation of your usage:

Let’s quickly find your best energy plan.

1. Size of home:

2. Number of residents:

3. Your energy habits:

Approximate average monthly usage: 690 kWh

Disclaimer: This tool is for approximation purposes only. Accuracy is not guaranteed or implied.

The approximated monthly usage is based on an average over 12 months. Air conditioning and heating costs can vary and often account for up to 50 percent of your home’s energy use during different seasons.

Factors such as size of your home, weather, construction, heating and cooling equipment type, insulation, and family living habits will influence your actual usage.


After you find a great plan for your new apartment or rental, getting your service up and running is easy.

However, you were probably told you needed an electricity account number to get your keys. 

Luckily our enrollment process finishes with proof of service in your name so you can return to your leasing office and get your keys. 

Your new service will start on the date you selected during checkout, and you should be ready to move in. 

Be cautious, though, when you’re talking to any leasing agents.

Many apartment complexes have deals with certain providers to offer plans if you sign up. 

To drive our point home one more time, you should always pick a plan that fits the electricity usage profile of your specific apartment or rental and not the first deal in front of you. 

Learn about apartment electricity and find apartment electricity rates here.

Instantly compare energy plans and rates for your apartment 👇🏽

Coming from the Northeast where we do not have any option to buy power from anyone other that Natgrid it was a breath of fresh air to see competitors in the marketplace ALL IN ONE PLACE to compare and keep them honest. The website was clean and concise and I was happy with my choice for power supplier for my new apartment in my new “home”.

Lori P. (TX, United States)


Congratulations if you’ve found yourself moving into a new home here in Texas!

Moving can be stressful, but starting your electricity is simple. 

Once you’ve picked a plan, go through all the checkout steps to complete your order.

You’ll receive a confirmation email that your order has been placed, and we will remind you of any deposit you may need to make to finish things up. 

Your chosen plan will be up and running for you right when you need it so you can have lights on during your move. 

Learn how to start service for your new home here.

Instantly compare energy plans and rates for your Texas home 👇🏽

Same-day electricity service

On a time crunch? If you order before 2 pm, you can get same-day service from any providers listed on ComparePower.

If you run into any issues, we have numbers for all providers so you can call in with any questions.

Check out our same-day electricity service page for more information.

Switching providers

Shopping with your usage history is the best way to save money on your electricity bill. When you shop with your usage, you can flatten out seasonal spikes and maximize your savings with discounts and bill credits.

ComparePower makes shopping with your usage easy.

Learn how to switch providers in Texas.

Shop with your home's usage and save👇🏽

High bill

If you have a high electricity bill, one of the best ways to cut it down to size is to switch your electric provider with your home’s annual historical usage.

While that might sound like a daunting task, it is not.

Learn how to lower your electricity bill today.

Got a renewal notice?

If your electricity contract is about to expire, compare prices before renewing.

Electricity rates usually go up typically when it’s time to renew, and providers offer low introductory prices.

Most providers assume that once you sign up and start service, you won’t bother switching providers at renewal time and then jack up your rate to make it more profitable.

Get all the details on how electricity renewals work in Texas and save yourself some money.

What is Texas electricity choice? 

In 2002, Texans voted to deregulate the electricity market, which allows you, as the consumer, to pick your electricity plan.

The overall intent of deregulation was to reduce electricity rates and create better consumer choices.

There are now three sets of hands that your electricity goes through before it reaches your home.

Getting power to your home starts at the production plants.

These plants generate electricity and then sell it on the open market.

The middleman of the system is the transmission and distribution utility (TDU) companies.

Five leading companies are serving the majority of Texas.

These companies are responsible for maintaining the wires and poles that transmit power around the state.

The third and final component of deregulated electricity in Texas is retail electric providers (REPs).

REPs are the companies that are responsible for selling electricity to consumers and are the ones who generate your bill.

Two other names you might have seen involved with deregulation are the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT) and the Electricity Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT).

ERCOT manages the flow of electricity to millions of customers around the state and schedules power transmission around the grid.

ERCOT monitors all production and transmission companies to ensure power is reliably sent to consumers.

Any changes ERCOT wants to make to the system are subject to oversight by PUCT and the Texas legislature.

PUCT regulates all utilities in the state and oversees the compliance of the competitive electricity market to ensure that consumers receive the benefit of competition. 

Help Me Choose

Answer five questions, and we’ll guide you to the right plan.

Power to choose Texas

The great benefit of deregulation is that you, the consumer, can choose your electricity plan that matches your home and electricity usage. 

With REPs competing for your hard-earned dollars, the market has become flooded with competitive offers that give you plenty of opportunities. 

You still receive the same reliable electric service you would get in a regulated market, but you can save hundreds of dollars each year with the right plan. 

Choices are great, right? 

We love having the ability to pick out the perfect plan for our homes and have helped millions of Texans save money each year on their electricity bills. 

But not all electricity plans are created equal, and the REPs are out to swindle you out of as much of your hard-earned money as possible. 

Electricity plans frequently boast offers that seem too good to be accurate, and the sad fact is that many consumers fall prey to these offers.

They see plans with the word “free” splattered all over them and sign up without reading the fine print. 

ComparePower is here to help you find the right plan for your home in a simple and easy process that puts all the details in your hands right from the start. 

Use Your Power to Choose Today 👇🏽

Electricity plan costs 

Now that you’re up to speed on shopping with your usage, you’re probably wondering what electricity is going to cost for your new home. 

The main determining factor in your electricity bill is your usage, measured in kilowatt-hours (kWh).

For most plans, you’ll see an advertised cost per kWh at three different usage levels. 

These are usually 500 kWh, 1000 kWh, and 2000 kWh, which providers will tell you are the typical usage amounts for apartments, small homes, and large homes. 

Hopefully, at this point, you have clued into the fact that each home uses a different amount of electricity each month and that there is no normal usage.

You’ll likely have higher usage in the summer and winter, and the number of people using electricity can impact your bill. 

The cost of your electricity can also change at different usage levels, so if you use 500 kWh one month, you’ll pay a different rate than if you use 1000 kWh the next.

REPs are happy to advertise a “teaser rate” that only applies if you use an exact amount of electricity each month. 

On top of that, some REPs also charge a fixed fee that is applied to your monthly bill regardless of your usage. This is called a base charge. 

Remember the middlemen of the system, the TDUs? 

They also want some of your hard-earned money, so you’ll see delivery charges on your electricity bill.

In most cases, you’ll see a fixed delivery charge and a rate you are charged per kWh. 

The delivery charges are regulated, so they should be static each month, but TDUs can get approval for rate changes twice per year. 

While you’ll see great rates upfront from most providers, they hide all the little details about base charges and rate structures in an electricity facts label (EFL). 

