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Electricity companies in Texas : Choose a Retail Electric Provider

Following the deregulation in 2002 of the Texas energy market, Texans now have the power to choose their electricity provider. There are currently over 70 retail electric providers who offer various choices in their plans such as renewable energy consumption options (like 100% solar and wind power), different types of energy rates, contract length, and even plans that offer annual summer energy rate freezes! Swipe (or scroll) down to find out more information on the retail electric providers (REPs) powering Texas and decide which electricity company you want to power your home.

What are retail electric providers (REPs)?

Retail electric providers (REPs) sell electricity to Texas energy consumers within the deregulated areas of the state. Residents and commercial customers alike are given the power to choose which electric provider is most appealing in cities including Dallas, Fort Worth, Arlington, Garland, Houston, Katy, Plano, Corpus Christi, Midland, Odessa, and many more.

Electric providers are primarily responsible for (but not limited to):

  • Purchasing wholesale electricity on behalf of their customers
  • Paying the charges associated with power transmission & delivery to the relevant utility
  • Providing customer service, and billing the customer for the charges associated with their electric supply

Electricity companies in Texas : How do electric providers work with the utility company (TDU)?

All REPs work with each utility company operating in the retail energy market (hosted by the ERCOT grid), which include:

  1. Oncor Electric Delivery
  2. CenterPoint Energy
  3. AEP Texas North
  4. AEP Texas Central
  5. Texas-New Mexico Power Co. (TNMP)

I can choose my electric provider, but can I choose which utility company (TDU) I get my energy from? Well, yes and no ... in short, it takes relocating to change TDUs. Understand more about the Transmission & Distribution Utility companies in Texas, their service areas, and compare the TDU pricing too!

Which electricity companies near me can I choose?

Nearly all of them! The best thing about residing in a deregulated area is that the distance between you and the +70 electric providers does not impact access to their service. Just have your energy needs and preferences ready to choose the electric provider that fits you best!

What makes a big difference is if you happen to reside in a municipality that has its own co-op utility service, much like Denton, Texas and surrounding communities. Denton (just north of Dallas-Fort Worth) is on the ERCOT grid and within the Oncor service area but is serviced by CoServ Electric which does not participate in the retail energy market.

What is the difference between electric providers and utility companies?

Your local utility company is responsible for delivering your power, and for operating and maintaining the electric transmission and distribution infrastructure (the power lines). You should contact them in the case of a power outage or electricity related emergency.

Retail electric providers are the first point of contact for all other questions related to electricity supply, including electric rates, billing, how to pay your bill, and general customer service questions. Check out the list below to find out more about the retail electric providers that provide service in Texas.

Are TXU Energy (Vistra Energy) and Reliant Energy the best electric providers in Texas to choose?

The REPs with the biggest market share could simply mean that they have the best marketing and competitive strategy - not necessarily that they have the best service and pricing. Nevertheless, Texas has some popular electric providers to choose from (supplying service to residents in the competitive service areas of ERCOT's five retail utiliity companies): 

*TXU - Texas Utilities Company - is not a Transmission & Distribution Utility (TDU) company (as it is commonly perceived) - TXU Energy operates as a retail electric provider (REP).

Historically, the retail electric providers with most presence in Texas are TXU Energy, Gexa Energy, Reliant (NRG), Constellation Energy, and Chariot Energy. Whether their footprint in the state is a good thing is ultimately decided by consumers. Let's look at these major electric providers in more detail along with customer insight to see how these top players are managing their game.

TXU Energy (by Vistra Energy)

TXU Energy, along with Ambit Energy, is a Vistra Corp subsidiary. Vistra Corp (Vistra Energy) is based in Irving, Texas and is traded on the NYSE. The company serves nearly 5 million customers across 20 states (including Texas) providing power generated using natural gas, nuclear, solar, and battery storage (and is currently looking into wind power). 

Looking at Vistra Corp in Texas from a customer experience standpoint: since May 2020 both TXU and Ambit have received a total of 281 formal complaints, with "billing" the #1 complaint for each. Both electric providers rank in the Top Ten of most complaints received: TXU Energy #3 and Ambit Energy #6.

Gexa Energy

Gexa Energy, a subsidiary of Florida based NextEra Energy Resources, tops the list at #1 for most customer complaints filed. Gexa Energy, NextEra Energy's only subsidiary in Texas, has received a total of 243 formal complaints since May 2020 with nearly 60% of those issues coming from "billing".

Gexa Energy announced in August 2019 that they will be powering all residential plans with 100% renewable energy, at no extra cost to the consumer. Although Gexa Energy offers a 60-day penalty-free contract termination (in which customers must switch to a different Gexa Energy plan), customer satisfaction continues to be a challenge.

Reliant Energy

Reliant Energy, acquired by NRG Energy (headquartered in both Princeton, NJ and Houston), belongs to the same family of electricity providers that Green Mountain Energy, Discount Power, Stream Energy, and Cirro Energy are a part of. NRG Energy serves around 2.9 million customers in the various northeastern states (D.C., Maryland, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, etc) and Texas.

With all NRG Energy subsidiaries in the top 15 list of most customer complaints, Reliant Energy comes in at 199 with just under half of all complaints filed against the NRG energy family.

Constellation Energy

Constellation Energy, formerly StarTex Power, is a subsidiary of Chicago-based Exelon Corporation and is #9 on the PUC's list of most complaints received. Slightly more than half of the 81 complaints against the electricity provider are "billing" related which is on track to be worse-off (statistically) than TXU and Reliant Energy.

The electric provider announced in October 2020 its plans to commit three huge commercial customers: Kimberly-Clark, Hewlett Packard Enterprises and Manheim to 10-year agreements for Texan produced solar power. The solar facility, Rayos del Sol solar project, is based in Cameron County and expected to begin service in 2022.

Chariot Energy

Lastly, Chariot Energy is the "doing-business-as" name for 174 Power GLobal Retail Texas LLC (part of Irvine, California's 174 Power Global Corporation). Chariot Energy is an affiliate company of Hanwha Group which is a FORTUNE Global 500 firm and one of the 8 largest businesses in South Korea.

Connected to the most global of energy companies on this list, Chariot is winning over consumers with a mere 4 complaints filed against them since May 2020.

How to find and choose the best electric providers in Texas

Retail electric providers offer a wide variety of rate options and customer rewards, including fixed rates, variable rates, indexed rates, and prepaid electricity. Many of them offer additional customer rewards including free power at night and/or weekends, air mile rewards, and more.

There are many aspects to consider when sifting through all the plans that any one electric provider may offer. A few things to be sure to watch out for are any plans that may include additional tariffs like base fee chargesminimum usage fees, or even strange kWh usage rate spikes for excessive energy consumption.

A great resource to reference when shopping for a new electric provider is the Texas Public Utility Commission's Complaint Statistics report. The Texas PUC keeps an ongoing record of official complaints filed against retail electric providers as well as the type of complaint that was filed (for billing issues, cramming/slamming, disconnection, etc.).

Moving or Switching? We're here to help and at no cost! Call us at 1 (346) 293-7657 to find the best electric provider that serves your area in Texas.