Moving to Texas | Best Electricity Guide

Written by Frank Eakin

Moving to Texas? We at Home Energy Club have prepared this Texas Moving Guide to help you set up your electricity account in deregulated and regulated zones of the state. Plus, we’ve added a comprehensive checklist for moving to the Lone Star State.

Over 85% of Texans live in deregulated energy cities, like Houston and Dallas, where you have the right to choose your electricity company.

In deregulated cities, you must choose an energy provider and an electric plan for your house or apartment prior to your move-in. In regulated cities, such as Austin, San Antonio and Beaumont, a regulated monopoly delivers your electricity and bills you at a rate approved by a governmental body.

View our pages for all Texas deregulated cities, which include everything you need to know about electricity in each city.

In addition to a comprehensive preparation list below, our guide for moving to Texas explains:

  • How to shop for trusted electricity companies
  • Selecting an energy plan that matches your home, reducing chances of a bill surprise
  • Minimizing your energy rate by comparing the best deals with special discounted rates

Moving to Texas & Finding an Energy Provider

Six to four weeks before moving to Texas, you’ll need to set up electricity service with an energy provider in the city, town or rural area where you’re moving. The electric company will give you an account number and ensure that your home will have electricity on the date you move in.

If you need assistance, we’re your one-stop, trusted source for electricity plans, rates and reviews for top energy providers.

Before we explain how to set up your electricity, you should determine if you’ll be moving into a deregulated or regulated area in Texas.

Regulated vs. De-regulated Electricity Zones

If you’re moving from the West Coast and are new to Texas, deregulated energy could be new territory for you.

In regulated electricity cities in Texas, a single energy provider operates as a government-regulated monopoly and is responsible for selling and transmitting all electricity to homeowners. Customers are must pay rates set by the state’s public utility commission.

Today, the cities of Austin, San Antonio, Beaumont, The Woodlands/Conroe, and some small towns have regulated monopolies.

The remainder of Texas is de-regulated, allowing consumers to select from dozens of providers and hundreds of electricity plans that have an assortment of rates based on the energy usage of homes.

Rates are market-driven and set by the individual providers.

When it comes to plans, consumers can choose renewable energy, fixed rate or variable rate plans, partial year or multi-year plans, and even “free electricity” plans, where energy is free of charge during designated days of the week or hours of the day.

Installing an Electricity Meter for a New Texas Home

When moving into a newly built home in a deregulated zip code, contact the Transmission and Distribution Utility (TDU) to make sure your home will have a meter installed and an ESI number assigned (a 17-digit address identifier) so you can enroll in an energy plan.

To determine which utility to contact, check out our TDU contact information pages, where you can also review coverage maps:

Oncor: 888-313-4747
AEP: 866-223-8508
Centerpoint Energy: 800-332-7143
Texas New Mexico Power (TNMP): 888-866-7456
Sharyland Utilities: 800-545-4513

Setting Up Electricity in A Deregulated City

Because of the large selection of electricity companies offering hundreds of different electricity plans and rates in Texas, finding the right energy plan for your home can be overwhelming.

And it’s important to select a trustworthy energy provider, since even some of the largest companies have plans with gimmicks that can cause bill surprises.

As a consumer-focused energy comparison website, we don’t just offer electricity plans from top providers at discounted rates, we also offer helpful guides, reviews and other objective information about each company.

There’s no membership fee and we vet each energy plan to help you avoid gimmick plans which cause bill surprises. You can choose low-cost green energy plans, which have rates which are competitive with fossil-sourced plans.

To compare providers and plans, go to the home page and take the following easy steps:

  • Enter your zip code: the site will display energy providers, plans and rates in the area you’re moving.
  • Know your energy usage: choosing the exact right plan for your home requires that you have a reasonable estimate of the monthly kilowatt hour (kWh) usage of your home. If you’re moving into an existing home, Smart Meter Texas is the most efficient source of the home’s historic usage by month; otherwise, you may need to review the last 12 months of electric bills provided by your real estate agent or the homeowner. The pricing of energy plans in Texas is based on average monthly usage levels of 500 kWh (apartment or condo), 1000 kWh (smaller home) or 2000 kWh (larger home). To narrow down your choices of energy plans, select the relevant usage level for your home in the buttons above the list of energy plans.
  • Read the Plan Details popup: you’ll find an estimate of the plan’s monthly bill at various usage levels, early cancellation fees, bill credit information, renewable energy content, and a government-mandated disclosure of pricing details for each usage level in the plan’s Electricity Facts Label. You’ll also find links to the Terms of Service and Your Rights as a Customer document.
  • Choose a fixed-rate or variable-rate plan: the vast majority of homeowners have 12, 24 or 36-month fixed rate plans that lock in your rate for the term of the contract. Fixed-rate plans result in far more predictable energy bills, reducing the chance of a bill surprise. Plus, they’re generally cheaper than variable-rate plans. If you find a variable-rate plan at a low price, be cautious: many providers try to hook consumers with a cheap front-end price, significantly increasing the rate later. Variable-rate plans can have steep price increases in the summer months and winter freezes that may create unexpected bill shocks.
  • Select a plan: after clicking the orange button to enroll, you’ll fill out the form required by the energy provider whose plan you’ve selected. Your information is secured and only shared with energy providers; it’s not shared with third party marketers.
  • No-deposit electricity: if you have credit problems and don’t pass the automatic soft credit check, you can consider “no deposit” prepaid energy plans on the site which don’t require a credit check and provide same-day electricity service, but cost more than regular plans.

If you’re moving into an existing home in a deregulated area, choose an electricity company and energy plan, and set up service at least two weeks prior to your move-in date. You can do this right here or by calling the energy company phone numbers on our website.

