Starting or Stopping Energy Service When Moving in Texas
Moving in to a new home or out of an old one in Texas? We detail how to handle your energy service below.
Today, If you want to start service in a new home in Texas, you must first choose a Retail Electric Provider (REP) and a plan for your electricity. Your local utility company is still in charge of delivering your electricity, but your REP takes care of all charges related to supply.
The process for starting up service is usually the same no matter which supplier you choose. Most companies require that you call their customer service line around five to seven days in advance before your moving in date in order to ensure that your service is turned on in time.
Shopping for Electricity for the First Time?Check out our guides to shopping for electricity in Texas, including:
How to Avoid Making Mistakes When Shopping For Electricity
How to Read Your Electricity contract
Choosing an Energy Plan
There are two main types of price options for your electricity in Texas:
- Variable price plans: price of electricity per kilowatt-hour changes every month due to changes in weather, demand, and other factors
- Fixed rates plans: the cost of electricity per kWh is fixed for the duration of the contract (6, 12, 24 months or more)
In general, we recommend choosing a fixed rate contract. We usually do not recommend variable rate plans with REPs. Texas does not regulate retail provider rates, so variable rates can end up being more expensive than expected.
Starting Electricity Service
Once you've made your choice, make sure to call your chosen REP at least five business days before your move in date, with the following information:
- Your name and contact information (phone number, email)
- Your date of birth
- Your new address
- Your planned move in date
- The name and rate of your chosen plan
- Your Social Security Number (SSN) and/or driver's license
If Service Has Been Shut Off
It may take longer to open your account based on whether electricity or gas service to your new home has been turned off since the prior resident left. If this is the case, your utility company will need to send a technician out to your home to get a meter reading or activate service in person. How long this will take will depend on how many technicians your utility has available.
Terminating Electric Service
If you are moving out of the area, you will need to notify your retail electric provider. You will be able to transfer your service to your new home if you remain within the service area covered by your REP, but if they do not provide service in your new home, you will have to terminate your plan. In most cases, you can terminate your plan with no fees when you move out of your REP's service area, but you will need to provide sufficient documentation. Check the terms and conditions of your plan with your REP to verify exactly what they need to cancel your plan without penalties. It is a good idea to provide as much notice as possible of an upcoming move, as some REP require up to 30 days' notice to close an account.
Once again, contact your REP if you are moving to a new home within the same service area. Check the terms and conditions of your plan to find out how much notice is required. You can usually transfer your service over the phone, or online through an online account if you have one.
You may be asked to provide your REP with the following information:
- Account number
- Any changes to your account information
- Planned move-out date
- New address and planned move-in date
Be sure to have your Social Security Number available, because it may be needed to verify your identity.