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FAQ

We've provided answers to commonly asked questions regarding Texas electricity service. If you don't find the answers you are looking for, start a live chat with one of our Frontier Customer Care Representatives, email us at care@frontierutilities.com or you can contact us directly at 1-866-926-8192.

Deregulation is the opening of a market to competition in a previously regulated industry. Texas Senate Bill 7, on January 1, 2002, created a deregulated electricity industry in Texas, allowing many consumers the opportunity to buy electricity from any Retail Electricy Provider (REP) they choose. Many consumers no longer have only one option for electricity. They can shop around for the best plan and, in many cases, lower their electric bill. Not all of Texas was deregulated. Certain municipalities still have an entity that continues to provide their electric service, but approximately 75% of Texas is deregulated.

The main change occurred when the large companies that previously had a monopoly on the electricity business were forced to split divisions into their specialties. They divided into three parts — Generation (making the electricity), Transmission and Distribution "TDSP" (transporting the electricity from the generator to the home or business) and Retail (buying wholesale electricity and selling and billing individual customers). Other companies were created at this time to also compete in the Retail portion of the electricity business as Retail Electric Providers (REPs). You now get to choose a REP who buys bulk electricity and sells to you — while the electricity is still delivered to you as reliably as ever, over the same wires you have always had.

No. Your electricity will always be delivered via the same wires and meter you have now.

If you have a meter which has spinning visible discs (dial meter), you must read the dials. Write down the number that the pointer has just passed. This can be tricky as the dial pointers do not all travel in the same direction. The first, third and fifth dials are numbered clockwise, while the second and fourth dials are numbered counterclockwise. If a hand is directly on a number, look at the dial to its immediate right. If that dial's hand has just passed zero, write down the number that the left dial is pointing to. If the dial to the right has not passed zero yet, write down the last number that the dial on the left has passed. If you have a new "Smart Meter" with digital numbers, you simply read them as displayed.

The current reading can be used to determine how much electricity you have used since your last bill. Simply subtract last month's reading from the reading you took from your meter. The result is the number of kilowatt-hours you have used since your last reading.

When shopping for electricity, you will run across quite a few acronyms and terms. Here are a few more common ones. If you need more info, please feel free to call Frontier Customer Care at 1-866-926-8192.

Base Charge
A charge assessed during each billing cycle without regard to the customer's demand or energy consumption.
Demand Charge
A charge based on the rate at which electric energy is delivered to or by a system at a given instant, or averaged over a designated period, during the billing cycle.
EFL – Electricity Facts Label
A document provided with any product which clearly states the average rate at 500 kWH, 1000 kWh and 2000 kWH usages. The rates should include ALL recurring charges that you will incur.
Energy Charge
A charge based on the electric energy (kWh) consumed.
ERCOT – Electricity Reliability Council of Texas
ERCOT operates the huge electric grid and manages the deregulated market. They make sure there is ample energy in the grid at all times to supply demand.
ESI or ESIID – Electric Service Identifier ID
This is a number which identifies the service location. It never changes and will always identify that specific geographic location, even if a meter is changed or removed.
Late Payment Penalty
A charge assessed for late payment in accordance with Public Utility Commission rules.
kW
Kilowatt, the standard unit for measuring electricity demand, equal to 1,000 watts.
kWh – Kilowatt Hour
kWh – Kilowatt Hour Kilowatt-hour, the standard unit for measuring electricity energy consumption, equal to 1,000 watt-hours.
PUC or PUCT – Public Utility Commission of Texas
This is the governing body that makes electricity rules in the state of Texas. They have authority over everything from generation to retail.
REP – Retail Electric Provider
A REP sells electricity to retail customers in the areas of Texas that have been deregulated. A REP buys wholesale electricity, delivery service, and related services, prices electricity for customers, and sells electricity at retail.
TDSP – Transmission and Distribution Service Provider
The local wires and poles company that is responsible for making sure that you get power at your home or business. They are responsible for everything involving the wires, poles and your meter. For example, CenterPoint Energy is the TDSP in the Houston area — in Dallas it is Oncor).
TOS – Terms of Service
The TOS is a document outlining all the terms and conditions related to electricity service. These rules set out the rights and responsibilities of both Frontier and the customer.
Signing Up
Fixed Term or Guaranteed Plans
You pay a single rate for a specified amount of time. The rate will not go up or down for the length of the term.
Month-to-Month Variable Rate Plans
You are not locked into any long-term contract and your rate may vary from month to month.
Pay in Advance Plans
You are billed in advance of using electricity. To get started, you make a payment to cover the first month's usage and then are billed in advance of each proceeding month.
Pay As You Go Plans
Your purchase energy by the kilowatt hour at a set price. When your energy supply is nearing exhaustion, we'll send you a notification via email or text message to let you know how much electricity you have remaining.
What is a Green Plan?
A green plan is a renewable energy product that comes from a source that can be replenished in nature. Much of the electricity generation comes from coal or natural gas, but a green or renewable plan insures your electricity comes from a source such as wind, hydro, solar, etc. The most common renewable energy available in Texas is wind energy.
Deregulation and Electricity Business

You can quickly and easily sign up online by clicking here.

If you are just moving into a new property and the power is due to be newly in your name at this address, you should select Move-In. If the power is currently in your name at this address, with another provider, your options are Self Selected Switch or Standard Switch.

