What You Need to Know About Switch Holds in Texas

How to get a switch hold removed

A switch hold is a restriction placed on your address by the electric company that prevents you from being able to switch to another electricity provider until the switch hold is removed.

The most likely reason for having a switch hold placed on your address is because you have entered into a deferred payment plan with your current electricity provider.  The Texas PUC customer protection rules require electric companies to offer deferred payment plans in certain situations.   A deferred payment plan may keep you from getting your lights turned off.  But, as a condition, you will be placed in switch hold status until you have paid off your current electric company.

Note:  You are not automatically placed on a switch hold because you fall behind on payments.  You must agree to be placed on switch hold when you accept the terms of a payment deferral plan. If you don’t have a switch hold in place, you can get still get service from a new company if you owe money to another company.  However, you will be asked for a large deposit with the new company.

What if my new address already has a switch hold in place?

You could find yourself subject to a switch hold through no fault of your own.  If a previous tenant didn’t pay their bills before they moved out, you could have trouble getting your lights turned one.  You may need to prove that you are a new tenant to have the hold removed.  This involves a bit of paperwork.

You must fill out a New Occupant statement and provide a copy of your lease, an affidavit of Landlord, or a couple of recent paid electric bills in your name from a different address.

Who is responsible for placing the switch hold?

Only the TDU that serves your address can place a switch hold on your service.  They are also the only ones who can remove it with the request of your electric company.  In addition to back payments, they can also place a switch hold on service if they suspect someone has tampered with the meter at your address.  If this happens, the TDU might require meter repair charges before lifting the hold.