In some cases, you may have to wait for the vacating homeowner to cancel their power.

For help, you can review important information at the resource links below.

Resources for Moving to Texas:

Setting Up Electricity in A Regulated City

If you’re moving to a regulated city, you won’t be able to shop for different energy rates. You can ask your real estate agent or, if you’re renting, your soon-to-be landlord about the utility companies in your area. You can also simply search online for “utilities in [your new county/city].”

If you will be using the same energy provider and simply transferring your service, you can contact them two to four weeks prior to your moving day to let them know about your change of address.

Have your account information and your new address ready, along with your set move-out and move-in dates. It’s important to be prepared for up-front costs, as some companies may charge a transfer or sign-up fee that can range from $20 to $50 or higher.

By preparing for your move well in advance, including shopping for home energy rates and setting up your new service, the entire process can go more smoothly. You may even find that with the additional organization and planning that you have time to enjoy the upcoming changes.

  • Regulated Cities: Austin (Austin Energy), San Antonio (CPS Energy), Beaumont (Entergy), The Woodlands/Conroe (Entergy),
  • Municipal Utilities: Atascocita, Bryan, and New Braunfels.

Moving to Texas: A Comprehensive Prep List

Preparation is essential for a stress-free move.

First, you’ll want to budget for living costs in Texas, and consider the following:

  • View the estimated monthly electric bill for your home at Home Energy Club by reviewing electricity plans for your zip code
  • Water utilities, garbage pickup and recycle company fees
  • Home and vehicle insurance
  • Lawn and pool maintenance monthly fees
  • Home cleaning services fees
  • Home Owners Association fees, if applicable
  • Property tax rates
  • Good news — Texas does not have an income tax!

Here are the items you’ll need to perform beginning two months before your move:


Moving Options:

  • Hire movers to pack your home, load your belongings, move the boxes to the new destination, and unload at your new home. This is generally the most expensive option.
  • Pack your own belongings, and hire movers to load, deliver and unload your boxes.
  • Pack your house and rent a moving truck. Load, deliver and unload the boxes yourself.
  • Pack your house yourself, load the boxes into portable storage containers, and hire a company to pick up and deliver the containers to your new destination. This is generally the least expensive option.


  • Create a moving binder with plastic sleeves for all your important moving information. It will be your helpful guide on moving day.
  • Take pictures to show how your electronics are connected to help you remember where all the wires go when you move into your new house.

Purge and Toss: Review your belongings and decide what’s worth keeping, and what you can sell, donate or throw away.

  • Have a yard sale and use the money you earn to offset moving costs.
  • Toss worn-out clothing, damaged items and things you don’t use.
  • Remember, every box you pack costs time and money when moving.

Pack it Up: Start packing at least six weeks before your move

  • Buy or find boxes for packing. Some stores, like office supply stores or grocers, will give away used boxes, but avoid boxes that carried frozen food products or produce, as they may have water damage.
  • When acquiring packing materials, purchase a bit more than you think you’ll need. This will save you from repeat trips to the store. Often, packing supply companies will refund you for excess materials that you return.
  • Pack items you’ll need first in a clear plastic container, such as paper towels, trash bags, eating utensils, cookware, power strips, phone chargers, toilet paper, tools, prescriptions, etc. A clear bin allows you to see inside and is easy to find amongst all the cardboard boxes.
  • Start with non-necessities like home décor and out-of-season clothing.
  • Pick a color code for each room and label that room’s boxes accordingly. Label the door of each room at the new location with the corresponding sticker/tape so that movers know where to place the boxes.
  • Label your boxes accurately. It’ll be a nightmare to unpack if you can’t find what you need when you need it.
  • Designate one drawer of a dresser for sheets and towels so you won’t have to rummage through boxes for essentials the first night in your new home.
  • Pack things like prescriptions, pet food, toothbrush and a change of clothes, in a bag for you and family members.
  • While unpacking, flatten each piece of packing paper to ensure you find every item you packed, especially if you had assistance packing boxes.


  • Schedule your gas, electric, internet, cable, phone, and garbage services to be stopped at your current address and set-up at your new address.
  • Set up your electricity at least 30 days in advance.
  • Give your employer two-week notice if you’re leaving your job and contact your children’s schools to let them know your kids won’t be returning.
  • Contact doctors and dentists to transfer your records to the new location and to get referrals from them as needed. Schedule final medical appointments. Once you move it may take some time to find new doctors.
  • Cancel or transfer services such as housecleaning, lawn care, pool maintenance, security, pool maintenance, water delivery and newspaper delivery. Verify that your service providers at your new home are set up.
  • Notify your insurance and credit card companies of your change of address.
  • Schedule a babysitter to watch your children on moving day if needed.
  • Make sure you have hard copies of all the records you need, including both school and medical records.
  • Notify your landlord that you’re moving out.
  • Schedule your change of address with the post office well in advance of your move so your mail isn’t delayed.


  • Clean the home or apartment you’re leaving. Cleaning companies often provide “move-out” cleaning.
  • Load your truck or containers. If you’re loading them yourself, start with the heaviest furniture and appliances. Keep some camping chairs with you so you’ve got somewhere to sit on your last few days, and in your first few days in the new home.
  • Leave a note for the new residents with any information they may need about the house.


  • Confirm that the utilities at your old house are no longer in your name.
  • Get a new driver’s license and automobile tag.
  • Make sure your homeowners or renters insurance is updated.
  • Change the locks of your new place.
  • Register to vote.

Feel free to email or call us if you have questions about our service, or to ask how you can instantly compare electricity rates from top energy providers in Texas.

Home Energy Club Contact Information
701 Sawdust Rd #2B
The Woodlands, TX 77380
Phone: 888.721.WATT (888.721.9288)


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