A Standard Switch is your choice if you are not on a contract or if your current contract is about to expire in the next 10 days. This type of switch will typically occur within 24 hours and does not incur a fee.

An Out of Cycle Switch is what you need if you are in a contract with your current provider and would like to schedule a specific business day to schedule your switch. Please note that an Out of Cycle Switch date may not be scheduled for more than 30 calendar days in advance from date of enrollment request. Switch and Move-in fees for AMS meters are as follows. Non AMS meters may incur a different charge.

TDSP Territory Standard Switch fee Self Selected Switch fee Priority Move-In fee Standard Move-In Fee
Move-In Fee
CenterPoint Energy Houston Area $0.00 $0.00 $0.00 $0.00
Oncor Dallas Area $0.00 $1.90 $10.35 $3.20
Texas New Mexico Power n/a $0.00 $7.00 $26.00 $16.00
American Electric Power TCC South Texas $0.00 $4.00 $19.00 $11.00
American Electric Power TNC West Texas $0.00 $27.00 $27.00 $54.00

When enrolling, we do check your payment history with other utility providers and may check your credit score. These will only determine if a deposit amount, if any, is necessary.

If this happens, you should double check to make sure all your information was entered correctly. If it is all correct and we still require a deposit, perhaps your last utility did not report payment histories. You can easily correct this by requesting a Letter of Credit from your previous utility. They can usually mail, fax or email this to you. Once we receive this, we can use it for your history to determine any deposits necessary.

You will receive a copy of the Terms of Service in your new customer Welcome Pack. If you'd like to read them before you sign up, there is a link beside each product on the product selection page. Current customers can also call a Frontier Customer Care Representative to have one mailed or emailed to you.

It depends on the product you choose. Month-to-month products do not have a cancellation fee. A fixed term product most likely has a cancellation fee if you cancel your agreement before the term expires. Everything is included in your EFL and TOS.

Some of our online products required that your account be set up on auto pay and e-billing in order for you to continue to enjoy your low rate since both of these options offer time and monetary savings to both you and Frontier. Choosing to opt out of either requirement may cause you to see an additional fee of $5.00 for each.

Some of our online products required that your account be set up on auto pay and e-billing in order for you to continue to enjoy your low rate since both of these options offer time and monetary savings to both you and Frontier. Choosing to opt out of either requirement may cause your rate to increase .05 per KWH.

When you request a new move in, we process that order and send it out for completion the same day (possibly the following business morning if your order was submitted late in the afternoon or out of hours). However, in order to physically come out and read/connect your meter, we have to make an appointment with your local metering company (your TDSP) and they require at least 3 business days’ notice to perform this task. Since the TDSP that services you is decided by where in Texas your meter is located, this timescale does not shorten regardless of which provider you choose (some other providers add their processing time to this 3 day window so they may quote a longer turn-around time).

As mentioned at the beginning of this section, we use it to review your payment history with other providers and/or check your credit score. We use your SSN# as a unique reference to identify you in these records. Please be assured that once this is provided on our secure website, it is not visible to any Customer Service operator or visibly stored in your account information.

The Pass-Through charges you may see, typically on a first invoice are normally the connection fees from the local metering company. If you select a new move in when you enroll (where you are allowed to select your own service start date), you are requesting that the local metering company send out a representative on that day to read the meter and switch it on if needed. The Pass Through Charge is the fee that the metering company charges you for sending out that representative outside of the normal monthly schedule.

Frontier Utilities Electricity Plans

Click the "My Account" link. It will pull up a window that will allow you to either login or sign up. If you provided login details during enrollment, you can simply login. If not, you will be asked to create a login with your customer number and then you will have access.

You login to My Account and there you will see a link to Pay Online.

You can do several things, including: Check your balance; pay your bill; pull up PDF images of your past invoices and setup and edit recurring payments.

You can pay by Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover, Diners Club, or Bank Card. Naturally, you can also mail us a check or money order.

Frontier Utilities offers you the opportunity to set your account on auto draft using your debit/credit only.

Frontier Utilities understands the importance of budgeting and acknowledges the need to be able to choose the date when your bills are due. Unfortunately, at this time we do not offer the ability to choose when your invoices are due since we are working with an automated billing system.

Yes. You can make a cash payment in any Ace Cash Express storefront. You will pay a convenience fee directly to Ace for this form of payment. To locate the Ace Cash Express Store nearest to you, click here

The CVV can be found on the back of your debit or credit card, on the white signature strip. You will see 7 digits printed in black. The first four digits will match the last four digits of your main card number on the front of the card, and we need the last 3 of these digits. For example, if I look at the back of my card and the number on the white strip reads 0202934, then I would need to enter 934.

You should contact your local TSDP. The contact phone numbers are listed on your invoice. They are also here for your reference:

TDSP Territory Phone Number
CenterPoint Energy Houston and Surrounding Areas (713) 207-2222 or
1 (800) 332-7143
Oncor Electric Delivery (formerly TXU) Dallas Area and West Texas 1 (888) 313-4747
Texas New Mexico Power Houston Area, Dallas Area and West Texas 1 (888) 866-7456
American Electric Power South and West Texas 1 (866) 223-8508