Deregulation FAQ

General Questions

What has stayed the same in electric service?

  • Your current Transmission and Distribution Utility, or “local wires company,” continues to deliver electricity to your home. Your local wires company still responds to service interruptions and continues to maintain the poles and wires. You will continue to receive the same reliable service you are used to with your local wires company, regardless of which Retail Electric Provider you receive service from.

Can a company back bill or re-bill me?

  • If there has been an error with your bill or you did not receive a bill, the company can re-bill your account up to 180 days from the original bill issuance date for charges from the time the error occurred. If the correction increases your charges by more than $50.00, you may request a deferred payment plan for the balance. The company can re-bill more than 180 days in cases of meter tampering.

Can my bill be estimated?

  • A company may estimate your bills if actual meter readings cannot be obtained or if your REP does not receive meter readings from the Transmission and Distribution Utility (TDU). Generally, estimated meter readings cannot happen more than three consecutive billing cycles.

Can I be charged a deposit?

  • A REP may require a residential customer or applicant to establish and maintain satisfactory credit as a condition of providing service. The amount of the deposit may be up to 1/5th of the estimated annual billing or the sum of the estimated billings for the next two months.

What is the AMS meter charge, and who authorized it?

  • In 2005, the Texas Legislature directed the PUC to authorize electric delivery companies to assess a surcharge to recover the costs of Smart Meters. This surcharge will be shared among all electricity users in each electric delivery company’s service area. The surcharge not only covers the installation of the meter but also the back office systems and infrastructure needed to read the new meter.When can the utility disconnect my service?A REP may authorize the disconnection of a customer’s electric service after proper notice is given and not before the first day after the disconnection date provided in the notice. Service may be disconnected for non-payment of a bill, deferred payment arrangement, or deposit. A TDU may disconnect service in cases of emergencies, meter tampering, or unsafe conditions.

What if I can’t pay my bill?

  • You should try to make payment arrangements before your bill is due or your service is disconnected. Call your REP to make payment arrangements or request to enter into a deferred payment plan. You are eligible for a deferred payment plan if you have not received more than two termination notices in the past year. It is important to keep up with the terms of the payment plan, or you could be disconnected. To make budgeting easier, ask about level billing programs or average payment plans that offer bills that are about the same amount each month. All customers who are not currently delinquent with their electric bills are eligible for these programs.

Read the full FAQ @ the Public Utility Commission Website