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The skyline of Austin Texas reflecting in the Colorado River.

They say everything is bigger in Texas, and that certainly includes their massive deregulated energy industry.
While Texas is one of over a dozen states that has a deregulated energy market, it is the only state that requires consumers to choose an Retail Electric Provider (REP) rather than defaulting them to the utility’s default supplier and rate. On top of this, Texas requires each utility meter be assigned a unique ID beyond the meter ID. This ESID or Easy-ID needs to be in place to set up initial service. 

With the power to choose their energy supplier, Texas businesses can shop around for the best energy plan available. Selecting a long-term, fixed-rate plan from a trusted energy provider improves your bottom line and provides  stability while avoiding energy pricing volatility. Review our guide below step-by-step instructions on how to turn your Texas business’ lights on. 

Starting a New Electric Service

In most deregulated energy states, consumers set up their electric service through their local utility company, however Texas operates differently. In Texas, consumers bypass the utility company and contact their preferred energy supplier to initiate electric services. This can be done online, over the phone, or at local retail locations, if available. 

Verify your ESID is Active 

An Electric Service Identifier (often styled ESID, ESIID, or ESI ID) is a unique number assigned to a “Service Delivery Point” in Texas. The ESID is not the same as the meter number or account number for your utility, and the number is not visible on your meter. Instead, the number is tied to a physical address. You can use our ESID Lookup to verify your address is assigned an ESID. Keep this number handy as your supplier will need it to turn on power. 

Verify You’ve Met City or County Requirements 

Requirements vary depending on location, but many areas in Texas require businesses to do an inspection through the city or county where the business is located. Without the electric permit, and in some cases a Certificate of Occupancy, the electric provider won’t be able to turn on service. If the business is located in city limits, start with the city to confirm the requirements. If you are not in city limits, your county should be able to verify the needs. 

Contact Your Preferred Supplier 

While there are only seven utility companies spanning the state of Texas, there are dozens and dozens of electricity suppliers. Among the many things to take into consideration when choosing a supplier are the rates, contract lengths, incentives, termination fees, and electric generation sources. Because wading through all these options can be so overwhelming, it is beneficial to involve an experienced energy broker at this phase. Integrity Energy has over a decade of experience navigating the Texas electricity market, and they can simplify the offerings based on the factors important to your business. 

Understanding Texas’ Deregulated Energy Market

In most of Texas, the electricity market is deregulated, meaning consumers can purchase electricity from a retail electric provider of your choice. On the other hand, the remaining areas of Texas have a regulated electricity market, where electricity is delivered to homes and businesses by a singular utility company, without the option to choose. Deregulated energy markets foster competition and innovation, resulting in competitive energy rates and a wide variety of customer-centric energy solutions.

Texas deregulated their energy market on January 1, 2002. As a result of this policy change, more than 85% of Texas energy consumers reside in a deregulated market area. Residents and business owners in over 400 cities across the Lone Star State can choose from retail electricity providers, like Integrity Energy, to find the best energy plans at competitive prices. Retail energy suppliers, also known as energy brokers, are able to leverage their partnership with many energy providers to offer customized and cost-effective energy solutions. 

An illustration of the difference between a regulated and a deregulated energy market.

ERCOT: Texas’ unique electrical grid

Unlike other states, Texas controls its own power grid through the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, or ERCOT. After congress passed the Federal Power Act of 1935, Texas utilities decided not to extend their power grids across state lines. This decision enables Texas utility companies to avoid regulations from the Federal Power Commission. As such, ERCOT is responsible for maintaining a reliable system, creating a competitive wholesale market, enabling a competitive retail market, and allowing access to transmission. Essentially, ERCOT enables Texas residents and businesses to harness locally-generated power and the benefits of a competitive deregulated market.

What If My Area Decides to Deregulate?

While the vast majority of Texas is deregulated, about 15% of the state still operates in a regulated market. The three major metropolitan areas in regulated markets are Austin, San Antonio, and El Paso. However the market is not set in stone. It’s not unheard of for counties or cities to make the switch to deregulation.

Should your city make the decision to deregulate electricity, each energy consumer will receive a notice well in advance. The mailer notice provides additional details about the change, including a timeline, including the window to shop for electric providers. During this shopping window, consumers can select their preferred electric provider or consult with a commercial energy broker for customized energy solutions.

