PAL Energy Smart, LLC

Frequently asked questions


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  1. ?

    What is a base charge?
    A charge assessed during each billing cycle that’s not based on your demand for energy consumption.
  2. ?

    Do all customers have the power to choose their electric provider?
    No. City-owned utilities and member-owned electric cooperatives have the option of giving their customers a choice of providers, or keeping things the way they are today.
  3. ?

    Will my bill be itemized?
    It is up to Retail Electric Providers to design their bills. How they decide to itemize charges is up to them. There are two types of billing: bundled (summary billing) and unbundled (itemized billing). Either way, there's no difference on various charges shown therein.
  4. ?

    Can I add service at another address to my existing account?
    Yes, you can set up one or more accounts to your existing account simply by contacting PAL Energy Smart, LLC at 1-888-522-8387.
  5. ?

    What is a standard switch?
    If you want to select the date you would like electricity service switched over and you are not moving within (3) business days you can select a standard switch. This standard switch typically types about 1-7 business days depending on your meter type.
  6. ?

    What is a demand charge?
    A fee for your TDU charges if your energy usage is unusually high.
  7. ?

    What has stayed the same in electric service?
    Your current Transmission and Distribution Utility, or "local wires company," (i.e., CenterPoint Energy, Oncor, ConEd, etc.) continues to deliver electricity to your home. Your local wires company still responds to service interruptions and continues to maintain the poles and wires. You will continue to receive the same reliable service you are used to with your local wires company, regardless of which Retail Electric Provider you receive service from.
  8. ?

    What is a TDU?
    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.
  9. ?

    What are the options to pay my bill?
    Our customers have a number of ways the can pay their bills! We offer: Paying by Credit Card or Debit Card Paying by phone (please note that some Retail Electric Providers may charge a few dollars for this payment option, thus always ask beforehand when speaking with your selected Retail Electric Provider) Auto-Pay service which automatically charges your bank account or credit/debit card whenever you have a new bill Check/Money Order/Cashier’s Check which you can mail to your selected Retail Electric Provider
  10. ?

    How do I transfer my service with PAL Energy Smart LLC's affilated Retail Electric Providers?
    If you are moving or switching to us for a competitive rate you can transfer your service by calling PAL Energy Smart LLC at 888-522-8387 and press 102 for Sales.
  11. ?

    Will I be able to access my account online?
    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 your chosen Retail Electric Provider's website.
  12. ?

    What is an ESI ID?
    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.
  13. ?

    I am moving soon, can I expedite my switch?
    You can select a regular move-in request, which will take three (3) business days or you can select a priority move-in, which will take 24-48 hours.
  14. ?

    Who do I contact if my power goes out?
    To report an outage, call your TDU – that's your local poles and wires company, or Transmission and Distribution Utility. Your TDU is always responsible for maintaining and servicing power lines. That local TDU phone number can be found on your electricity bill.
  15. ?

    What is a self-selected switch?
    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.
  16. ?

    What is an energy charge?
    A charge based on the amount of electricity (kWh) consumed
  17. ?

    What is the difference between a switch and a move-in?
    The term “switch” is used when a customer has power at their service address in their name and wants to “switch” their current Retail Electric Supplier (RES). The electric term “move-in” applies when a customer needs power turned on at their residence for the first time. Although there may be power at the place of residence, if it is in the name of the property owner or previous resident, requesting service in your name for the first time is considered a “move-in”.
  18. ?

    What is a smart meter?
    A smart meter is an advanced meter that measures usage in more detail than a conventional meter. It generally communicates via a network back to the local utility. Want to learn more? Check out .
  19. ?

    Will I have to pay a deposit?
    Possibly- we’ll let you know whether or not you’ll need to provide a deposit after we’ve (our affiliated Retail Electric Providers) run your credit check, which includes information from the consumer reporting agency (i.e., Transunion, etc). 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.
  20. ?

    Is there a penalty for changing providers?
    No. There is no switching fee unless you request a special meter reading at a time other than your regularly scheduled meter reading. There may also be penalties if you break an existing contract with your current Retail Electric Provider. Review your Terms of Service agreement for details.
  21. ?

    With competition, will the reliability of my electric service change?
    No. No matter which Retail Electric Provider you choose, your electricity will continue to be delivered safely and reliably by the local wires company, a company still regulated by the Public Utility Commission.
  22. ?

    Is my information safe?
    Yes! We are dedicated to securing the privacy of our customers' account information.
  23. ?