We have a full explanation of how to read your EFL, and we have the EFLs listed for every plan, so you always have the details you need to make an informed decision. 

And for you numbers people who might be wondering what most people pay, the average electricity rate in Texas is around 12.56 cents per kWh.

Find your cheapest electricity plan and save👇🏽

Types of electricity plans 

With the cost of plans out of the way, the next consideration you’ll want to make is the type of plan you choose. 

Electricity plans fall into four categories that determine how you are charged for the electricity that you use.

Most plans will have you sign a contract for a certain number of months, but there are some pre-paid options. 

Fixed-rate plans are structured around a fixed rate you pay for electricity throughout your contract, generally lasting between six and 36 months. 

Variable-rate plans allow your electricity provider to change their rates depending on the energy market and other factors.

As the price of electricity increases for your provider, you will see a larger bill. 

If you want to learn more about fixed vs. variable rate electricity, we have a full explanation of the benefits of each. 

Indexed plans are similar to variable-rate plans, but the price is tied directly to the pricing formula of the publicly available index.

If the index price goes up, so does your electricity cost. 

And finally, pre-paid plans allow you to get electricity without a contract.

You pay for your usage each month and must maintain a certain amount of money in your account to cover upcoming bills.

Electricity gotchas 

You might have heard about those free nights and weekend deals that providers blast all over social media and TV.

These deals are “gotchas.” In reality, the provider is pulling a fast one on you. 

They tell you that you’ll get all the electricity at night and on weekends for free, and then they charge you a high rate for your usage.

Any plans offering bundles or other free things will do the same. 

Ultimately, you pay more for electricity monthly unless you shift most of your usage to those free hours.

If you’re a night owl and work graveyard hours from home, these plans could work for you, but they’re a poor choice for most. 

Another common gotcha we like to steer new Texans away from is billing or usage credit plans.

These tell you you’ll get $100 off your bill if you use at least 1000 kWh monthly. 

When you move into a new home, you have no idea how much electricity you will use each month, and the amount can vary depending on multiple factors.

If you used less than 1000 kWh one month, you could pay a significantly higher rate for that electricity, and you won’t get that discount. 

For most new Texans, we recommend starting with a 12-month fixed-rate contract while settling into your new home.

This will balance the hassle of shopping for electricity, and you’ll still get a great price. 

Once you are more established and know your usage, come back to ComparePower, and we’ll help you find a plan that’s an even better match for your home based on your historical usage. 

Other considerations 

With green and renewable initiatives in everyone’s mind, you might also be interested in finding a renewable energy plan.

There are plenty of options for green energy plans that are a significant step toward reducing pollution and fostering cleaner energy usage. 

The cost of renewable plans is usually higher than those that utilize fossil fuels, but increased demand and tax incentives have started to reduce these costs. 

With more efficient renewable solutions popping up daily, providers have plenty of green energy plans for consumers. 

We have some of the best green energy companies and prices so that you can find an excellent plan for your home while still helping the environment. 

Another question we get regularly comes from new Texans moving into an apartment for the first time.

With most apartments having a lease term of 12 months, it would seem like the right move to choose an electricity plan with a 12-month contract. 

The great thing about deregulation is that there is no obligation to match your energy plan contract with your lease.

If you find a plan that fits your apartment but has a longer lease, go for it! 

Texas law protects you from early termination fees when you move out before your electricity plan contract ends.

An extended contract could save you hundreds of dollars a year, and you won’t have to worry about moving at the end of your lease. 

Compare Texas energy companies and plans 👇🏽

Texas energy companies

Over 60 energy providers in Texas can supply you with electricity.

The following are some of Texas’ top energy providers. Click on any of the brands to learn more.

Energy CompaniesPhone Number
4Change Energy888-250-2215
Amigo Energy866-993-4445
Cirro Energy866-965-5600
Direct Energy866-285-4447
Discount Power866-996-1740
Flagship Power866-747-7111
Frontier Utilities866-280-3131
Gexa Energy888-688-8460
Green Mountain866-983-4770
Just Energy866-985-2820
New Power Texas888-316-0697
Payless Power855-854-8490
Pulse Power888-317-1431
TXU Energy866-370-2440
Tara Energy877-599-2580

Texas electricity rates

Compare the best Texas electricity rates and save money on your electricity bill.

