Moving to Texas A Guide | Couple Unpacking Boxes

Moving to Texas: Top Tips on Setting Up Utilities

Electricity , Moving Guides , Texas Energy

Great weather, fantastic employment opportunities, and no state income tax are just three of the many reasons people are moving to Texas. The Texan population grew to almost 29 million between 2010 and 2019, way above the national average. Great weather, fantastic employment opportunities, and no state income tax are just three of the many reasons people are moving to Texas. The Texan population grew to almost 29 million between 2010 and 2019, a growth rate way above the national average.

If you’re among the multitudes who are thinking about moving to Texas, there are some key bits of information you need to know before heading to the Lone Star State. For starters, it’s the country’s biggest electricity generator and has a renowned deregulated energy market. That means most Texans can choose their energy supplier.

In this guide, you’ll learn how to find, compare, and sign up for the best electricity plan and set up your utilities. But first, take a look at why Texas is so attractive and discover top tips for relocating stress-free to your new home in this great state.

Are You Moving to Texas to Break Into the Job Market?

Many people moving to Texas are drawn by the great state’s employment opportunities. There are a wide variety of job opportunities from small, local firms to international companies.

Google, Apple, ExxonMobil, and many more all have bases in the state. Tesla is finishing its utility-scale battery energy storage system , which is contributing to the overall new investment in Texas cities.

Is It Expensive to Buy a House in Texas?

Affordable real estate is another reason people hear the call to make Texas home.

Housing prices are competitive. In September 2021, Realtor listed Dallas as having a median home price of $415,000, or $225 per square foot, with some Texas areas as low as $255,00 — ask your realtor for a comparison list.

That’s quite a deal when you consider that in New York the average home price is $869,000 ($712 per square foot) and $899,000 ($519 per square foot) in Orange County , California.

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Note that property tax rates are relatively high in Texas, at an average of 1.8% , they are higher than the U.S. national average of just over 1% . However, Texas counties set their property tax rates, so check the rate in the area you’re looking to buy. Popular Texas cities include Houston, Austin, San Antonio, Dallas, and Fort Worth.

Beyond the urban areas are vast open spaces to enjoy. In fact, Texas has numerous National Parks , monuments, and recreation areas spread around its lands.

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How High Is the Cost of Living for Texans?

Almost all Texans enjoy a lower living cost than their American compatriots, with some areas nearly a quarter cheaper than the national average. The fact that there is no income tax helps Texans achieve this low cost of living.

The state relies on high sales and use taxes for its tax base. Sales taxes start at 6.25%, but jurisdictions (Texas cities, counties, etc.) can add up to 2% more for a total 8.25% sales tax.

Healthcare is one thing that does cost a lot in Texas. In 2021, Texas residents spent, on average, more than $10,000 per person on health care. It is one of the highest levels in the country, with Texans paying more than Californians and New Yorkers.

What Are Some Tips for Moving to Texas?

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There will inevitably be some paperwork when you move. Mail, internet, and energy supply are just a few. Make a checklist and tick them off as you go through them.

And don’t forget to try the famous BBQ beef brisket and Tex-Mex cuisine. Music lovers should check out the vibrant live music scene, too.

What’s the Weather Like in Texas?

Despite the jokes about Texan weather, the Lone Star state enjoys a wide variety of climates , including extreme weather. Heat, snow, and tornadoes are not unknown, but BBQ lovers need not fear — there will be plenty of time to fire up the grill.

In general, the panhandle and northern plains have cold winters with plenty of snow coupled with hot summers. Big Bend Country, which lies to the western end of Texas, has hot and dry summers, whereas Eastern and Central Texas experience hot and humid summers and mild winters.

South Texas hardly ever sees winter snowfall while summers are hot and dry. Finally, the coastal east is the area that, while still warm in summer, endures more rainfall, hurricanes, tornadoes, and thunderstorms than the rest of Texas.

Mosquitoes can be an unwelcome distraction. Also, you might want to check if your new home has air conditioning because of potential heatwaves. The barometer can frequently top 100 degrees Fahrenheit during Texan summers.

People’s energy demands vary across the state, which is why choosing the most suitable energy provider is a big part of moving to Texas.

How Can You Find the Best Energy Rates When Moving to Texas?

Houston’s famous humidity may have you reaching for the air conditioning unit over and over again. At the same time, Western Texas may call for using the snow shovel and turning up the heater. For some year-round help, check out these guides on spring and summer energy saving tips and winter energy-saving tips .

Texas has a deregulated energy market , which means most residents can choose their energy provider. There are many energy plans and pricing rates, from prepaid to variable-plan rates.

Amigo Energy’s specialty is electricity rather than natural gas. Read our helpful guide to Texas electricity rates to find the right plan for you. You can arrive at your new home and make the most of Texan energy deregulation by becoming a saver on electricity bills.

