FAQs for Texas

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  • Electricity Industry Basics

    • What is ERCOT?

      ERCOT, or the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, watches over the reliability and security of the Texas electricity grid. When you switch to a new electricity company, your new provider contacts ERCOT to take care of the actual switch process, and you'll receive a notice from ERCOT confirming your...

    • Where can I apply for chronic or critical care status?

      If someone in your household needs to apply for chronic or critical care status, please follow these instructions:

      • Download the "Application for Chronic Condition or Critical Care Residential Customer Status" from the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT). It is available in English and Spanish.
      • Bring a completed form to your physician. He/she will fill it out for you and fax it to your TDSP (Transmission and Distribution Service Provider, also known as your utility company). The TDSP fax numbers are on top of Page 1 of the Critical Care Form.
      • Once your physician submits the form to the utility company for your area, that company will then contact First Choice Power to confirm your chronic or critical care status.

      Important! Your physician must fax the form to your TDSP, NOT First Choice Power. Your TDSP maintains that list and verifies your Critical Care status, and then will contact us on your behalf so that we can note the status on your account.

      If you need more information on how to get your service address place on the Critical Care list maintained by the TDSP for your residential area, please call First Choice Power Customer Service at...

    • What are the advantages of Smart Meters?

      A Smart Meter lets you see your detailed usage data daily, which makes it easier to use energy more efficiently and lower your electricity bill. There are other big advantages that include:

      • You can monitor your electricity usage online or through a wireless in-house electricity monitor.
      • Smart Meters document your usage in 15-minute intervals, not the overall monthly consumption that traditional electric meters measure.
      • No meter readers step onto your property. Your usage is transmitted to your Transmission & Distribution Provider (the utility company for your area) electronically.
      • Smart meters help your poles and wires company locate outages quickly, or prevent them in the first...

      • Who reads my electricity meter?

        Your meter is read each month by someone from the utility company for your area. This company is also called your Transmission and Distribution Service Provider (or TDSP or TDU). If you have one of the new digital Smart Meters, your usage is transmitted to your TDSP electronically.

        Once the TDSP has determined how much energy you have used in a billing cycle, that information will be communicated to your electricity company so that your bill can be...

      • What is a Retail Electricity Provider in Texas?

        With the deregulation of the Texas electricity grid, you have a choice about who sells electricity to you for your home or business. Your retail electric provider (REP)- known to most people as "the electricity company" - provides you with a rate for the energy you use, your electricity bill, and customer service. The utility company for your area (also known as the TDSP) will continue to read your meter, take care of the lines and poles, and ensure the delivery of electricity to your home or...

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