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Moving In: How to Set up Electricity Service in Texas

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This article details how to start electricity service when moving in to a new home in Texas.

Starting Electricity Service in Texas

Not matter which utility company you are serviced by for technical issues, if this utility part of the large investor-owned utilities in Texas, you will have to sign up with a Retail Energy Provider.

These investor owned utilities are:

Texas Utilities Energy Provided
AEP Texas Electricity only
CenterPoint Energy Electricity only
Oncor Electricity only
Sharyland Utilities Electricity only
Texas New Mexico Power Electricity only

The amount of time you should call before your move-in date varies by utility and by REP. If there is no technical requirement (if the home was recently occupied), it can be immediate (or take a few hours). If the home was previously unoccupied, the activation may require a technician, which can take up to 5 working days.

Your Retail Energy Provider will need certain information to open a new electricity account. This often includes things like your:

  • Name
  • Social Security Number (or Passport info if you don't have one)
  • New Address / Meter number / ESID (Electric Service Identifier)
  • Move in Date
  • Date of Birth
  • Phone number
  • If rental property, type of lease

Procedures vary based on the Retail Energy Provider and the utility company. Look at our list of Retail Energy Providers in Texas to find out which one you wish to choose.

If your new home's electricity line has been cut, usually because the previous tenant has left a while ago, your utility will need to send a technician onsite. For most utilities, this can take up to 5 business days and depends on technician availability. There is usually no way to speed up this process.

For homes where electricity has not been deactivated, there should be no need for a technician to come to your home, unless it is for a meter reading.

Electricity Plans Available

When moving into a new home, you must choose a plan with your Retail Energy Provider. Most energy providers offer both variable and fixed rates. We tend to recommend fixed rates for Retail Energy Providers. For more information about this, please visit our pages:

Signing up with a Retail Energy Provider

Since In Texas, if you are located on the service territory of one of the 5 investor-owned utility companies of Texas (AEP Texas, CenterPoint Energy, Oncor, Sharyland Utilities and Texas-New Mexico Power), you must choose a Retail Energy Provider, and go through it to set up your electricity plan. Your local utility takes care of the delivery of your electricity. The Supply as well as the customers service is coverered by the REP. Supply is the actual cost of the electricity you consume, plus administrative and customer service charges. Delivery includes all costs related to building and maintaining transmission and delivery infrastructure, as well as getting electricity to your home.

Deregulation and Freedom to Choose

Since the Texas electricity and gas markets were deregulated, Texans can pick another REP for their electricity supply. This means that while your local utility is still responsible for delivering your electricity, your REP charges you for all supply-related costs.

How it Works

The charges are separate now between supply and delivery, since after signing up with an REP you will have two different companies dealing with different aspects of your electricity. You will receive only one bill from your bill from your REP, but this bill will also include the delivery costs incurred by you utility company. There is no interruption of service if choose to switch providers, since your traditional utility will continue to deliver your energy.