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How to Shop for Electricity in Texas

Electricity choice allows consumers to shop around and explore a wide variety of plans and rates to find the best one for their homes and lifestyles. At Direct Energy, we provide our customers with the tips and tools they need to become more energy-savvy and find their perfect plan.

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Choose your own adventure by selecting from the categories below or keep scrolling to get the full rundown on how to shop for electricity.

Things To Consider When Shopping For an Electricity Plan

Rate

Electricity rates will usually be listed as cost per-kilowatt-hour (kWh), the unit used to measure electricity consumption.

Total Costs

Total costs include your electricity charges (the rate multiplied by your usage) and utility fees associated with delivering electricity to your home. Even if one plan has a lower rate than another, your total monthly cost could end up being higher, depending on the plan.

Plan Benefits

What extra benefits, like smart home products, green energy or free nights or weekends, do the available plans provide? Any electricity plan will power your home; how do the plans you're considering add value to your lifestyle?

Term Length

Consider what term length (the duration of your contract with the provider) would fit best for your situation. Are you renting for a short period of time? Would you prefer to keep the same electricity rate for a while? Will this contract end before a peak usage season when electricity prices are higher?

Glossary of Terms

Here are a few terms you'll see when shopping for an electricity plan:

Electricity Deregulation

In deregulated areas, customers are no longer required to sign up with their utility for electricity. Instead, they can shop offerings from available competitive electricity providers to find the best one for their household.

Electricity Deregulation

Utility

Your local utility is responsible for transmitting, connecting and disconnecting electricity to your home, and for reading and maintaining your home's electric meter. The utility also maintains the power lines and other equipment used to transmit electricity. In some deregulated areas, your utility may compete on the electricity market, selling its own electric plans to customers.

Utility

Competitive Provider

Retail or competitive providers vie to provide electricity to customers. In areas with deregulated electricity, customers can shop and compare electricity plans from various retail providers, like Direct Energy.

Electricity Provider

Kilowatt-Hour (kWh)

A kilowatt-hour is the unit used to measure electricity usage. It represents the consumption of one kilowatt, or 1,000 watts, for one hour.

Kilowatt-Hour

Electricity Rate per kWh

The rate per kWh is the price you pay for each kWh you use. This price is set by your electricity provider.

Electricity Rate per kWh

Term Length

The term length is the duration, usually in months, of your contract for an electricity plan.

Term Length

Electricity Meter

Your electric meter is used to measure how much electricity you have used each billing cycle. Your local utility reads and maintains your electric meter. If you've chosen a retail or competitive provider to supply your home, the utility sends this information to your provider so you can be billed accurately for your usage.

Electricity Meter

Fixed-Rate Plan

With a fixed-rate plan, you'll be able to lock in an energy rate per kWh for a term length of your choosing. Fixed-rate plans protect you from market price fluctuations, but you will typically need to sign a contract and your rate may be higher than the market rate during seasons with low energy demand.

Fixed-Rate Plans

Variable-Rate plan

With a variable-rate plan, you will pay the current market rate and typically do not need to sign a contract. Variable-rate plans allow you to take advantage of low seasonal market rates and switch plans or providers whenever it suits you, but you may pay high rates during seasons with high electricity demand.

Variable-Rate Electricity in Texas
You can be fluent in the language of energy with our energy glossary.

Ready to Shop?

Now that you're a savvier energy consumer, are you ready to find your perfect plan? Enter your zip code to check out our offers for your area.

What is the Average Electricity Bill?

Your electricity bill can vary based on many factors, so it can be difficult to determine what an average electricity bill looks like. The best way to calculate your average electric bill is to look at your past bills. If you're moving to a different home or region, you can get an idea of your average electricity costs by researching similar homes online or asking other residents in the area. The average electric bill depends on the following elements:

Home Size

Smaller homes typically use less electricity than larger homes because less electricity is needed to run lights, heating and cooling and other appliances and electronics.

Weather & Climate

Some regions tend to experience a mild climate and pleasant seasonal temperatures, taking some of the workload - and electric usage - off a home's air conditioner and heating system; residents of regions with more extreme temperature swings may need to use these systems more to maintain a comfortable indoor climate.

Usage Habits

If you develop energy-saving habits like turning back your AC or heating and unplugging electronics, you might have a lower bill than if you were less conscious of your usage.

Appliance Efficiency

Your heating, cooling and large appliances are major energy users, accounting for up to 73 percent of the average household's energy use. Appliance efficiency and regular maintenance can affect how much energy your appliances use.

Home Energy Efficiency

Factors like windows and insulation can affect how your home uses electricity. Well- sealed windows and good insulation can help your air conditioner and heating system use less electricity by keeping the treated air inside your home and the hot or cold air out.

