If you’ve ever struggled to pay your monthly electric bill, you’re not alone. According to the Energy Information Administration, 31% of U.S. households have struggled to pay their energy bills at some point or another. And it doesn’t help that energy costs have surged in recent years.
If you’re a Texan concerned about your ability to pay your next utility bill, there are a number of resources available to you. You might be surprised at the variety of options when it comes to the types of plans available and the government programs for which you may qualify.
- Many factors affect your electric bill, such as where you live, the size and age of your home, and your energy usage habits.
- If you don’t have an excellent credit score, there are still many affordable energy plans available (i.e., prepaid plans, month-to-month plans, no deposit plans).
- Low-income families may qualify for certain government assistance programs to relieve some of the burden of paying for energy needs.
Low Income Electricity Companies in Texas
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Plan
There are a variety of factors at play when it comes to how you use energy and how that impacts your ideal electricity plan. For instance, where you live directly impacts electricity rates. In terms of the continental U.S., Texas’s electricity costs are relatively average.
However, your cost of electricity relative to the rest of the Lone Star State may be impacted by extreme weather conditions driving up demand. It may also be affected by fuel costs–the type of fuel your power plant uses (i.e., coal is typically more expensive to use than certain renewable energy sources like solar and wind) as well as its infrastructure’s age and condition.
The size and age of your home may also affect electricity prices. Bigger homes inherently use more electricity, as do homes with more inhabitants (more people using electricity at the same time means a steeper bill at the end of the month). Older homes also tend to be less energy efficient than their more updated counterparts. Newer homes tend to have stricter building and energy codes as well as more updated insulation and HVAC systems, which means they use less energy.
Finally, your energy usage habits are directly correlated with your electricity bill. If you’re energy conscious throughout the month, you’ll see a decrease in your utility cost. However, your energy usage levels may be out of your control if you’re sharing a home with several people or if extreme weather conditions necessitate the use of heat and AC.
Looking for Affordable Rates? We’ve Got You Covered!
If you’re looking for an affordable energy plan for your Texas home, we’ve got your back. The table below outlines some of the most affordable, high-quality electricity plans from electricity companies in Texas, including the cost per kilowatt-hour. (Kilowatt-hours measure how much energy you’re expending—for instance, if you vacuum with a 1,000-watt vacuum cleaner for one hour, you’ll expend one kWh of energy.)
|Gexa Energy – Saver Deluxe 24||24 Months||12.1¢ per kWh|
|Express Energy – Flash 24||24 Months||12.1¢ per kWh|
|Frontier Utilities – Super Value 24||24 Months||12.1¢ per kWh|
|Frontier Utilities – Saver Plus 12||12 Months||12.2¢ per kWh|
|Express Energy – Flash 12||12 Months||12.2¢ per kWh|
|4Change Energy – Maxx Saver Select 24||24 Months||12.2¢ per kWh|
|4Change Energy – Maxx Saver Select 12||12 Months||12.3¢ per kWh|
|Veteran Energy – Veteran Energy Valor 36||36 Months||12.4¢ per kWh|
Do I Need a Good Credit Score to Sign Up for Low Income Electricity in Texas?
If you don’t have a stellar credit score, you may be concerned about your ability to obtain a low-income electricity plan from mainstream energy providers in Texas. However, you’d be surprised how many options are available to consumers, even those with below-average credit scores.
Prepaid Electricity Plans
Many energy companies offer prepaid electricity plans. These are an excellent option for low-income customers and/or those who are just getting started building up credit. With a prepaid plan, you deposit funds into an account ahead of time, so you won’t receive a monthly bill. These plans put the consumer in control and typically don’t require a credit check.
Similar to prepaid cell phone plans, these contracts don’t require a long-term commitment. Instead, you’ll receive daily alerts about your electricity consumption and will be able to plan your energy usage accordingly in order to stay under budget.
How Can I Get Help Paying My Electricity Bill?
If you’re in need of assistance paying your electricity bill in Texas, there are a variety of useful resources available. You might be surprised to learn that you qualify for some of these benefit programs, and even that they exist in the first place.
For instance, the Texas Comprehensive Energy Assistance Program (CEAP) is specifically designed to aid low-income families (and/or families with elderly or disabled members) in meeting their energy needs.
Depending on your household income and the size of your household, you may qualify to have six to eight of your highest energy bills of the year covered. If you or a family member receives SSI or certain Means Tested Veterans Program payments, you’re automatically eligible.
Under Senate Bill 1976, if the person whose name is on your electric bill is in SNAP (food stamps) or on Medicaid, you may qualify for assistance from your electricity provider. Contact your provider to see what your options are.
Programs like Lifeline (for any low-income Texas residents) and Link-Up (for Texas residents living on tribal lands) may allow you to have your telephone service bill covered.
The Victims of Family Violence program allows domestic violence victims to have their electricity bill deposits waived.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services offers a Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). Through this program, a community agency in your area may be able to provide you with a yearly benefit towards your utility bill or with emergency funds towards your energy costs. Based on your income, household size, primary heating source, and whether you have a young, elderly, and/or disabled family member, you may qualify for LIHEAP.
Finally, the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs Weatherization Program offers low-income Texans an energy audit. This means that you may qualify to receive a review of your home’s energy efficiency and subsequent installation of weatherization measures (that will help alleviate some of your electric bill in the future).