Plan Name Plan Length Rate
Constellation - 12 Month (No Min Usage Fee)12 months$0.155 / kWh
Constellation - 12 Month Usage Bill Credit12 months$0.149 / kWh
Constellation - 36 Month Usage Bill Credit36 months$0.139 / kWh
4Change Energy - Cash Money 1212 months$0.135 / kWh
4Change Energy - Maxx Saver Select 1212 months$0.090 / kWh
4Change Energy - One Rate 1212 months$0.149 / kWh
4Change Energy - Maxx Saver Select 2424 months$0.089 / kWh
4Change Energy - One Rate 2424 months$0.145 / kWh
4Change Energy - Smart Thermostat 2424 months$0.135 / kWh
Frontier Utilities - Frontier NHF 12+12 months$0.147 / kWh
Frontier Utilities - Frontier Saver Max 1212 months$0.194 / kWh
Frontier Utilities - Frontier Saver Plus 1212 months$0.090 / kWh
Frontier Utilities - Frontier Saver Value 1212 months$0.165 / kWh
Gexa Energy - Gexa Eco Saver Advantage 1212 months$0.193 / kWh
Gexa Energy - Gexa Eco Saver Lite 1212 months$0.165 / kWh
Gexa Energy - Gexa Eco Saver Plus 1212 months$0.090 / kWh
Gexa Energy - Gexa Eco Saver Premium 1212 months$0.194 / kWh
Discount Power - Wise Buy 2424 months$0.127 / kWh
Reliant - Reliant Basic Power 12 plan12 months$0.151 / kWh
Reliant - Reliant Conservation 12 plan12 months$0.165 / kWh
Reliant - Reliant Basic Power 24 plan24 months$0.147 / kWh
Reliant - Reliant Conservation 24 plan24 months$0.155 / kWh
Reliant - Reliant Truly Free Weekends 100% Solar 12 plan12 months$0.171 / kWh
Reliant - Reliant Truly Free Nights 100% Solar 12 plan12 months$0.171 / kWh
Pulse Power - Texas Fixed 1212 months$0.130 / kWh
Pulse Power - Texas Fixed 2424 months$0.132 / kWh
Pulse Power - Texas Fixed 3636 months$0.134 / kWh
Pulse Power - Free Energy Nights 1212 months$0.154 / kWh
Pulse Power - Free Energy Weekends 1212 months$0.138 / kWh
Pulse Power - Free Energy Nights 2424 months$0.156 / kWh
Pulse Power - Free Energy Weekends 2424 months$0.140 / kWh
Pulse Power - Free Energy Nights 3636 months$0.159 / kWh
Pulse Power - Free Energy Weekends 3636 months$0.142 / kWh
Pulse Power - Texas Green Fixed 1212 months$0.134 / kWh
Pulse Power - Texas Green Fixed 2424 months$0.136 / kWh
Pulse Power - Texas Green Fixed 3636 months$0.139 / kWh
Payless Power - Simple 66 months$0.162 / kWh
Payless Power - Premier 1212 months$0.162 / kWh
TXU Energy - TXU Energy Flex Forward1 months$0.171 / kWh
TXU Energy - TXU Energy Clear Deal 1212 months$0.119 / kWh
TXU Energy - TXU Energy Saver's Discount 1212 months$0.163 / kWh
TXU Energy - TXU Energy Simple Rate 1212 months$0.161 / kWh
TXU Energy - TXU Energy Clear Deal 2424 months$0.129 / kWh
TXU Energy - TXU Energy Saver's Discount 2424 months$0.176 / kWh
TXU Energy - TXU Energy Season Pass 1212 months$0.165 / kWh
TXU Energy - TXU Energy Solar Saver 1212 months$0.183 / kWh
TXU Energy - TXU Energy Solar Value 1212 months$0.129 / kWh
TXU Energy - TXU Energy Free Nights & Solar Days 12 (8 p.m.)12 months$0.169 / kWh
New Power Texas - New Fixed 1212 months$0.132 / kWh
New Power Texas - New Fixed 2424 months$0.134 / kWh
New Power Texas - New Fixed 3636 months$0.136 / kWh
Flagship Power - Galleon1000 1212 months$0.093 / kWh
Flagship Power - Galleon2000 1212 months$0.193 / kWh
Flagship Power - Schooner 1212 months$0.135 / kWh
Flagship Power - Galleon1000 2424 months$0.091 / kWh
Flagship Power - Galleon2000 2424 months$0.192 / kWh
Flagship Power - Schooner 2424 months$0.133 / kWh
Flagship Power - Galleon1000 3636 months$0.090 / kWh
Flagship Power - Galleon2000 3636 months$0.190 / kWh
Flagship Power - Schooner 3636 months$0.132 / kWh
Flagship Power - Cruiser 1212 months$0.135 / kWh
Flagship Power - Weekender 1212 months$0.134 / kWh
Flagship Power - Cruiser 2424 months$0.134 / kWh
Flagship Power - Weekender 2424 months$0.132 / kWh
Flagship Power - Cruiser 3636 months$0.132 / kWh
Flagship Power - Weekender 3636 months$0.131 / kWh
Flagship Power - Windsurfer 1212 months$0.139 / kWh
Flagship Power - Windsurfer 2424 months$0.137 / kWh
Flagship Power - Windsurfer 3636 months$0.136 / kWh

These live rates for ONCOR ELECTRIC DELIVERY COMPANY service area were updated on . Pricing shown is based on an exact usage of 1000 kWh.

5 star ratings ComparePower

Any product or company names, marks, or logos shown on this page are the property of their respective owners. ComparePower is an unaffiliated, independent marketplace. Get unbiased, accurate information backed by our commitment to editorial integrity.

If you’re reading this, your electricity provider in Texas likely went out of business, and you are now with another provider known as a Provider of Last Resort or POLR.

Here is what you need to know to make an informed energy decision for your household.

POLR transitions usually default to variable market rates, also called holdover rates.

Your Provider of Last Resort could honor your previous rate with your former electric company, but that is not guaranteed. Check the details of your new contract to find out exactly what you are paying.

In most cases, you are paying the Provider of Last Resort an expensive holdover rate.

Holdover rates are subject to changes in market conditions and are significantly higher than those for a fixed-rate contract.

Switch providers on ComparePower to a fixed-rate plan that will be easier to budget and cheaper than a holdover rate.

Get a fixed-rate contract with a low rate in minutes.

What is a Provider of Last Resort, or POLR?

POLR service, or Provider of Last Resort, is a safety net for you when your preferred retail electric provider (REP) cannot maintain service. 

Instead of utilities providing backup electric service to customers, the POLR structure requires competitive REPs to fill the service gap if any REP exits the market.

This temporary service should be used only in exceptional circumstances, such as when a REP goes out of business.

The Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUC) appoints certified REPs to provide POLR service in each service region every two years.

Large REPs must participate as POLRs, and smaller providers may volunteer.

Find a low rate and switch energy providers instantly.

What are my options if my electric provider goes out of business?

Getting dumped to a POLR is not ideal. There’s no getting around that, but you can now find a great new rate for your home.

You do not have to stay with your provider of last resort. You can choose your provider on ComparePower.

Shop with your usage, compare pricing for your home, and checkout with the right plan in as little as five minutes.

We’ll show you all-inclusive pricing, so you know exactly what your bills will look like.

Find plans that match your needs and avoid all the gimmicks that providers throw at you.

Will my power go out?

There is no interruption of power during a POLR transition. If you are in good standing, which means you’ve paid your electricity bills on time, your utility company will continue to deliver power to your home.

When do you get POLR electric service?

Retail energy is a high-risk commodity business, and REPs must purchase electricity ahead of time to support electricity demand.

If a REP has not purchased enough electricity to serve their customers, they are forced to purchase real-time electricity to meet their customer’s needs.

And if the Electricity Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) views the upcoming market prices as risky, they may demand more collateral from your REP to cover the costs.

If your REP cannot cover the costs of real-time electricity or put up enough collateral, they can quickly go out of business, and you’ll be placed on a POLR plan.

This is precisely what happened after Winter Storm Uri when demand skyrocketed, and real-time electricity prices hit all-time highs.

Who is your Provider of Last Resort?

The PUCT determines the Texas POLR list and updates it every two years.

The largest providers are required to serve as a POLR, and smaller providers may choose to take part to share the burden.

Current POLR providers are listed below by delivery area:

– Oncor: TXU Energy
– Centerpoint: Reliant Energy
– TNMP: TXU Energy
– AEP: TXU Energy

How does POLR electric service work?

If you end up on a POLR plan, don’t worry. The POLR system was implemented to keep your lights on so you won’t be stuck in the dark.

The first thing that will happen is that you’ll be notified that your electricity service has been transferred to a POLR.

You’ll receive a notice from the PUCT letting you know that your REP is no longer servicing your home, and soon your POLR will send information about the plan you are being placed on.

Your contract with your former REP will be terminated, and your contract details will likely not be carried over.

Any payment or billing arrangements on your old electricity plans, such as average billing or Auto Pay, are also terminated.

