A reliable power source is essential to the daily lives of most Texas residents. But, the system that brings energy to our homes is complex. So, how does it all work?

In the past, most Texans received electricity from their local monopoly providers. They owned the power plants, the transmission and distribution lines, and handled customer service and billing. This model was disrupted in 2002, when the Public Utility Commission of Texas unbundled the old monopoly utilities. Customers now have the option to choose a Retail Electricity Provider (REP) to supply their electricity. The local monopoly providers still own the transmission and distribution lines, but now they are just a reseller of electricity that is produced elsewhere.

As the market continues to evolve, it’s important for consumers to know how to shop for the best texas electricity provider for their home. The first step is to understand how a Residential Electric Rate is calculated. Fortunately, the PUC has designed a tool to make this process easy. Each Retail Electricity Provider must display their rates on their Energy Facts Label (EFL). You can find your EFL by visiting your provider’s website and looking for “Retail Electricity Rates”. The EFL is where you will see the current electricity rate at three usage levels, 500 kWh, 1,000 kWh, and 2,000 kWh.

Once you’ve understood how a residential Texas electricity rate is calculated, the next step is to compare available plans from different Texas energy providers. Use the ComparePower marketplace to find plans and prices that match your household’s unique energy profile. To get started, simply enter your ZIP code and provide some basic information about your household. Then, use the Rate Assistant to quickly and accurately compare rates and contract lengths with your personal energy usage history.When comparing Texas electricity plans, it’s important to look for special incentives, texas electric bill credit discounts, and promotions. These can help you save money on your energy costs and lock in low rates for longer term commitments.

Another aspect to consider is a provider’s reputation. Be sure to read reviews and check their business history to avoid companies with a bad reputation.

It’s also a good idea to ask providers about their sustainability and community support initiatives. This is especially important if you’re considering a renewable energy plan.

As the winter cold hits, you’ll want to keep your home warm with affordable texas electricity from an energy provider with the right credentials. To qualify for low income or senior citizen plans, you must provide proof of your status with a valid state-issued ID card, driver’s license or passport. You can also provide a letter from a government agency that confirms you’re indigent or a victim of domestic violence. Then, you can take advantage of a cheap texas electricity rate and plan that suits your needs. Learn more about the top rated providers in Texas below.