Who is My Texas Electric Utility Company?
In 2002, the Texas Senate passed the bill that would deregulate electricity for most of the state. For the decade-plus that energy has been deregulated in Texas, most residents have had their choice of Texas electricity providers, called Retail Electricity Providers (REPs), for their home or small business. While you have a choice in who you buy electricity from, you cannot choose the company that transmits and delivers electricity to your home. This company is known as the Transmission and Delivery Service Provider (TDSP), or Transmission and Distribution Utility (TDU), and there are currently five of them in Texas, each one servicing a specific area of the Texas deregulated energy grid. While TDSPs perform operational tasks of providing electricity such as delivering it to your home, reading your meter and addressing outages, they do not compete with REPs in selling electricity products directly to customers.
If you are wondering, "who provides electricity to my area?", you can determine your electric utility by your address, or the general area of the state that you live in. Read on to learn more about how electricity is delivered in Texas and how to find out what utility company serves your area.
Understanding the Role of Utility Companies
Your local utility is responsible for transmitting, connecting and disconnecting electricity to your home and reading and maintaining your home's electric meter. The utility also maintains the lines and other equipment used to transmit electricity. Your bill will include delivery charges from your utility, which cover the operational costs associated with maintaining the equipment that delivers electricity to your home.
Who is My Electric Utility Company?
There are five utilities that service the deregulated area of Texas:
- Texas-New Mexico Power
- Oncor Electricity
- CenterPoint Energy
- AEP North
- AEP Central
The service areas for these five utilities are broken up by geographic area, so you can figure out your electric utility by zip code.
Texas-New Mexico Power
Founded in 1935, Texas-New Mexico Power delivers electricity, maintains and reads meters, and constructs and maintains power lines for over 230,000 homes and businesses throughout Texas. This company's service area is centered in three distinct areas of the state:
- Rural areas northeast, northwest and southwest of the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex - Lewisville, Gatesville, Bryson and Farmersville, for example.
- Gulf Coast areas southeast and southwest of Houston like Friendswood, Texas City and Angleton.
- West Texas areas - Fort Stockton and Pecos, for example.
Texas-New Mexico Power is the company that residents of these areas should contact to report a power outage created by severe weather, downed power lines, broken poles, etc. The company can be found online here, and it frequently interacts with customers in its service area on their Twitter and their Facebook.
If you live in a central, eastern, or western part Texas, there's a good chance that Oncor is your utility company. Oncor Electricity is Texas's largest TDSP and the sixth largest electric delivery business in the United States. With main offices located in Dallas, Oncor electricity provides electricity to 7.5 million customers and has a service area of over 400 communities across Texas, including such major cities as Dallas, Fort Worth, Odessa, Killeen, Midland, Waco, Tyler and Wichita Falls.
If you're a customer living in the Oncor service area, you should contact them directly if you are experiencing a power outage caused by severe weather, broken poles or downed power lines. Oncor's website can be located here, and you can follow them on Twitter and Facebook to receive severe weather updates and outage information or contact the company.
Founded in 1882, CenterPoint Electricity is a Fortune 500 company headquartered in Houston, TX where they service over 5 million customers annually. CenterPoint may already sound familiar because they also provide natural gas service to Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi and Oklahoma.
In the case of power outages caused by severe weather, broken poles or downed power lines, customers who have CenterPoint Electricity as their TDSP should contact them directly to ensure these issues are addressed quickly. You can find CenterPoint online here, or you can reach them on their Facebook or their Twitter.
AEP Electricity represents two of the five utilities that service the deregulated areas of Texas - AEP North and AEP Central. AEP Electricity is a subsidiary of American Electric Power, which provides energy to customers in Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, and parts of Appalachia. Headquartered in Corpus Christi, AEP Electricity delivers electricity, maintains and read meters, and constructs and maintains power lines for over 900,000 home and business meters throughout Texas. This company's Texas service area is centered in 2 distinct areas:
- AEP North covers areas of North and West Texas such as Abilene, San Angelo and Alpine.
- AEP Central covers the bulk of South Texas, including Rio Grande Valley - Victoria, Corpus Christi, McAllen and Laredo for example.
AEP Electricity is the company that residents of these areas should contact to report a power outage created by severe weather, downed power lines, broken poles or other issues. The company can be found online here, and it frequently interacts with customers on its service area on their Twitter and Facebook.