The new POLR plan you are placed on will be month-to-month with no contract and will have a variable rate.

This means that the cost of your electricity will change each month and can be extremely expensive.

If you are hearing warning bells going off, you are right to assume that you don’t want to stay on a POLR plan for long.

The good news is that you can shop for a new electricity plan without any penalties.

When you’re transferred to a POLR, you have 15 days to switch to another plan with that POLR, or you can shop to find the best rate for your home.

Don’t wait. Switch providers here in as little as 5 minutes and enjoy savings on your energy bill month after month.

Search for a low electricity rate and enroll online in minutes.

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Set up electricity for your apartment

You shopped around, toured dozens of apartments, and finally found the perfect space.

But you need an electricity account number to get your keys.

You can choose your electricity plan, which allows you to find the best plan for your new apartment.

The downside is that finding the right plan can be difficult, and electricity companies will do everything they can to make as much money off of you as possible.

These companies even offer “special” deals to apartment communities, hoping you’ll sign up for one of their plans without checking the details.

We’re here to help all Texans find the right plan for their apartment.

We show you the most common traps so you can get an electricity account number and your keys in as little as 10 minutes.

Help Me Choose

Find the best plan for your apartment in minutes. Answer five questions about your apartment home and energy habits and instantly find the right energy plan.

How to get an electricity account number 

Compare Power Built for Texans by

Learn how to set up electricity and get proof of service for your leasing office or landlord in minutes.

Total Time: 10 minutes

  1. Visit

    Reconnect you lights today with no deposit 3

    Visit for official electric rates from trusted Texas energy providers.

  2. Enter your zip code

    Know what to expect on your bill

    Enter your zip code to find energy plans and rates in your area.

  3. Compare plans & rates

    Compare Electricity Prices Head to Head

    Compare energy plans and electricity rates by filtering the search results or features you want.

  4. Enroll online in 5 minutes

    Setup new electricity service

    Checkout and enroll online in one place.

  5. Have proof of service for your leasing office or landlord

    100 percent satisfaction guarantee

    Get your keys and move into your apartment home stress-free.


  • Your Apartment Address
  • Your Social Security Number
  • Drivers License Number


  • is all you need to get an electricity account number and the keys to your new apartment.

Materials: Computer or mobile device with internet access.

Apartment electricity costs

Factors such as the size of your apartment, weather, construction, heating and cooling equipment, insulation, and family living habits will affect your actual usage.

At the time of writing, Texas’s average electricity price was 12.56 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh), and we’ll use 1,000 kWh per month as the average usage in Texas.

These averages take into account apartments, homes, and commercial properties.

Most apartments use somewhere in the ballpark of 500 kWh of electricity each month. The average electricity price would put an apartment bill at around $65 a month.

Not sure what your usage will be? Estimate your usage using this tool.

Let’s quickly find your best energy plan.

1. Size of home:

2. Number of residents:

3. Your energy habits:

Approximate average monthly usage: 690 kWh

Disclaimer: This tool is for approximation purposes only. Accuracy is not guaranteed or implied.

The approximated monthly usage is based on an average over 12 months. Air conditioning and heating costs can vary and often account for up to 50 percent of your home’s energy use during different seasons.

Factors such as size of your home, weather, construction, heating and cooling equipment type, insulation, and family living habits will influence your actual usage.

Other considerations

If you haven’t settled on an apartment yet, you might want to consider looking for an apartment on the first floor of the building.

First-floor apartments tend to maintain temperatures better than those on higher floors. This means it will stay cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter.

Heating and cooling significantly impact your electricity usage each month and finding an apartment that regulates the temperature can save you hundreds of dollars each year.

You can also look for apartments with energy-efficient appliances already installed. These appliances are designed to avoid excessive electricity usage and won’t use electricity while not in use.

New to Texas? 

Texans voted in 2002 to de-regulate the electricity market, allowing you to choose your electricity plan. The goal of deregulation was to lower electricity prices and create better consumer choices.

The downside of deregulation is that the market is flooded with complex and confusing plans without straightforward pricing.

Same-day power

If you need power today, you can schedule a same-day connection until 6 pm with TXU Energy or Payless Power and before 2 pm with all providers in our marketplace.

Place an order before 2 pm, and service can be scheduled to start today during checkout.

Learn how to get same-day service.

Texas electricity companies

Over 60 energy providers in Texas can supply you with electricity.

The following are some of the top energy providers in the state.

Energy CompaniesPhone Number
4Change Energy888-250-2215
Amigo Energy866-993-4445
Cirro Energy866-965-5600
Direct Energy866-285-4447
Discount Power866-996-1740
Flagship Power866-747-7111
Frontier Utilities866-280-3131
Gexa Energy888-688-8460
Green Mountain866-983-4770
Just Energy866-985-2820
New Power Texas888-316-0697
Payless Power855-854-8490
Pulse Power888-317-1431
TXU Energy866-370-2440
Tara Energy877-599-2580

Apartment electricity FAQs

What uses the most electricity in an apartment?

Air conditioning and heating costs can vary and often account for up to 50 percent of your home’s energy use during different seasons.

How long does it take to get the electricity turned on?

Most providers offer same-day service if you submit a request before 2 pm. A few providers can even get your lights on as late as 6 pm on weekdays.

vercustomer 1
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Is a short-term or long-term contract the better option? Which will save you more money?

It depends. There are no one-size-fits-all contracts that will work for everyone.

If you plan on staying in your current home or apartment for the foreseeable future, we recommend that you pick a long-term contract of at least a year.

These contracts will range from 12 to 36 months, and you’ll get a great balance of low rates and stable pricing.

Not sure how long you plan to be in your current space?

The right contract length for you is a little bit more complicated. Short-term contracts could be a good option if you only need temporary power.

You’ll keep the flexibility to switch things up every couple of months, but there’s no guarantee that prices will be lower or even the same when renewing your contract.

Regardless of your situation, ComparePower has short-term and long-term contracts to get your home or apartment powered on today.

Short-term electricity contracts

Short-term contracts are less than a year in length. The most common time offered by retail electric providers (REPs) is six months, although REPs occasionally offer a three-month contract.

Depending on the time of the year, plans with a short-term contract can be great, but you can get stuck with a high rate if you start during peak energy demand.

What are the advantages of short-term electricity contracts?

The best part about short-term contracts is that they maximize your flexibility. You’ll never find yourself stuck in a contract for more than a few months, so if electricity rates change, you can switch things up for a better contract.

If you can time your contract start and end dates correctly, you can enter a short-term contract when demand is low and get a reasonable rate.

You get the most opportunity to shop for electricity throughout the year without worrying about early termination fees.

What are the risks of short-term electricity contracts?

