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Frequently Asked Questions

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ERCOT

  • Q: Who is Spark Energy?

  • Q: What is the difference between Spark Energy and my current utility company?

    A: Retail electricity providers like Spark Energy buy electricity from the people who generate it, then sell that electricity to people like you. Your utility’s main job is to manage power lines, poles and other infrastructure to get electricity safely and reliably to homes and businesses.

  • Q: How can Spark Energy reduce my electricity bills?

    A: We use our buying power and expert knowledge of energy markets to purchase electricity at very competitive prices.

  • Q: How do I sign up with Spark Energy?

    A: You can sign up online at Spark Energy.com– just enter your zip code, pick your plan and fill out your information. It’s easy. You can also enroll by phone at 888.772.7566. Either way, we look forward to hearing from you.

  • Q: What forms of identification do I have to provide in order to switch?

    A: To establish service with Spark Energy, you’ll be asked to provide your social security number.

  • Q: I don’t have a social security number. Can I still enroll?

    A:Yes, but you’ll need to provide a deposit. Please give us a call at 888.772.7566 and a customer service representative can help guide you through the enrollment process.

    Monday – Friday 7:00AM to 7:00PM
    Saturday 9:00AM to 4:00PM
  • Q: What is the difference between a switch and a move-in?

    A:

    The term “switch” is used when you already have power at your service address in your name and want to “switch” your current Retail Electric Provider (REP).

    The term “move-in” applies when you need power turned on at a residence or business for the first time. If you are moving to a location where the power is off and needs to be turned on or you are moving to a location where the power is on but you need to transfer the ownership to your name, you are considered a “move-in.”

  • Q: Will my service be interrupted when I switch to Spark Energy?

    A: If you are switching electricity providers at a location that’s currently getting power, you shouldn’t experience any interruption in your service.

  • Q: Is there a cost to switch my electricity service to Spark Energy?

    A: It depends on which kind of move you’re doing. For a standard switch, there’s no charge. Here are the different fees for switching based on where you live and the type of switch you choose.

    UtilityStandard SwitchSelf-Selected SwitchMove-In
    AEP-CPL $0.00 $16.00 $37.00
    AEP-SWEPCO $0.00 $7.00 $20.00
    APE-WTU $0.00 $16.00 $42.00
    Centerpoint $0.00 $6.00 $16.00
    Oncor $0.00 $7.25 $18.00
    TNMP $0.00 $26.96 $53.94
  • Q: What is a standard switch?

    A: If you want to switch electricity providers at your current address, and aren’t picky about exactly which date your electricity is switched over, you want the standard switch. With a standard switch, you’ll be switched to Spark Energy within seven days, and we’ll determine which day within that seven day window you’re switched over. The best part– it’s free!

  • Q: What is a self-selected switch?

    A: If you want to switch electricity providers at your current address, but you want control over exactly which date your switch takes place, you should choose a self-selected switch. There is a charge for self-selected switches which varies by where you live. Click here to see what that charge would be for your area.

  • Q: What is a move-in?

    A: If you want electricity service, and you have never had it at the address where you’d like to start your service, it qualifies as a move-in. Click here to see what the move-in fee is for your area.

  • Q: Can I establish service over the phone?

    A: Yes, you can call 888.772.7566 to sign up with Spark Energy or you can use our fast, easy online signup 24/7 through sparkenergy.com.

  • Q: When will my residential power become effective with Spark Energy?

    A: That depends on what kind of switch or move-in you choose.
    Standard Switch: 3-7 business days
    Self-Selected Switch: You choose- At least 3 business, maximum of 45 calendar days
    Move In: You choose- At least 3 business, maximum of 45 calendar days
    Priority Move In: 24-48 hours
    Don't forget, some of these types of switches and move ins do involve fees.

  • Q: Will Spark Energy check my credit?

    A: We do a credit check as part of our signup process.

  • Q: Will I have to pay a deposit?

    A: Possibly- we’ll let you know whether or not you’ll need to provide a deposit after we’ve run your credit check, which includes information from the consumer reporting agency Transunion. But, even if you do have to provide a deposit, you can get it back as a bill credit if you’re a residential customer and you don’t make any late payments for 12 consecutive months.

  • Q: What does it mean if I have to pay a deposit in order to establish service with Spark Energy?

    A: Having to pay a deposit won’t have any impact on the price we charge or the service you receive.

  • Q: Do you offer any alternatives to paying a deposit?

    A: Yes, we can waive your deposit if you qualify for any of the following:

    65 or Older – A residential customer or applicant may be deemed as having established satisfactory credit if the customer or applicant is 65 years of age or older and the customer is not currently delinquent in payment of any electric service account.

