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What Is Energy Deregulation?

Are you moving to Texas? Welcome to the Lone Star State, where we take pride in our rugged individualism and independent spirit! Now that you’ve made a move, you’ll to want to learn about another one of the great things about living in Texas — energy deregulation.

There are other states in the U.S. with deregulated energy markets. California, Connecticut, Illinois, New, York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and a few other states are in the same company as Texas. That said, there is no state with a wholly deregulated energy market. Today, approximately 85% of Texans have the choice to choose an electrical service provider, meaning Texas consumers can find an energy package that is best suited to their needs. You can think of it much like how you’re able to select a cell phone provider.

Basic facts about energy deregulation

You’ll want to know some basic facts about energy deregulation. If you’ve already lived in a state with energy deregulation (California, Connecticut, Illinois, New York, Ohio, and Pennsylvania are some of them), you may already know what it’s like. That said, there is no state with a wholly deregulated energy market.

Whether you need a refresher or you’re new to this whole energy deregulation thing, we’ll break it down for you so that it’s easier to understand.

You have the freedom to select a residential or commercial energy provider. Today, approximately 85% of Texans have the choice to choose an electrical service provider, meaning Texas consumers can find an energy package that is best suited to their needs. You can think of it much like how you’re able to select a cell phone provider.

It’s supposed to be a great thing for consumers because Retail Electricity Providers (REPs) want to win your business. These providers try to win your business by offering competitive rates, special promotions and loyalty plans. Compare plans and discover a wide range of energy providers, from traditional to green energy plans.

Although you live in a deregulated market, you can still choose to receive your electricity service from a state-appointed utility company.

You will likely have to sign a contract with specific details on the plan you selected. Most providers will have energy plans that range from six months to 24 months. If you terminate the contract early, there may be some fees to pay, too. However, there are options for those that don’t wish to sign a lengthy contract.

Consumers also have a right to select a provider with month-to-month plans! If you choose to go this route, you may find a provider that doesn’t require a credit check or a deposit. The downside if that you won’t be able to lock in a lower rate and the rates may be slightly higher than average.

You get to choose what type of plan. For instance, you can compare options that include fixed rates, variable rate plans, short- and long-term options or a plan with no contract or long-term obligations. Perhaps it’s your first time moving, and you haven’t built up any credit. Or, maybe you have a terrible credit score. It’s all good. You might be able to find an electrical service provider that works with your circumstance.

Are you an eco-conscious consumer? You’re in luck. Even those that rent or lease a place can go green, and do it without having to install solar power. In most markets, you’ll find providers with 100% renewable energy options. You can choose a green energy plan that sources its energy from wind or solar power.

There are two parts to your electricity bill: electric supply and delivery. They may have a different look than the bills you received when you lived in a regulated market. However, each part, supply and distribution, make up about 50% of the bill.

When the power lines go down, there’s no need to panic. A state-appointed utility company will take care of the issue. If there’s an outage or problems with the power lines or poles, call your utility company — do not contact your current retail energy provider. Although private power generators are offering their products for retailers to purchase across Texas, the transmitters are still regulated.

Although most of Texas is a deregulated market, two big cities in our state are not — Austin and San Antonio.

Enjoy a competitive energy marketplace in Texas

When a regulated energy market was the norm, you only had one option for gas and electricity — you were at the mercy of the electrical service provider in your area. You weren’t able to lock in a low fixed rate if you wanted to. Then, on January 1, 2002, the phasing in of electricity deregulation in Texas began. Lawmakers created it in the hopes of creating a more competitive marketplace that could lower prices for customers. Besides having a choice to select a provider, living in an area with a deregulated energy market has other advantages. For one, it motivates energy companies to operate more efficiently. Tired of dealing with lousy customer service? Deregulation has made customer service more of a priority. After all, representatives know that you can switch to another provider when you want. A competitive energy market is encouraging environmental consciousness, too. Texas tops the list of wind power in the U.S. and has the most significant solar potential in the country!

Vault Electricity makes it easy to select the plan you want. Just enter your zip code and shop for the lowest electricity rates from the top providers in your area. You can even enroll on our site so that you can start enjoying your new home in Texas.

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