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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.
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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.
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