What does it mean to have a “Permit required on my meter?”

This occurs when the electric meter is newly installed or has been altered. No one can start electric services at this location until the property owner requests an inspection from the city. This process can take a few days or more to complete. The inspection requirement is not always known until electricity service is requested.

How to remove a Switch Hold

If the current resident has a Switch Hold and is looking to get it removed, they must contact their provider to get all the necessary steps completed. This may include paying the past due balance.

If a new resident moves into a location that has a Switch Hold, they must provide proof that they are not the previous resident. This step normally takes 2-7 days unless you are a customer of Current Utilities, in which case we can assist you in expediting this process.

If you are a Current Utilities customer, please call us at 1-866-551-2936 and we will take care of this issue and guide you through all the needed steps.

What is a Switch Hold

A Switch Hold is a status that is placed onto a meter by the Transmission and Distribution Service Provider, it would prevent any new Retail Electric Provider from activating the meter.

This occurs under two circumstances:

–    When the previous or current tenant has an outstanding balance with their previous provider. This prevents the address from being switched to a new provider until the outstanding balance has been satisfied.

–    When the meter appears to have been physically tampered with or altered.

Who is the Public Utility Commission of Texas (or PUCT)?

The Public Utility Commission of Texas (or PUCT) is a state Public Utilities Commission which regulates privately-owned utilities in the state of Texas. They make all the laws over Aggregators and Retail Electric Providers. They issue licenses to these organizations and have the legal ability to fine them (both Retail Electric Providers and Aggregators) for illegal business practices. It is headquartered in the William B. Travis State Office Building at 1701 North Congress in Austin. Their Website is: http://www.puc.texas.gov/

What is the Utility Company (or TDSP)?

A Utility Company is the owners, operators and maintainers of the power lines and meters. Each region has its own privately owned and operated Utility Companies. Another term for this company is TDSP which stands for Transmission and Distribution Service Provider. This entity is not to be confused with a Retail Electric Provider or REP.

When an order is placed with the Retail Electric Provider, the REP must go through them to request that the account physically gets turned on by the Utility Company or TDSP at the customer’s location.

Here is a list of all the Utility Companies (TDSP) and their contact information:

– Dallas – Fort Worth and outlining areas:
Oncor Electric
http://www.oncor.com/
Service Requests / General Inquiries
1-888-313-6862
[email protected]
(Mon. – Fri., 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. Central Time)

 

Houston and outlining areas:
Centerpoint Energy
http://www.centerpointenergy.com
Service Requests / General Inquiries
1-713-207-2222

Corpus Christi and outlining areas:
AEP (American Electric Power)

1-877-373-4858

https://www.aeptexas.com/

West Texas
TNMP (Texas New Mexico Power

888-866-7456

Mondays-Fridays

8 a.m.-7 p.m. Central time

http://www.tnmp.com/

What is a Retail Electric Provider (or REP)?

A company that sells electricity to customers. All Retail Electric Providers must be certified to do business by the Public Utility Commission of Texas. A REP is not mandated to a set energy price. The original purpose of the REP was to utilize competition to lower rates in Texas. The REP sends customers their bills. They do not service the electric lines or produce the power.

What is Electric Deregulation

“Deregulation – Removal or relaxation of regulations or controls governing a business or service operation like utilities.”

Prior to 2002 Texas was a regulated State; meaning that the State of Texas, just like any other State, was simple for consumers. Depending on what area they lived in, they had one single electric company to serve them. Consumers had one point of contact for their area and one fixed price fixed by the government. If the utility companies wanted to raise the price, they had to get the government to agree to the new price. As Texans are a very loyal people, they were content with their utility company and that was that.

Before deregulation occurred, Texas was divided up by region and each region was served by one company. For example, in the greater Dallas – Fort Worth area the electrical provider was TXU. TXU owned the generation plants, the power lines and the selling and billing to the customer for their usage. In South Texas (the Corpus Christi area) the only provider was CPL, in the Houston area the provider was Reliant and so on. Customers can be classified as either a commercial, residential or municipal customer and they are all essentially the same. They use the power and then are billed by the electric company for their usage, tax and the cost of transmitting the power to them (they were mostly charged a customer fee for billing as well). Each region had very similar pricing and it just chugged along.

In 2002, Texas’ former governor, former President George Bush, set into motion a plan that would forever change the way that the Texas electrical market is run. He began the deregulation of the Texas electrical market. This meant that each region had to deregulate, like Dallas – Fort Worth area, unless  municipally owned and operated, like San Antonio. For the deregulated areas, the controlling company like TXU, Reliant and CPL had to sell off or separate two of their three part empires.

The three components in each area are the power production facilities, the distribution lines and service (called TDSP [Transmission and Distribution Service Provider]) and the billing to the customers which now involved buying the power from the power generating facilities and reselling it back to the customer. After these three part organizations were divided and sold, the retail (buying and selling of power to the consumers) end was frozen against competing until 60% of their customer base had moved away. At which time they were then able to compete in the Retail Electric marketplace. This led to a vacuum in the electrical market.

What if my Power goes out for Non-payment?

If you have a disconnection for non-payment &  you are a Current Utilities customer  please call us at 1-866-551-2936 M-F 9 am – 6 pm and Sat 10 am – 2 pm. You may also call directly to your Retail Electric Provider.

What do I do if my power goes out?

For Power Outages (not due to disconnection for non-payment), call the Transmission and Distribution company for your area. Their information is:

Dallas – Fort Worth and outlining areas:
Oncor Electric
http://www.oncor.com/
Service Requests / General Inquiries
1-888-313-6862
[email protected]
(Mon. – Fri., 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. Central Time)

– Houston and outlining areas:
Centerpoint Energy
http://www.centerpointenergy.com
Service Requests / General Inquiries
1-713-207-2222

Corpus Christi and outlining areas:
AEP (American Electric Power)

1-877-373-4858

https://www.aeptexas.com/

West Texas
TNMP (Texas New Mexico Power

888-866-7456

Mondays-Fridays

8 a.m.-7 p.m. Central time

http://www.tnmp.com/

What do I do if I am moving?

That’s Easy! If you are a customer of Current Utilities, please give us a call at 1-866-551-2936 M-F 9 am – 6 pm and Sat 10 am – 2 pm and we can get your service transferred to your new address.

If you are moving out of a serviceable area, we will also help you cancel your account and get all of the paper work done on your behalf!

In some cases, when you transfer without the assistance of a Broker, you may have to pay a deposit or additional deposit, whereas with Current Utilities, we can get this waived for transferring.*
*in most cases