Electricity Rate

Obviously, the price you pay per kWh of usage will also affect your bill.

Read more about what can affect your electric bill.

Pricing, Billing & Fees

How does billing work?

You will typically receive your electric bill from your electricity provider every 28-32 days, depending on when your local utility reads your electric meter. Your bill includes the energy charge for your usage and operational costs (charged by your local utility) associated with providing electricity to your home.

Payment Options

You can pay your Direct Energy bill using a variety of convenient payment options:

  • Log in to your Online Account Manager to pay with a saved payment method or create a new one.
  • Make a one-time online payment.
  • Pay in person at a location near you.
  • Download your Direct Energy Mobile Wallet to your smartphone's wallet app to get quick access to all the above payment options.

How much will my electric bill be?

The amount of your electric bill will vary based primarily on your electricity usage. There are two major parts to your electric bill: the charges for the electricity you use in your home, and your utility or delivery charges, which cover the operational costs of delivering electricity to your home. The utility charges are the same for all residents in that utility's service area. You can calculate your bill by adding up the electricity usage and utility costs.

Learn more about how to calculate your electric bill.

Understanding Prices and Plan Documents

An Electricity Facts Label (EFL) is required by the Public Utility Commission of Texas as a means of providing the details of electricity plans sold in the state. On an EFL, you'll find the term length, electricity price, whether there is an early termination fee, the rate type and other vital plan information.

On each plan's EFL, you will see a chart that lists the average price for usage of 500, 1,000 and 2,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of usage. The best way to use this chart is to compare your average usage from previous bills to the amounts listed in the chart.

Learn more the Electricity Facts Label.

How Do I Sign Up for Electricity?

In Texas, you can sign up with a new electricity provider in a few easy steps:

1

Check whether you're under contract

If you're under contract with your current provider, make sure you won't be charged an early termination fee if you switch providers before your contract ends.

2

Find a plan that fits your lifestyle

Once you decide which electricity plan is right for you, just shop for your perfect plan and sign up with your new provider!

3

Sit back and relax

After you sign up, your new provider will contact your current provider to complete the process. There's usually no further action needed on your part and you won't experience any interruption in service while the switch is being made.

How Do I Sign Up For Electricity?
Your electricity can typically be turned on in as little as a few business days. The timeline can vary based on a few factors, such as whether you're moving or just switching providers and the time your local utility takes to connect you.
Yes! Depending on whether you're moving or staying in your current home, you'll see different options on choosing your start date. Read on to learn about different types of enrollments and your start date options for each.
Depending on your local utility, you may incur a fee when you start new service. The most common fee you could incur is for priority move-ins if your new home doesn't have a smart meter. In this situation, your utility has to send a technician out to your home to manually connect your meter on short notice.

Plan Information

We have a variety of electricity plans to meet the needs of your home and family. The major plan types you will see are fixed-rate and variable-rate plans.

Fixed-Rate Plan

With a fixed-rate plan, you'll lock in an energy rate per kWh for a term length of your choosing. Fixed-rate plans protect you from market price fluctuations, but you will typically need to sign a contract and your rate may be higher than the market rate during seasons with low energy demand. However, you can also save money during peak seasons when demand is high, since your rate won't rise with the increase in market price.

Variable-Rate Plan

With a variable-rate plan, you'll pay the current market rate and don't usually have to sign a contract. Variable-rate plans allow you to take advantage of low seasonal market rates and switch plans or providers whenever it suits you, but you may experience high rates during seasons with high electricity demand.

Enrollment Options

You might see one or more of these terms as you go through the process of signing up for an electricity plan:

Move

A move means you are signing up for electricity at a new address. When you are signing up for electricity in a new home, you must choose your start date. You can schedule your start date up to 90 days in advance.

Priority Move

A priority move means you are moving and have requested electricity service to start in your new home in three days or less, not including blackout dates. You can request to have your service turned on the same business day if you sign up before 2 p.m.

Switch

A switch means you are switching your electricity provider and signing up for service at your existing residence. You can either switch at the next available date, which is usually between one and seven says, or you can request a start date that is at least eight days after the day you sign up, not including blackout dates.

Transfer

A transfer occurs when you are moving to a new home and transferring your electricity service with your current provider to your new home. When you transfer your service, you must select when you want your current home's electricity to turn off and when your new home's electricity should turn on.

Blackout Dates

Blackout dates are dates when your utility will not connect electricity. These include Sundays and some holidays. Check with your utility or your new provider for a list of blackout dates.

Moving Tips

Are you moving to a new home?

Check out our Moving Hub for moving checklists, buying and renting guides, moving out of state and other tips on how you can have a stress-free move.

