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 customer's 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 companies without your permission.
In addition, all Retail Electric Providers must follow a new set of customer protections, by providing:
- The Electricity Facts Label: This gives a Retail Electric Provider's 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 Provider's 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.
Information For Victims of Domestic Violence
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 by visiting www.tcfv.org.
Information For Persons 65 or Older
If you are 65 or older and are not delinquent on your payments, you are exempt from deposit requirements for all Affiliate Retail Electric Providers and Providers of Last Resort.