While short-term contracts offer excellent opportunities to find cheap electricity, you can quickly find yourself in hot water if you forget to shop at the end of your contract term.

Since you have to shop more frequently, you risk falling into a monthly variable rate after your contract that can easily double or triple what you previously paid.

At the same time, there is no guarantee that electricity rates will be cheaper or even the same price when you have to sign up for a new contract.

Electricity rates can change for various reasons, and a freak storm, like winter storm Uri in February of 2021, can send rates through the roof.

You could quickly find yourself stuck signing an electricity contract at a more expensive rate that you’ll be stuck paying for the next few months.

And if you are living on a fixed income or a strict budget, short-term contracts make it much harder to plan for future months. You never know what electricity rates will look like, so you can’t depend on your electricity bill to stay the same.

Compare energy plans and rates in Texas.

Long-term electricity contracts

A long-term contract can last anywhere from one to five years; the most common lengths are 12, 24, and 36-month contracts.

With a long-term contract, you lock in your electricity rate without worrying about future changes, but you also make a bigger commitment than a short-term contract.

What are the advantages of long-term electricity contracts?

With a long-term contract, you get to lock in that great rate you found over a longer time. This gives you a relatively stable electricity bill throughout your contract, depending on your usage.

You won’t have to worry about rates changing or even thinking about shopping for another plan until at least 11 months in the future.

And if you find a great rate, you get to lock in those savings for an extended time.
Long-term contracts also make it easier to budget for electricity throughout the year since your rate won’t change. If you want to take it a step further, some REPs offer average billing that can help smooth out your electricity bills.

While electricity shopping isn’t particularly hard or time-consuming, a long-term contract lets you relax throughout the year without shopping around. You don’t have to compare prices each month and worry about any price hikes in the future.

What are the downsides to long-term electricity contracts?

While locking in a great rate for electricity throughout the year can save you tons of money, you could find that rates dive if demand isn’t up to providers’ expectations.

You might be missing out on some savings during these times because you are locked into your contract.

A long-term contract will prevent you from switching to a cheaper plan if you want to maximize your savings.

Most long-term contracts will have an early termination fee, making breaking your contract costly.

If you decide to get out of a long-term contract, do a cost analysis and factor in the early termination fee.

You might be able to save enough money by switching plans to justify the cost of a few hundred dollars upfront.

Is a short or long-term contract better for you?

The short answer is that it depends. Unfortunately, there is no straightforward answer to tell you which will work best for you.

You’ll want to take a good hard look at what you want from your electricity plan before deciding what type of contract you want to sign.

Most energy consumers in Texas and on ComparePower choose 12-month fixed-rate electricity plans.

Choose a long-term rate and lock in your contract for the foreseeable future. This is an excellent option for someone with a long electricity usage history and who plans to stay in their home.

If you are on the other side of the coin and don’t mind shopping frequently, a short-term contract could be a good play for you.

You’ll be able to shop for electricity every couple of months and can maximize your savings by finding the cheapest rates when you shop.

Just remember that electricity prices usually go up, so there is no guarantee that you’ll be able to find a cheaper rate in the future.

Another common situation we hear about is someone moving into an apartment for the first time. You probably don’t have any electricity usage history if this is you.

Finding a perfect plan for your apartment can be difficult without historical usage. A short-term contract could be a good option until you establish some usage history.

If you ask us, your best bet is to pick a 12-month contract with no bill or usage credits. This type of contract will give you the best balance between a great electricity rate and the stability of a long-term contract.

You’ll get a good idea of your usage throughout the year and can pick a plan with a longer contract in the future that fits your unique usage profile.

Not sure how long you’ll be in your home or apartment? Don’t worry about signing a long-term contract if it is your best rate.

Texas law protects all movers from early termination fees, so you can sign up for that cheap 12-month contract without worrying about moving.

If you don’t want to commit to an electricity contract, you can look at pre-paid and month-to-month options.

These plans let you avoid signing a contract, but you’ll likely be looking at higher rates or some upfront deposit.

Ready to do your part for the environment? Many providers have plans that range from 6% to 100% renewable energy to help offset your carbon footprint.

Contract length FAQs

What time of year is electricity the cheapest?

Electricity prices in Texas fluctuate throughout the year, depending on demand. Summer and winter see the highest electricity demand as people heat and cool their homes. Conversely, spring and fall are usually when electricity rates are the lowest.

How long are energy contracts?

Energy contracts range in length from three months up to 36 months. The most common term lengths are 6, 12, 24, and 36 months.

Do I need to match my contract length to my lease?

There is no need to match your contract length to your lease. Instead, we recommend picking the contract length that gives you the best rate for your unique electricity usage.

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Any product or company names, marks, or logos shown on this page are the property of their respective owners. ComparePower is an unaffiliated, independent marketplace. Get unbiased, accurate information backed by our commitment to editorial integrity.

What is Smart Meter Texas?

Smart Meter Texas (SMT) is a database that stores daily, monthly, and 15-minute interval energy data recorded by digital electric meters (commonly referred to as “smart meters”).

SMT gives you quick access to your electricity use, electricity meter, and premise information and allows you to share that information with providers or any other authorized party.

AEP Texas Inc., CenterPoint Energy Houston Electric, LLC, Oncor Electric Delivery Company LLC, and Texas-New Mexico Power Company jointly own and manage SMT.

SMT is also endorsed by the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT).

SMT is a great tool to help you manage your electricity usage, lower your monthly electric bill, and compare your energy options to find the right plan for your home.

Why should you use Smart Meter Texas?

Reading your meter might seem daunting, but SMT takes all the guesswork out of learning about your electricity usage.

Once you have created an account, you can quickly view your usage throughout the day, week, or month to get a good idea of when you are using the most electricity.

This makes it easy to make a plan and cut back on your electricity usage to save money on your bill.

With a handle on your usage, you can also shop for electricity plans in the most accurate way possible on ComparePower.

Simply take your monthly usage numbers from SMT, and enter them into our TAB tool. You’ll see exactly what your bill will look like on any plan to know what will save you the most money.

How to view your usage with Smart Meter Texas

Smart meter texas

With timely access to energy data, SMT enables customers to better manage their energy consumption, lower their monthly electric bills, and take advantage of new products and services offered by Retail Electric Providers and Competitive Service Providers.

Total Time: 5 minutes

  1. Find your latest electric bill

    Step 1 How to

    Find your latest electricity bill or download a copy from your provider’s online account dashboard.

  2. Enter the PUCT Certificate Number for your REP

    Step 2 How to

    You can find the PUCT Certificate number on your electricity bill.

  3. Enter the ESID number

    Step 3 How to

    You can find the ESID number on your electricity bill.

  4. Enter the electric meter number

    Step 4

    You can find your meter number on your electricity bill.

