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The Power to Choose Is Yours

On January 1, 2002, Texas residents gained the power to choose their electricity provider. With the implementation of Texas Senate Bill 7, areas of the state became deregulated energy markets. Texans in these areas cannot get their electricity supply from their utility, but they can shop around for electricity service. Across most of the state, residents have the power to choose where to get their electricity supply.

With this choice also comes the responsibility of shopping around to find the electric provider that can offer you everything you expect from an electricity company at rates that will fit nicely into your budget. It is up to you to compare energy rates from electricity providers in your area.

Compare electricity companies before you choose

When switching energy providers, the first thing to research is the available rates and plans in your area. Instead of having only one option with your utility company for energy rates or plans, if you live in a deregulated area, you can shop around for something different. Electricity supply rates vary depending on where in Texas you live. It is important to compare energy rates among the providers in your service area. You have the choice of finding a provider that offers exactly what you're looking for.

When you compare electricity companies, you also want to consider how long your contract should be. You can find electricity supply plans that last from one month to several years. Think about how long you might be in your current service area. If you own a home, you might want the stability of a longer contract. If you live in an apartment, you might prefer the flexibility of a shorter plan.

Use resources for your power to choose

Texas residents can use a site such as ShopEnergyRatesTexas.com to learn about their options and how to find the best energy supply company in their service area. How you define “the best” may be different than your neighbor's definition, so it’s smart to consider the options you have and compare electricity companies on your terms.

The Public Utility Commission (PUC) in Texas helps regulate the electricity industry across the state. The PUC in Texas gives retail electric providers licenses and scores so consumers can see an unbiased rating of each company. Another resource from the PUC in Texas is PowerToChoose.org, a place for consumers to read about energy plans.

 

Why is the power to choose electricity in Texas important?

Having the power to choose your own energy provider makes it possible for consumers to find the best electricity supply rates and benefits for them. If Texas were its own nation, it would be the 11th largest energy market in the world. Its open market drives competition and can keep prices low. It also encourages companies to offer a variety of innovative plans that will be attractive to customers.

 

Should you choose green energy products?

When you have choices, you have the chance to look for companies that offer you green energy solutions and help the environment a little bit more. Green energy products add renewable energy to the grid using resources such as hydropower and wind power.

 

Don’t be overwhelmed by your choices – when you educate yourself about the energy market, all the pieces will fall into place.

Updated: 10-5-15.