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 the rate you were previously paying with your former electric company. Check the details of your new contract to find out.
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 today right here on ComparePower to a fixed-rate plan that will be easier to budget and cheaper than a holdover rate.
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What is a Provider of Last Resort, or POLR?
POLR service, or Provider of Last Resort, serves as a safety net for you when your preferred retail electric provider (REP) is unable to 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 service is intended to be temporary and 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.
POLR must be served by the large service providers (LSPs), and smaller providers may volunteer to participate.
Find a low rate and switch energy providers instantly.
What are my options if my electric provider goes out of business?
Getting dumped to POLR is not ideal. There’s no getting around that, but you now have the opportunity to 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.
In as little as five minutes, you can compare all of your electricity options to find the right plan for your home.
We’ll show you all-inclusive pricing, so you know exactly what your bills will look like.
Shop with your usage to 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, then 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 have to purchase electricity ahead of time to support your needs.
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 isn’t able to 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 exactly 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, which is updated every two years.
The largest providers are required to serve as a POLR and smaller providers may choose to take part in order 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, first off, don’t worry. The POLR system was put in place to make sure that your lights stay 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 you had 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 have the opportunity to 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 today in as little as 5 minutes and enjoy real savings on your energy bill month after month.
Search for a low electricity rate and enroll online in minutes.