  5. View Usage

    Step 5

    View 15-minute, daily, and monthly readings to get a handle on your electricity usage.


  • Internet access


  • A desktop, laptop tablet, or mobile device.

Materials: Your electricity bill.

Start saving on your Texas electricity bill.

When should you use Smart Meter Texas?

Use Smart Meter Texas to determine when you used the most electricity throughout that billing cycle. 
Find when your usage peaked, and plan to reduce electricity usage during those times to save money.

Ready to switch from your current provider? SMT has your monthly usage history to compare plans apples to apples.

Drop that usage right into our tools and figure out which plans match your usage right here on

All-inclusive pricing shows you exactly what your bill will look like with your usage. The savings will shock you.

Learn how to shop with your home’s electricity usage in Texas.

Who should use Smart Meter Texas?

SMT is an excellent service for anyone looking to get a handle on their electricity usage. You can quickly view your daily usage and clearly see which months will have the highest electricity bill.

If you’re shopping for electricity, create an account on SMT today. With your monthly usage history, you can get the most accurate prices on ComparePower.

We’ll show you all-inclusive pricing based on your exact usage history, so you’ll know exactly what your bill will look like.

Shop confidently that you are getting the best plan for your home in only a few minutes.

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Any product or company names, marks, or logos shown on this page are the property of their respective owners. ComparePower is an unaffiliated, independent marketplace. Get unbiased, accurate information backed by our commitment to editorial integrity.

Your electricity meter gives you the most accurate information on your energy usage. You can calculate precisely how much energy you use by day, month, and year. 

For savvy energy savers, your energy meter will tell you when you are using more electricity, and you might want to reign things in. 

If you find that you are using more energy than the average Texan, there are several steps to help conserve energy, and ComparePower can help you find a plan that fits your exact energy usage if you want to change. 

What is an electricity meter?

An electric meter is a device that measures your electricity usage. It is usually located where electricity enters your home through power lines, and you can read your usage to help lower your electricity bill.

All meters work similarly to the mileage on your car and record the total amount of power your residence or business has used since the meter was installed.  

Why should you learn to read your electric meter?

Your electric meter might seem like a foreign object on the side of your home or apartment, but modern smart meters make it easy to understand your energy usage. 

With these meters, you can quickly get a real-time readout of your electricity usage, calculate your yearly averages, and find easy ways to conserve energy and save money. 

Looking for an easy way to keep track of your energy usage in Texas? Check out Smart Meter Texas.

Types of electric meters 

There are two main types of electric meters that you will find in Texas. 

The majority of meters have now been converted to what are called Advanced Metering Systems (AMS) or smart meters. 

These types of meters send a digital reading to your electricity provider, eliminating the need for someone to go out and read your meter.

They generally record your electricity usage every 15 minutes instead of once a month, as older mechanical meters did. 

This gives you close to real-time readings on your usage that you can use to accurately assess how to save on your electricity bill. 

Some meters can even connect to an in-home display so that you can view your usage without leaving the comfort of your home.

In comparison, the old mechanical meters use a spinning disc to measure your usage, recorded on rotating needles or dials. 

The biggest advantage of smart meters is that you and your electricity provider have quick access to your usage, and your provider instantly knows if you have a power outage. 

How to read your electric meter 

electricity meter

Reading your meter is a relatively straightforward process, but some could have a few screens you’ll need to scroll through. 

Total Time: 5 minutes

Wake up the display

Step 1 How to

If the display on your meter isn’t on all the time, you may need to press the button to wake it up.

Read your usage

Step 2 How to

Once the screen is on, you’ll see a series of numbers corresponding to your energy usage. Remember that you see the total usage since the meter was first installed, so you’ll need to subtract the last reading total to find your current usage. 

The process is a little more complicated if you have an older analog meter. Each dial spins in the opposite direction and should display numbers zero through nine. 

You’ll read the numbers from left to right, and if the arrow is between two numbers, make sure to use the lower number. 


  • Electricity Meter


  • None

Materials: None

Average electricity meter usage and costs in Texas

Updated March 2023

The average residential electricity rate in Texas is 14.26 ¢/kWh, 5% less than the U.S. average.

Texas Electricity Rates Chart

Got me the cheapest electric. Nice.

Emily (TX, United States)

Using your electricity meter to lower electricity costs 

If you are like most people and want to save money, taking a deeper look at your electricity usage can save you hundreds of dollars each year. 

Paying attention to your spikes in energy usage can help you find times when you might want to reign things in. 

Keeping that in mind, seasonal weather changes are one of the most significant factors in electricity usage for Texans. 

As the summer heats up, electricity usage can double, if not triple, for some households. 

Taking steps like sealing any air leaks in your house or apartment can help keep your cold air conditioning inside for longer. 

If you live in an older home, you may consider replacing your weather sealing and insulation to help your home regulate the heat. 

If it’s your first year in Texas or you’ve had the same plan for a while, you might want to dig into the details of your plan to see if your usage matches the prices you are paying. 

Different types of plans can save you money thanks to bill credits if you use more energy than you used to. 

Here at ComparePower, we recommend you look at your energy usage at least once a year and make sure your electricity plan still works. 

Better yet, you can shop and compare electricity plans with your home’s annual usage profile to find an affordable electricity rate for your Texas home.

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Any product or company names, marks, or logos shown on this page are the property of their respective owners. ComparePower is an unaffiliated, independent marketplace. Get unbiased, accurate information backed by our commitment to editorial integrity.

What is average billing?

Average billing lets you pay a fixed amount monthly instead of more during high-usage months and less during low-usage months, making budgeting for electricity more predictable.

Have you ever found yourself in the middle of a Texas summer, the sun beating down on your home, wondering what your next electricity bill will look like? 

Texas weather is notorious for extreme weather throughout the year with little to no predictability. The only guarantee you have is that summer will probably be hot, and winter can get cold. 

These changes in the weather can have a significant impact on your electricity usage. If you have ever wondered if you could even out your electricity bills, then average billing might be right for you. 

Average billing, also known as budget or balanced billing, uses your electricity usage throughout the year to calculate an average monthly bill. 

Your bill remains relatively flat throughout the year, and you will better understand your electricity bill. 

This makes planning for your electricity bill easier, and you won’t have to worry about a hot week in the middle of March wrecking your budget. 

The important thing to remember is that average billing offsets your monthly bill based on your average usage. One way or another, you end up paying for your actual usage throughout the year.

How does average billing work?

The idea of average billing is that your electricity bills should be similar each month without any drastic spikes. 

Ideally, you’ll have predictable bills to easily budget for electricity throughout the year. 

Retail electricity providers (REPs) use a simple formula to calculate what your average bill will be each month. 

