Texas Electric: What Is a Provider of Last Resort & Why You Want to Avoid Them

Anything with the phrase “last resort” in it is probably something you want to avoid — unless you’re talking about scoping out Caribbean vacation spots (as in, that last resort we toured was gorgeous). When it comes to energy, you don’t want to be in the “last resort” club.

As it relates to Texas electricity, following is what a Provider of Last Resort (POLR) is, and why you want to avoid being a part of their roster.

What is a Provider of Last Resort?

Actually, from a consumer standpoint, a POLR is a good thing. They are Texas energy companies that act as a back-up in case an existing service provider goes out of business.

Texas electricity consumers have a deregulated energy market, which has produced the need for POLRs. Why? Because with deregulation came a lot of competition. And, some of these new companies had neither the market savvy nor the secure financial backing it takes to be in business for the long haul.

Many of them came on the scene offering Texas electricity consumers low rates, but they couldn’t deliver when certain market forces shifted. So, they went out of business – leaving thousands of customers potentially stranded.

Enter POLRs. The Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUC) designated certified retail electric providers (REPs) to act as POLRs for each customer class in each electric utility service area open to competition.

While this is a comfort, it can be a nightmare in that there is no guarantee that the rate you paid with your old Texas electricity company is the one you’ll get with your new one. And, if you’re already paying the high cost of a prepaid electric service plan, your costs could escalate even more.

Why It Pays to Choose a Traditional Texas Electricity Company

This is why it pays to sign on with a traditional Texas energy supplier – even if it means saving up to pay a deposit. Although, many have low-deposit and no-deposit electric service plans you may qualify for. All it takes is a phone call to find out.

To Compare Texas Electricity Rates please click here

Texas Electric: What to Do If You’ve Been a Victim of Electric Cramming

Many Texas electricity consumers are paying more for electricity than they need to. And the kicker is, they don’t even know it. How is this possible? In short, electric cramming. Following is what it is and what to do about it if it’s happened to you.

 

What Is Electric Cramming?

 

Electric cramming is when an unauthorized energy supplier charges you for services that they aren’t even providing. Most customers don’t realize that this is happening to them, so it can go on for months – or even years – if you are not diligent about checking the charges on your Texas electric bill.

If You’ve Been Crammed, Following Is What You Need to Do

1. Contact Your Texas Electricity Supplier Immediately: Tell them about the charges and that you are a victim of electric cramming.

Note: You should pay the rest of your bill on time (just don’t pay the cramming charges). If you don’t pay the legitimate portion of your bill, you risk having your electric service terminated.

2. Ask for Removal of Charges: Your electric company will usually comply with this request immediately.

Tip: If you go back through old bills and find that you’ve unwittingly paid cramming charges, ask for a refund.

3. File a Complaint: If you can’t come to a resolution with your Texas electricity company, you can file a complaint with the Public Utility Commission (PUC) by calling 888-782-8477.

When you start examining your Texas electric bill for unauthorized charges, you may notice that what you pay per kilowatt hour (kWh) is higher than the norm. If this is so, you may be using a prepaid electric service plan where costs can be 25, 30 or 40% higher than those who have regular plans and enjoy some of the lowest rates around.

Even if you have bad credit or what’s considered a low income, conventional Texas electricity companies have low-deposit and no-deposit electric plans that can help you save – a lot – on your monthly energy bill. All you have to do is contact your Texas electricity company to find out about which options they have that can help you.

No Deposit Residential Texas Electric Company

There are Low and No Deposit Options Available in Texas

We recommend you use the compare tool at the top right to see what prepaid options are available in your area. Once you compare the providers you can order service online.