Moving Tips
Smart Meters

Smart Meters

Smart electric meters are becoming the new standard in electric metering. They provide valuable benefits like the ability to turn on electricity more quickly and track your use more closely, and the opportunity to sign up for time-of-use electric plans, which allow you to get free electricity at certain times.

Learn more about smart meters.

Renewing With Direct Energy

Renewing Your Plan

What About Renewing?

We'll notify you at least 30 days before your contract expires and give you the opportunity to explore your new plan options. If you don't choose a new Direct Energy plan or switch providers before your contract expires, we'll put you on another plan with us. Don't worry – you'll be notified beforehand of the plan rate and details.

Current Customers

Current Customers

If you're a current Direct Energy customer looking to renew with us, you can view renewal plans by logging into your Online Account Manager or contacting us.

If you're moving, you can also transfer your service with us to your new address by contacting us.

Electricity Rates for Texas

We have a variety of electricity rates and plans so you can find the best one for your home.

Select Your Region To View

Plan Name Region Plan Term Rate
Twelve Hour Power 12 Oncor 12 months 13.2 cents/kWh
Live Brighter™! 36 Oncor 36 months 11.1 cents/kWh
Free Power Weekends 12 Oncor 12 months 12.7 cents/kWh
Live Brighter™ 24 Oncor 24 months 11.2 cents/kWh
Green Texas 12 Oncor 12 months 11.9 cents/kWh
Live Brighter™ 12 Oncor 12 months 11.6 cents/kWh
Give Brighter Miracles 12 Oncor 12 months 11.9 cents/kWh
Bright Choice™ Oncor 1 months 12.2 cents/kWh
Free Power Weekends 24 Oncor 24 months 11.9 cents/kWh
Power Balance 12 Oncor 12 months 145 dollars/Month
Plan Name Region Plan Term Rate
Twelve Hour Power 12 Centerpoint 12 months 13.4 cents/kWh
Live Brighter™! 36 Centerpoint 36 months 11.9 cents/kWh
Free Power Weekends 12 Centerpoint 12 months 13.7 cents/kWh
Live Brighter™ 24 Centerpoint 24 months 12.1 cents/kWh
Green Texas 12 Centerpoint 12 months 12.7 cents/kWh
Live Brighter™ 12 Centerpoint 12 months 12.5 cents/kWh
Give Brighter Miracles 12 Centerpoint 12 months 12.8 cents/kWh
Bright Choice™ Centerpoint 1 months 13.0 cents/kWh
Free Power Weekends 24 Centerpoint 24 months 12.8 cents/kWh
Power Balance 12 Centerpoint 12 months 160 dollars/Month
Plan Name Region Plan Term Rate
Twelve Hour Power 12 AEP North 12 months 13.6 cents/kWh
Live Brighter™! 36 AEP North 36 months 11.2 cents/kWh
Free Power Weekends 12 AEP North 12 months 13.2 cents/kWh
Live Brighter™ 24 AEP North 24 months 11.4 cents/kWh
Green Texas 12 AEP North 12 months 12.1 cents/kWh
Live Brighter™ 12 AEP North 12 months 11.8 cents/kWh
Bright Choice™ AEP North 1 months 12.4 cents/kWh
Free Power Weekends 24 AEP North 24 months 12.3 cents/kWh
Plan Name Region Plan Term Rate
Twelve Hour Power 12 AEP Central 12 months 13.9 cents/kWh
Live Brighter™! 36 AEP Central 36 months 12.1 cents/kWh
Free Power Weekends 12 AEP Central 12 months 13.9 cents/kWh
Live Brighter™ 24 AEP Central 24 months 12.3 cents/kWh
Green Texas 12 AEP Central 12 months 12.9 cents/kWh
Live Brighter™ 12 AEP Central 12 months 12.6 cents/kWh
Bright Choice™ AEP Central 1 months 13.3 cents/kWh
Free Power Weekends 24 AEP Central 24 months 13.1 cents/kWh
Plan Name Region Plan Term Rate
Twelve Hour Power 12 TNMP 12 months 14.7 cents/kWh
Live Brighter™! 36 TNMP 36 months 12.7 cents/kWh
Free Power Weekends 12 TNMP 12 months 14.6 cents/kWh
Live Brighter™ 24 TNMP 24 months 12.9 cents/kWh
Green Texas 12 TNMP 12 months 13.5 cents/kWh
Live Brighter™ 12 TNMP 12 months 13.2 cents/kWh
Give Brighter Miracles 12 TNMP 12 months 13.5 cents/kWh
Bright Choice™ TNMP 1 months 13.8 cents/kWh
Free Power Weekends 24 TNMP 24 months 13.7 cents/kWh

Have a question about a plan or need help placing an order?

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