They add up your past 12 months of electricity usage and then divide that number by 12 to get your average monthly electricity usage in kilowatt-hours (kWh). 

Once they have that number, it is multiplied by your current electricity rate to determine your average monthly bill. 

If you average 1,500 kWh of usage each month and your rate is 10 cents per kWh, your average monthly bill would be $150 throughout the year. 

Each month your REP also looks at your bill to compare your actual usage with what you were billed for.

If you use more or less energy than your average, you’ll have a deferred balance that keeps track of any differences. 

Most providers will add 1/12th of your deferred balance to your next month’s bill to avoid that deferred balance getting too big. 

At the end of your electricity contract, any remaining balance will be added or credited to your account by your provider. 

Suppose you don’t have a full year of electricity usage history or don’t have any at all. In that case, the REP can also use any previous history from your service address to calculate your average. 

Unfortunately, the calculation will be based on someone else’s electricity usage habits, and likely won’t be accurate for you, so keep that in mind before signing up for average billing.

Does average billing save you money? 

Are you wondering if average billing is worth it?

The unfortunate side of average billing is that you don’t end up saving any money at all. Each month your electricity provider adjusts your bill to smooth out any spikes in usage. 

Say it’s March, and you get surprised with some great weather. The clouds blow away, and you wear shorts and t-shirts for a week, so you crank up the air conditioning. 

You enjoyed the sun, got a tan, and now you have extra electricity charges you haven’t paid for. The difference between your average bill and your actual charges is set aside in a deferred balance. 

Your provider is happy to keep track of anything you owe them and ensure you don’t underpay, regardless of the difference. 

If you use less electricity, you can end up with a negative balance or a credit on your account. When your contract ends, your provider will apply for any credit on your account to your last bill. 

At the end of the year, you’ve still paid for all of your electricity usage and haven’t saved a dime. 

What are the benefits of average billing?

The main benefit of an average billing plan is that your bill will stay relatively consistent throughout the year. 

You might have a small increase here or there to cover a deferred balance, but you don’t have to worry about crazy weather spikes that could double or triple your bill in a single month. 

This gives you a good idea of what your electricity bill will look like each month, and you can easily budget throughout the year. 

Stability is great, but you still need to pay attention to your monthly payments to ensure you aren’t racking up a large deferred balance. 

What are the drawbacks of average billing?

In an ideal environment, your deferred balance at the end of your contract would be close to zero.

However, any variation in your energy usage adds up, and you can get stuck with a big payment at the end of your contract if you aren’t careful. It also matters when you start an average billing agreement.  

If you haven’t had a full year to sort through any overpayments and underpayments, you’re more likely to have a deferred balance left over. 

While average billing helps to smooth out weather extremes, they still impact your energy use and can build your deferred balance throughout the year. 

And if you don’t have a full year of electricity usage history, then your average bill is based on someone else’s behavior rather than your own, to begin with.

Average billing can also lead to laziness when it comes to energy conservation. It’s easy to leave lights on and not pay attention to your thermostat if it doesn’t affect your wallet at the end of the month. 

In a worst-case scenario, your electricity contract expires, and you end up on an expensive month-to-month holdover rate. 
The difference between your average bill and actual usage cost will grow your deferred balance even faster, and you could be stuck with a big debt to pay. 

Is average billing right for me? 

Average billing is a great option for someone looking for a stable electricity bill throughout the year and isn’t afraid of keeping an eye on it. 

If you have a good understanding of your usage and are stable in your home, keeping an eye on your deferred balance should be easy to avoid surprises at the end of your contract. 

You’ll have an easier time planning out your monthly finances without worrying about what the weather is doing. 

Stable electric bills could also be great for someone on a fixed income. You’ll have more consistent bills and won’t have to guess when planning your finances. 

Considering a new pool or maybe an electric vehicle in the future? You’ll want to wait on average billing if you think your usage patterns will change. 

A big change in your usage can lead to underpayment on your bill and a big deferred balance. You could be stuck with a massive bill to settle anything you owe to your provider at the end of your contract. 

How can I get average billing?

You can request average billing for electricity by contacting your electricity provider directly by phone. Most providers on ComparePower offer average billing.

Other considerations 

If you aren’t sold on switching to average billing, you have a few other options that could help you with budgeting. 

You could try creating your own average billing plan without going through your provider. Take a peek at your bills throughout the last year and determine your average payment. 

Each month your bill is lower than your average, and you can put that extra money into a savings account and use it to pay for any expensive months in the future. 

Your savings account might also pay you a small interest on that money which is better than nothing coming from your provider. 

You can also look into plans that use bill credits. These give you a discount on your electricity bill when you use a certain amount each month. 

If you know that you will always hit that usage threshold, you could save yourself some money each month with one of these plans.

Furthermore, you can use bill credit plans by shopping with your home’s historical usage profile. Shopping with your home’s usage history lets you compare energy plans apples to apples.  

Learn how to switch electricity providers with your home’s historical usage.

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Any product or company names, marks, or logos shown on this page are the property of their respective owners. ComparePower is an unaffiliated, independent marketplace. Get unbiased, accurate information backed by our commitment to editorial integrity.

Electricity contracts: Know the facts before you sign

If you’re shopping for an electricity plan in Texas, it’s essential to know how to read an electricity contract. 

When choosing the right energy plan for your household, you can consider various options, including long-term, short-term, fixed-rate, and variable-rate contracts.

You are entering into a legal agreement. A contract is a legal agreement between you and your energy retailer. 

Before you sign an electricity contract, look over the terms of service, electricity facts label, and customer rights page to ensure you are informed of all the details. 

Understanding what is in your electricity contract can help you choose the best energy plan and help you avoid surprises on your electricity bill.

Reading an electricity contract 

When shopping for electricity, you need to pay attention to three documents. Details matter, and nowhere is this more evident than electricity in Texas. Be sure to carefully read each document before you sign your contract.

The Electricity Facts Label 

The first document you need to understand in your contract is the Electricity Facts Label (EFL), which is one of the most vital parts of your contract. 

Following complaints that it was challenging to compare electricity contracts, the Public Utilities Commission of Texas mandated that all retail electric service providers provide standardized information about their contracts via the Electricity Facts Label.

In the EFL, you will find information on the charges for your electricity, including the cost per kilowatt-hour (kWh) and any extra fees associated with the production and distribution of electricity. 

Learn how to read your Electricity Facts Label.

Terms of Service 

Next, you must read and understand the Terms of Service (TOS).  

This is the legally binding part of your contract, and you must understand it before signing. 

It is similar to the terms and conditions you agree to when using other products and will give you information about the obligations both parties must fulfill. 