    Victim of Family Violence – A residential customer or applicant may be deemed as having established satisfactory credit if the customer or applicant has been determined to be a victim of family violence as defined in the Texas Family Code §51.002 by treating medical personnel, by law enforcement personnel, by the Office of a Texas District Attorney or County Attorney, by the Office of the Attorney General, or by a grantee of the Texas Equal Access to Justice Foundation. This determination shall be evidenced by submission of a certification letter from the Texas Council of Family Violence. The certification letter may be submitted directly to Spark Energy by use of a toll-free fax number.

    Letter of credit from a previous electric provider– A residential customer or applicant may be deemed as having established satisfactory credit if the customer or applicant:

    • Has been a customer of any retail electric provider or an electric utility within the two years prior to the request for electric service;
    • Is not delinquent in payment of any such electric service account; and
    • During the last 12 consecutive months of service was not late in paying a bill more than once.

    You can also split your deposit into two equal installments. Customers who are eligible for low income discount programs may pay deposits in excess of $50.00 in two equal installments. The first installment must be paid within 10 days after written notice of the deposit requirement is issued, and the second installment must be paid within 30 days after the first deposit is paid.

  • Q: I don’t agree that my credit profile would require me to pay a deposit. Who can help me with this?

    A: During the enrollment process, we give you information about the credit bureau that we used for your credit check. You can contact that credit bureau for any questions you have about your credit profile.

  • Q: Do I have to notify my current electricity supplier that I’m switching?

    A: No. Once you’ve successfully signed up with Spark Energy, we’ll take care of the rest.

  • Q: Will I be locked into a contract?

    A: It depends on which plan you choose. Our fixed rate plans, have a fixed contract term. It’s how we’re able to let you lock in a low fixed rate. An early termination fee will apply if you cancel service before the end of your contract tem. Be sure to read the terms and conditions to learn the details of any electricity plan you sign up for.

  • Q: Does competition affect the reliability of my electric or gas service?

    A: No. Your electricity will continue to be delivered safely and reliably by your local utility, regardless of who you buy it from.

  • Q: Who do I call if my power goes out?

    A: You will need to contact your local utility. They are the company responsible for maintaining and repairing the wires, poles and equipment in your service area.

    Houston And Surrounding Areas:

    CenterPoint Energy local 713.207.2222 toll free 800.332.7143
    Texas New Mexico Power toll free 888.332.7143

    Dallas/Fort Worth and Surrounding Areas:

    Oncor toll free 888.313.4747
    Texas New Mexico Power toll free 888.332.7143

    South Texas:

    AEP toll free 866.223.8508

    West Texas:

    AEP toll free 866.223.8508

    Didn’t see the number you were looking for? Click here for a complete list of numbers to call for an outage

  • Q: What happens once I complete the enrollment process online?

    A: Once you complete the enrollment process online, you’ll get a confirmation email containing your contract number, plan details and other info about your service with Spark Energy. You will also be receiving a welcome kit including terms of service.

  • Q: How will I know when my switch or move-in will occur?

    A: Once you sign up, you’ll get an enrollment e-mail containing your estimated switch or move-in date.

  • Q: When can I expect my first Spark Energy invoice?

    A: No more than 45 days after your switch takes effect.

  • Q: If I’m moving into a new place, how quickly can I get my electricity turned on?

    A: That depends on what kind of move-in you choose.
    Move In: You choose- At least 3 business, maximum of 45 calendar days
    Priority Move In: 24-48 hours (will cost more than a typical move in request)

  • Q: Will I be able to access my account online?

    A: Yes. When you sign up, you’ll get to set up a user ID and password. You can use these to log in to your account at any time at www.sparkenergy.com.

  • Q: Can I add service at another address to my existing account?

    A: Yes, you can set up and manage multiple accounts with one login. Simply log in to your Spark Energy online account, click on My Account and select Add a Service Location.

  • Q: What if I cancel my service prior to the end of my contract?

    A: Spark Energy may charge a fee for cancelling your contract early. The exact fee depends on which plan you’re on. View product details page for early termination fees.

  • Q: In addition to my energy usage, what charges/fees will I see on my bill?

    A: You will see a monthly customer charge (if applicable), energy usage charge, charges set by the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT) that go to your utility and any applicable taxes.

  • Q: Can I add someone to my account, like my spouse or a roommate?

    A: Our customer accounts are typically under one primary account holder. You may add an additional contact person to the account, however. That person will have the same capability as the account holder to request information.

  • Q: Who should I call if I have billing questions?