Why Can I Choose My Electricity Supplier in Texas?

Thanks to deregulation, almost 9 out of 10 Texas residents ( 85% ) can choose their electric company. Locally, these are called Retail Electric Providers (REPs). The remaining 15% of the state’s population relies on local utility companies and cannot choose their Texas electricity provider.

There are more than 120 REPs in Texas, albeit people often call them electricity companies. They offer a wide choice of electricity prices and electricity plans. These range from 100% renewable energy deals to free nights to fixed-rate plans. (More on all this in a bit.)

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It’s tricky to know your new home’s energy usage before you’ve lived there. Your realtor may be able to help with approximate use. Your Texas electricity bill will be an important expense. While Texans on average enjoy lower electricity prices than the rest of the U.S., the average household consumes more electricity and pays a higher bill each month.

What Type of Electricity Deals Are There in Texas?

Before we look at low rates, it’s essential to understand the three types of electricity usage tariffs that you’ll see in Texas. For our purposes, we’ll discuss residential electricity and not commercial electricity or retail electricity.

Companies advertise prices in kilowatt-hours (kWh).

The three Texas electricity plans to eligible service areas are:

  • Fixed-rate: You pay the same kWh rate through the contract’s term.
  • Variable-rate plan: Your electric rate follows the market price set by your electricity supplier, meaning your electric bill can go up or down.
  • Indexed rate: These work similarly to variable-rate plans, but the price links to a formula linked to a publicly available index rather than a company.

In general, a fixed-rate average price is higher kWh than variable or indexed. Still, there are many reasons to choose any of these plans. Lower rates do not always mean a lower electric bill — read on for more.

How Can I Compare Electricity Rates and Energy Plans in Texas?

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The Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT or PUC) has set up a website to help people search for the best electricity plan. is the PUCT’s official website where companies advertise their Texas energy plans. The Power to Choose platform is a reliable, independent, unbiased website that allows consumers to see the facts. All the electricity companies advertising their deals must comply with strict PUCT rules and register with the PUCT.

To help simplify the process, be sure to read our guide on how to use the Power to Choose tool .

With the Power to Choose website, you can compare the electricity rates in the Texas market. Filters allow you to compare:

  • Kilowatt-hour prices and the rate type (e.g., fixed or variable)
  • Energy usage levels — w e recommend choosing 1,000 kWh a month as a reference point because it is close to the national average use
  • Contract length – they can vary from month-to-month to 36 months or other time period
  • Energy generation source for example, you can look at which electricity companies offer green energy plans that use renewable energy to power your home

Power to Choose also lets you enter your ZIP code to check if you live in a deregulated area. Customer reviews show how people rate electricity plans, too.

Browse the results, and you’ll start to understand what plans are on the market and the price difference. There is one more essential item to read before you sign up, and that’s called the Electricity Facts Label (EFL).

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Why Are Electricity Facts Labels So Important?

Many of the deals on the Power to Choose website offer eye-catching low rates. But don’t forget: the devil is in the detail — this is where the Electricity Facts Labels (EFL) comes in.

Every deal must have an EFL, and we strongly recommend you read them very carefully. They delve into the full contract details. Below are some important factors to look for along with questions you’ll want answered.

  • Credit check: Will one be carried out, and if so, what score do you need to qualify?
  • Early termination fees : Are you moving to a rental property for a few months before heading to your new home? What if you need to cancel your contract early? Some deals have very high termination fees.
  • Deposits : Does a particular plan require a high deposit? What are the deposit return conditions?
  • Bill credit: What happens to credits? This may be important if you move suppliers within Texas or overpay and quickly need access to the bill credit.
  • Contract term length: Make sure it’s suitable to your needs — a 5-year fixed rate may not be appropriate if you’re moving to Texas for a 12-month period.
  • Hidden charges: You’ll need to scrutinize these; they’re not called hidden for no reason. Look for items like “electric service charges” and “base charges” as well as “general” charges.

Another critical factor you need to consider: minimum usage levels. It’s a good idea to know how much energy your new home uses. Many electricity companies reward heavy energy users with lower kilowatt-hour prices. However, the company may charge you a much higher kWh price if you don’t reach the minimum monthly usage level.

Pro tip: Use our guide on electricity companies and costs for more details on getting the best Texas energy rates for your household.

Moving to Texas: It’s Time to Find the Best Energy Rates

Moving to Texas is an exciting time. There’s much to look forward to — weather, food, music, and open spaces. However, there is some work to do, particularly when it comes to choosing your energy supplier. Thankfully, there is plenty of help to get you through the process.

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Don’t forget, our Power to Choose guide will help you find an excellent electricity deal so you can direct more of your energy into moving to Texas and enjoying your new life in the Lone Star state.

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