You’ll be notified a month before your contract expires, and you can cancel or negotiate new terms any time within two weeks of your contract’s end date. 

Your Rights as Consumer 

Finally, you must know about “Your Rights as a Consumer” (YRAC). 

This document will detail the federal protections in place, like the supplier’s responsibility to not discriminate based on gender, race, and religion, as well as other rights you have.

This can include your right to privacy or the company’s obligation to notify you of certain changes and seek your consent when necessary.

Contract expiration

Make sure your contract does not expire. Not doing anything is by far the most expensive option. 

You’re automatically put on a holdover rate when your contract expires, which fluctuates based on market conditions, resulting in unexpectedly high electricity bills.

You might overpay for electricity if you let your contract expire without action.

Set a reminder here, and we will notify you when it’s time to switch.

If you have an expired contract, it’s time to act. Comparing energy plans in Texas based on your usage history is the best way to save money.

Contract renewal cycle

Generally, you want to avoid contracts with short or odd-numbered terms, such as three or nine months, as these will expire when electricity demand is at its peak and prices are high, for example, right before or in the middle of summer in Texas.

These short-term plans may appear to be a good deal, but their purpose is to delay the end of your contract to a period that is less advantageous to you and more favorable to the electric provider long term.

Learn how electricity contract renewals work in Texas.

Compare electricity rates and save.

Shopping considerations

Consider these additional factors when shopping for a new energy plan. 

Contract length

The majority of electricity contracts last 6-24 months. 

If you are renting, the term of your electricity contract does not need to coincide with the term of your lease. 

You can cancel an energy contract in Texas if you move out, so you can select any term length that offers you the best price.

A long-term contract is the best option if you stay in the same place for a while and don’t want to change providers frequently.

Most Texas consumers find that 12-month plans offer the right balance between affordable rates and the hassle of switching providers often.

Short-term contracts 

Short-term energy contracts last less than a year. Most providers offer six-month contracts, but a few offer three-month plans. 

Short-term contracts offer more flexibility if you don’t find shopping and switching providers burdensome.

You will have the opportunity to switch more frequently with a short-term energy plan, which can be an advantage if you often like to shop the market for lower rates. 

It might be a risky game, however. Plan prices in Texas tend to fluctuate with demand throughout the year. 

If you sign up for a short-term plan, you may find yourself renewing in a month that would be less ideal, such as in the middle of a hot Texas summer when prices are at their highest.

Unless you enjoy monitoring electricity rates often and understand how to shop, we recommend going with a 12-month length plan. 

A whole year between shopping tends to be a good balance between shopping for a new plan and minimizing the burden of having to shop for a new energy plan often. 

Long-term contracts 

Long-term electricity contracts allow you to lock in an electricity rate for an extended period. They usually last anywhere from 12–36 months.

In a market where prices fluctuate, you can set your budget and avoid guessing what your bill might be each month. 

In addition, companies usually charge less the longer you commit.  

There will typically be a fee for canceling the contract, but if you move within the plan’s timeframe, protections may waive the early termination fee.

The drawback of a fixed-rate contract is that it keeps you locked in even when prices drop. 

Rate type 

Most Texas consumers prefer a fixed-rate electricity plan over a variable-rate plan as they lead to more predictable power bills. 

Which is better: Fixed-rate or Variable-rate Electricity?

Fixed rates

A fixed-rate plan keeps the same electricity rate throughout your contract period. This is a more traditional option and what many of our readers choose.  

Note that a fixed-rate energy plan does not mean your electric bill will always remain the same. You still pay for each kilowatt-hour you use each month, which can change throughout the year.

The total amount of energy you use, the energy rate, and any additional utility charges will determine your monthly bill.

Variable rates

On the other hand, a variable-rate plan will let you pay the market price for electricity. 

When rates drop, you see the savings. When rates go up, you pay the price.

If you are in a position where you can control your usage daily, this is a good option. 

You can use more electricity when prices are low and reduce usage during peak demand.

The decision is yours, and you’re looking to find the best rates, regardless of the type of plan. 

The best electricity plan or rate is often determined by the price per kWh and your home’s kWh usage. 

Learn how to switch energy providers in Texas. 


Some plans include features like 100% Green, Free Nights & Weekends, or a free Nest Thermostat. 


Depending on your credit score and utility payment history, a deposit may be required. 

A deposit might not be required from some ComparePower providers, so you can sign up for service immediately. 

You may not have to pay a deposit if other providers do not require one. A single order gives you an overview of deposit requirements across providers. 

ComparePower can help you find a no-deposit plan quicker and more efficiently.

Go prepaid and avoid deposits and credit checks altogether.

Learn how to get no-deposit lights in Texas

Canceling an electricity contract

Cancellations are possible anytime, but there may be an early termination fee if you switch providers before your term is due. Be sure to read your contract and understand the cancellation rules.

Moving out is the only way to terminate an electricity contract without paying an early termination fee.

This scenario occurs when couples divorce, family members enter the military, or roommates move out.

With two or more people living in the same house, you can cancel your electricity contract and have someone else transfer it in their name to another electricity provider.

Then, another household member can place a move-in order through ComparePower for the same address with a new provider.  

Make sure that you select “move-in” at checkout.

Call your electric provider and ask them to cancel your service by a specific date because you are moving out. You can avoid service interruptions by doing this, and the bill will be removed from your name.

Depending on your provider, they may require proof, such as a forwarding address for your last bill, but you are not required to provide it.

A new provider will service your home, and the electricity billing will no longer be in your name but in the name of the other household member. 

This is not intended as a way to avoid paying your bills. Paying your electric bill on time will allow you to enjoy low rates without upfront deposits and remain in good standing with the electric company. 

Changing providers without paying your bill can hurt your credit and ultimately result in a higher rate or an upfront deposit.

Compare rates ad make an informed decision.

Electricity contract FAQs

Will I lose power if my electricity contract expires?

No, you will not lose power if your electricity contract expires. Your current provider will continue to provide power to you, but at a high rate, called a holdover rate. 

Do not let your contract lapse. Inaction is costly and can lead to unpredictable electric bills. Shop with your home’s historical usage on ComparePower and find the right plan for your home in 10 minutes. Enroll online, confident you got a great rate. 

Can I cancel an electricity contract?

In Texas, when switching providers, you can cancel an electricity contract without penalty within three days by contacting the provider directly by phone. 

Cancellations are possible at any time, but switching providers before the end of your contract may result in an early termination fee. In Texas, you have 14 days before the end of your contract to switch providers without penalty. Be sure to read your contract and understand the cancellation terms.

An electricity contract can also be canceled by moving out of your residence and entirely ceasing service under your name. You can easily cancel your electricity service when you move out by calling your electricity provider. Early termination fees do not apply when moving out.