For energy customers who have bad credit or just no established credit you may have found yourself being asked for a very large deposit to have electric service in Texas turned on in your name. This has been an issue facing many Texas energy consumers for some time as most electric providers in Texas do not offer a flexible electricity service rate plan for those with bad credit or no established credit. When an energy consumer signs up for electric service with bad credit the deposit requirement asked for by an electricity company can be anywhere from $150 – $1500 depending on the electric provider and the credit score. To avoid this type of deposit issue you can choose an energy supplier that has a low or no deposit electric plan. The provider we recommend above all other low or no deposit electric companies is Bounce Energy. Bounce Electric Company once offered a Fresh Start Plan that allowed a low credit score energy service customer to sign up with them at a slightly higher rate than their normal low cost rate. You remained on this higher rate for 3 months and proved to Bounce Energy that you could pay your electric bill on time and they would proactively lower your electric rate to their normal cheap electricity rate plan. This allowed you to quickly sign up for electric service at a home or apartment without having to worry about how you will come up with up to $1500 to pay a deposit requirement. Most people do not have this kind of extra cash on hand, especially for a deposit you will not receive back until your contract ends. Unfortunately their guaranteed no deposit plan is no longer available although they still have alternative plans that may get your lights turned on with no deposit required or at a low deposit cheaper than most electricity providers require.

Who is Bounce Energy

Bounce Energy is a new electric provider in Texas that was started by a seasoned software director and overall customer experience project leader at a large online marketing and back office electric service customer tracking company. Because of the extensive knowledge this company has on how to sign up electric customers, capital requirements needed to continue signing up energy customers, the ability to bill accurately and timely, and the overall customer satisfication points to consider when working to keep and renew current electric service customers in Texas makes this new electric provider one of the best new energy companies to work with. We are confident that you will find their electric rate, flexible energy agreements and overall abilities to make your customer experience enjoyable that we want to recommend their Guaranteed No Deposit Electric Rate plan as the preferred No Deposit option for customers in a credit crunch.

 

Transmission and Distribution Service Provider Charges

Transmission and Distribution Service Provider Charges (TDSP)

Texas electricity consumers often go out and receive quotes from several retail electric providers and notice that there is an additional charge that is not quoted with the energy rate. The TDSP charges or what are sometimes known as pass thru charges are left off of the rate. This can appear a little shady as if the energy supplier is purposefully trying to make their electric rate look better then it actually is.

TDSP charges are not your electric rate?

What is actually going on when the electricity provider leaves the TDSP charges from the energy quote? They are not trying to trick the customer. Texas deregulated the energy market in Texas back in 2002 and when they did this they unbundled the energy rate. The energy provider prior to 2002 was also the pole and wires company. That means the TDSP charges and energy rate were owned and charged by one company prior to 2002. When deregulation occurred the Texas government with the oversight of the Public Utility Commission split up the former monopolies such as TXU Energy, First Choice Power, Reliant and others and created seperate companies. Now you have over 40 Retail Electric Providers to choose from and only a few pole and wires companies. In fact for your region you only have one choice for who you pay your TDSP charges to. In the Dallas area you would pay TXU now known as Oncor http://www.oncorgroup.com. This TDSP charge will show up on your energy bill the same regardless of which Retail Electric Provider you choose. This TDSP charge is simply past on to you from Oncor directly to your energy bill. The TDSP charge can be anywhere from 1 – 8 cents a kilowatt hour and sometimes more. In order to find out exactly how much you pay the pole and wires company you would need to call them and ask for your historical usage. This data will show you exactly how much you pay in TDSP charges for each month along with the corresponding kwh usage for the month.

Electric Providers are showing several different estimates for my TDSP charges

The reason electric providers are giving you an energy quote with an estimate that is not the same as another providers estimate is because they can only guess as to what exactly you may pay for next year. The TDSP charges are figured based on a Public Utility Commission of Texas Rule that is complex and changing. The TDSP charge also changes based on the amount of usage used. Because of these variables you may see several different Transmission and Distribution estimates. The important thing to remember is that these are not quotes but only a helpful estimate to consider so you will know what the total charges would look like. In the end you will pay the same TDSP charges regardless of which electricity provider you choose. Note: It is still not illegal for Texas electricity providers to secretly mark up the TDSP charges with their profit margin and hide this fact in the fine details of the contract. Electricity Bid does not work with any Texas electric companies that do this practice although they are still out there.

For more information about these charges please speak to a Texas energy consultant to learn more. You can speak with a consultant from Electricity Bid by calling 1-800-971-4020

Electricity Bid helps you find an electric rate and provider to save you money and keep life simple.

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