A Changing Energy Market in Lubbock, Texas

Starting in January 2024, the city of Lubbock transitioned towards deregulation. This process began when municipally-owned Lubbock Power & Light made the decision to integrate into ERCOT’s grid. After the local utility’s decision, Lubbock City Council voted to deregulate and opt-in to a competitive market. Once policy and structure was set, the municipality created a roadmap for Lubbock consumers to shop for their new provider. As of March 2024, Lubbock’s transition into the competitive market will be complete, providing the freedom and advantages of choice.

How can I switch Texas Energy Suppliers?

Whether you want a lower rate or want to switch to an eco-friendly renewable plan, you can exercise your freedom of choice in Texas. When deciding whether to change electricity providers, make sure to check your current energy plan’s renewal date and energy rate. The rate is available on your energy bill and renewal dates are listed in your energy contract.

Comparing energy providers, rates, and contract details is no easy task. Consider utilizing the expertise of a commercial energy broker, like Integrity Energy, who curate and provide the most competitive plans on the market. Commercial energy brokers are experts in the industry, providing advice and navigating you through the complexities of energy contracts. Energy brokers have access to the most competitive rates on the market. They help you avoid early termination fees and unpredictable variable rates. Simply request a free quote, and our energy experts will contact you with reliable plans from our trusted network of providers. Choose from a customized selection of energy plans, and your account will seamlessly transition at the end of your current contract.

Why switch energy providers?

  • Shop for lower commercial energy rates.
  • Zero service interruptions during transfer.
  • Enjoy stability with long-term, fixed-rate plans.
  • Switch to eco-friendly renewable energy sources.
  • Discover providers with excellent customer service.
  • Create a customized energy solution for complex operations.
  • Collaborate with an energy broker to avoid early termination fees.
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Have a copy of your current energy bill handy so our energy experts can analyze your current rate and usage patterns.

What Happens if I Fall Out of Contract?

Falling out of contract can lead to unpredictable energy bills. Consumers who don’t have a new contract lined up at the end of their current plan are subject to being transitioned into a variable rate plan. Variable rates fluctuate based on market conditions, such as energy supply, consumer demand, and weather conditions. Avoid unexpected electricity bills by enlisting the support of Integrity Energy’s experts. Our dedicated contract renewal team manages your account, contacting you well before your contract ends so you can shop for your next energy plan. Scheduled renewal services provide peace of mind, enabling business owners to focus on what really matters, growing their business!

What if I Need to Transfer Energy Services to a New Location?

If you relocate within your provider’s service area, simply contact your provider to update your account information and move-in date. Your contract and electric services will transfer seamlessly with no changes in rate or extra fees. If you relocate outside of your provider’s service area, you are able to leave your contract without early termination fees. Afterwards, you begin the energy provider shopping process again.

Exercise Your Power To Choose

The deregulated Texas energy market empowers business owners with the freedom to choose an energy provider that suits their unique energy needs. Deregulation fosters a great sense of competition, providing cost-effective energy rates and a plethora of creative energy solutions to consider. While deregulation creates a new layer of complexities in the energy market, you don’t have to navigate it alone. As your trusted resource in the energy industry, Integrity Energy’s commercial energy brokers are available with expert advice and a curated selection of energy plans to meet your business goals. Exercise your freedom to choose cost-effective energy solutions by requesting a free quote today!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How do I know if my business is eligible to choose its energy provider in Texas?

In Texas, businesses located in deregulated areas have the freedom to choose their energy provider. To see if your area is deregulated, please review ERCOT’s Service Area by County Map.

What factors should I consider when comparing energy plans from different providers?

When comparing Texas energy plans, consider factors like pricing structures, contract terms, renewable energy options, customer reviews, and additional services. Consider working with a commercial energy broker, who can leverage their provider partnerships to offer the most cost-effective plans on the market.

Will switching energy providers cause any disruption to my business’s energy supply?

Switching energy providers in Texas typically does not cause disruptions to your business’s energy supply. The transition process is seamless, ensuring continuous energy availability without interruption.

Can I switch energy providers if I’m currently under contract with another provider?

Yes, you can switch energy providers in Texas even if you’re currently under contract with another provider. However, it’s essential to review your contract terms for any early termination fees and consider timing the switch strategically to minimize financial impact.

How can I ensure that my business is getting the best deal on energy?

To ensure your business gets the best deal on energy in Texas, reach out to Integrity Energy’s experts. Our expertise can help you navigate the complexities of energy contracts to find the most competitive rates tailored to your business’s needs.

Visit our Frequently Asked Questions Page for answers to some of our most common energy industry questions.