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          All Retail Electric Providers must adhere to Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUC) rules and regulations designed to protect you
          against fraudulent, unfair, misleading, discriminatory or anti competitive practices.  These protections include:

Non-Discrimination: In addition to standard discrimination prohibitions, a Retail Electric Provider may not deny service or 
discriminate in the marketing of electric service based on a customerís income level, location in an economically distressed area, or 
qualification for low-income or energy efficiency services.


Slamming and Cramming: Slamming is switching your electric service provider without your permission.  Cramming is adding 
charges to your electric bill for additional services without your permission. Both slamming and cramming are illegal.


Dispute Resolution: Retail Electric Providers must promptly investigate customer complaints and customers have the right to make
complaints about a Retail Electric Provider to the PUC.


Privacy of Information: No Retail Electric Provider can release any customer-specific information to another Retail Electric Provider 
or any other company without your written permission.

        In addition, all Retail Electric Providers must follow a new set of customer protections by providing each customer with the
          following documents:


The Electricity Facts Label: This gives a Retail Electric Providerís pricing information, contract terms, sources of generation and 
levels of emissions in a standardized format so that you can compare Retail Electric Provider offers.


A Terms of Service document: This is your contract. It informs you of a Retail Electric Providerís contract terms and conditions.


A "Your Rights as a Customer" disclosure: This informs you of your standard customer protections as mandated by the PUC.


Non-English language materials: All Retail Electric Providers must make customer information available in Spanish. Additionally, a
Retail Electric Provider must make all materials available in the language's in which they market electric service.


          The Public Utility Commission has enacted a rule requiring all Affiliate Retail Electric Providers and Providers of Last Resort to waive
          deposits for new residential electric customers who are determined to be victims of family violence by family violence center 
          staff or treating medical personnel.


          To request a Waiver of Electric Service Deposit, please fill out the form developed by the Texas Council on Family Violence in 
          consultation with the Public Utility Commission and submit it to the Affiliate Retail Electric Provider or Provider of Last Resort.


          In addition, you may request the form by contacting the Texas Council on Family Violence at 1-512-794-1133 or visit www.tcfv.org

        Who Has Choice?

          Most Texans can choose a new Retail Electric Provider, but there are some areas where electric competition is not available.  Click on
          this link ( map of areas open to competition ) to view the areas that are open or that are closed to competition at this time.  Enter your
          zip code to see if you are located in a competitive market.  If you are you will see a list of Retail Electric Providers for your area.      


          The Public Utility Commission of Texas, at the direction of the Texas Legislature, has postponed electric competition in some areas of
          Texas to ensure the development of sufficient infrastructure, and to guarantee the future of electric choice for those customers. 
          Customers of El Paso Electric, Entergy Gulf States Inc., Mutual Energy-Southwestern Electric Power Company and Xcel Energy will 
          have choice at a later date.



         Electric cooperatives and city-owned utilities may decide whether their customers will have a choice of Retail Electric Providers.
         Customers should contact their electric cooperative or city utility for more information.

   What has Changed?


 In the past, one company provided all parts of your electric service (generation, transmission  and distribution, and retail sales). With competition, these parts are separated into different companies.  Generation, or production of electricity, was deregulated in 1995, resulting in an ample supply of new, cleaner and more efficient power plants throughout Texas.


With electric competition, Retail Electric Providers sell electricity to you and provide functions such as customer service and billing. Retail Electric Providers compete for your business by offering lower prices, renewable energy options, added customer service benefits or other incentives. 


No matter which Retail Electric Provider provides your service, the Public Utility Commission continues to enforce customer protections and regulate the delivery of electricity to ensure it is delivered safely and reliably by the local wires company.

                        Here are three links to videos from the Texas PUC you may want to watch.

                                                                Click on the links below to watch these videos.  

                                                              How Electric Choice Works 

                                                                      Electric Choice 

                                                                    Benefit of Choice





                                                                                       Property of PowerPartners US                     2006                 All Rights Reserved

Property of PowerPartners US        2006        All Rights Reserved