    A: If you have any questions regarding your Spark Energy bill, please contact us at 888.772.7566. A customer service representative will be available to assist you Monday through Friday, from 7:00AM to 7:00PM, and Saturday from 9:00PM to 4:00PM.

  • Q: How do I know if my invoice is estimated?

    A: Your invoice will indicate whether it is actual or estimated.

  • Q: What is a kilowatt-hour (kWh)?

    A: A kilowatt-hour (kWh) is a unit of measurement for electricity usage over a period of time. One kWh is equal to using 1000 watts of power for one hour.

  • Q: What is an ESI ID?

    A: ESI stands for Electric Service Identifier. Your ESI ID is a unique number your local electric utility uses to identify a specific residence or business and make sure that your electricity service is set up at the correct address. If you have more than one address on your account, you will have multiple ESI IDs– one for each address.

    Your meter number and your ESI ID are two different things; your meter number identifies the specific meter at your home or business, and you could end up with a new meter number if your meter is replaced for some reason.

  • Q: What is an advanced metering charge?

    A: A charge assessed to recover a TDU’s charges for Advanced Metering Systems that are not recovered in the TDU’s standard metering charge.

  • Q: What is a base charge?

    A: A charge assessed during each billing cycle that’s not based on your demand or energy consumption.

  • Q: What is a competition transition charge?

    A: A charge assessed to help your TDU recover some of the costs that occurred because of deregulation.

  • Q: What is a demand charge?

    A: A fee your TDU charges if your energy usage is unusually high.

  • Q: What is an energy charge?

    A: A charge based on the amount of electricity (kWh) consumed.

  • Q: What is an energy efficiency cost recovery factor?

    A: A charge assessed to recover a TDU’s costs for energy efficiency programs.

  • Q: What is a late payment penalty?

    A: A charge assessed for paying your bill after the due date.

  • Q: Why was I assessed a late fee?

    A: Late fees are assessed if your payment is not received in full by the due date on your bill.

  • Q: How much do you charge for late fees?

    A: 5% of the total delinquent balance.

  • Q: What is a meter charge?

    A: A charge assessed to recover a TDU’s charges for monitoring and recording your electricity usage.

  • Q: What is a miscellaneous gross receipts tax reimbursement?

    A: A fee assessed to recover the miscellaneous gross receipts tax imposed on retail electric providers operating in an incorporated city or town having a population of more than 1,000.

  • Q: What is a nuclear decommissioning fee?

    A: A charge assessed to recover a TDU’s charges for decommissioning nuclear power generation sites.

  • Q: What is a PUC assessment?

    A: A fee assessed to recover the statutory fee for administering the Public Utility Regulatory Act.

  • Q: What is sales tax?

    A: Sales tax is a tax that all consumers pay on goods and services in the state of Texas. This is no different than the tax you would pay if you bought a soda at a convenience store or a pair of shoes at the mall.

  • Q: What is a system benefit fund charge?

    A: A charge approved by the Public Utility Commission, not to exceed 65 cents per megawatt-hour, that funds low-income discounts, one-time bill payment assistance, customer education, commission administrative expenses and low-income energy efficiency programs.

  • Q: What are TDU delivery charges?

    A: Charges from your transmission and distribution utility (TDU) to cover the expenses they incur by running and maintaining the electrical grid to get power to your home.

  • Q: How do I make a payment?

    A: You can make a payment online through My Accountor by phone at 877.547.7275 using a checking account, credit card, or debit card. We also accept cash payments at many retail locations. To find a retail location near you, please click here

  • Q: I am moving to another location outside of Texas. Will there be any penalties for disconnecting service?

    A: If you’re moving to a new location, there won’t be any penalty for disconnecting. You’ll need to provide your forwarding address, and depending on your particular situation, you may be required to provide some additional proof that you’ve left your previous address.

  • Q: I am moving to another address in Texas. How do I transfer service to my new address?

    A: Give us a call at 800.780.9202 at least 3 business days before you want your electricity service transferred. When you call, we’ll need your new service address, your new ESID number if one is available, the date you want to start service at your new address and the date you would like service disconnected at your old address.

  • Q: How do I update my mailing address?

    A: Give us a call at 800.780.9202.

  • Q: What is a TDU?

    A: TDU stands for “transmission and distribution utility.” Many people simply call this their utility company. Your TDU’s job is to get electricity from the companies that generate it to homes and business, including managing and maintaining power lines, poles and other infrastructure used in the transmission and distribution of electricity.

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  • Q: Where can I find ERCOT variable price history?

    A: You can find our variable price history by visiting Variable Price History

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