    How Do I renew my service with PAL Energy Smart LLC's affiliated Retail Electric Providers?
    If you would like to renew service you can call us at 888-522-8387 and press extension 102 for Sales. Also, usually the electric company will send their customers a renewal notice within 30, sometimes 60 days, before their contract expires. Once you receive this renewal letter from them, it's better to contact PAL Energy Smart LLC for competitive renewal rates.
  24. ?

    What happens if my Retail Electric Provider stops serving customers?
    You will not be without electricity. In most cases, your Retail Electric Provider will give you 30 days' advance notice to give you time to select a new provider. If your provider goes out of business suddenly, your electric service will be switched automatically to the "Provider of Last Resort" (POLR). POLR service is meant to be a temporary fix until you switch to another electric provider, and POLR service typically has very high rates compared to standard market offers. Use this Web site to shop for a new provider and ask the POLR to do an early meter read - this will cost a few dollars up front but will allow you to get switched to a lower-rate provider more quickly than waiting for your next regularly-scheduled meter read. Or you can call us at 1-888-522-8387 for assistance. If you do not switch to a new provider, you will remain with the POLR and have to pay its higher rates, so it's important to shop and switch providers as soon as possible.
  25. ?

    Will my bill look different with Electric Choice?
    Yes. Your Retail Electric Provider is responsible for customer service functions such as billing. The Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUC) has established rules requiring Retail Electric Providers to provide you with a bill that is easy to read. For example, your bill will be issued monthly, you will receive a paper bill via U.S. Mail, and you have the choice of receiving your bill electronically, if both you and your Retail Electric Provider agree. It is up to Retail Electric Providers to design their bills; however, there are many bill components they are required to include.
  26. ?

    With competition, will the reliability of my electric service change?
    No. No matter which Retail Electric Provider you choose, your electricity will continue to be delivered safely and reliably by the local wires company, a company still regulated by the PUC, Public Utilities Commission.
  27. ?

    Is there a deadline on when I can choose a provider?
    There is no deadline for selecting a new provider. You can choose a new electric provider at any time.
  28. ?

    What is Cramming?
    Cramming is the illegal practice of adding charges to your electric bill for additional services without your permission.
  29. ?

    Do I have to tell my current Retail Electric Provider that I'm switchingproviders?
    To switch your electric service to a new provider, contact the Retail Electric Provider of your choice. Your new Retail Electric Provider will send you a "Terms of Service" agreement that provides details of the service offerings and terms. You do not need to contact your current Retail Electric Provider.
  30. ?

    What if I decide not to switch to a new provider?
    If you decide not to choose a new Retail Electric Provider, your service will remain with the Affiliate Retail Electric Provider. The Affiliate Retail Electric Provider is the electric provider that was part of the original Retail Electric Provider that generated and sold electricity in your area, that now only sells electricity and provides customer service.
  31. ?

    Whom do I call if I have an outage?
    You should call your Transmission Utilities Company (TDU) or your Retail Electric Provider immediately at the toll-free number that is listed on your electric bill.
  32. ?

    Do I have a right to cancel?
    Yes. You may cancel within three days from when you receive your Terms of Service agreement by contacting the Retail Electric Provider. If you are hand-delivered a terms of service agreement or you sign up for service using the Internet, there is a three-day cancellation period. The confirmation that will be mailed to you will also provide a way to cancel your switch.
  33. ?

    Which companies are other people choosing?
    Because Texas Electric Choice is a neutral source of information for public education, it does not have that information available, nor does it recommend any particular provider. You should choose the provider that is best for your personal needs.
  34. ?

    What portion of my electric bill am I shopping for?
    The portion you are shopping for is the total price per kilowatt-hour (kWh), which will help you compare offers from Retail Electric Providers. Each Retail Electric Provider must provide an "Electricity Fact Label," which is designed to show the cost of electricity at various levels of consumption, taking into account all of the costs of producing and delivering electricity. It will probably be easier for you to compare offers from different Retail Electric Providers by looking at the total charges in the Electricity Facts Label. Contact each provider you are interested in and request a copy of their Electricity Facts Label to compare offers and determine which is best for your family.
  35. ?

    How can I compare offers from Retail Electric Providers?
    Ask Retail Electric Providers for a copy of their Electricity Facts Label, which contains standardized information about rates, contract terms, sources of power generation and emissions.
  36. ?

    What are my rights as an electric customer?
    You have the right to choose an electric provider, which includes the right to be served by the Affiliate Retail Electric Provider (the electric provider that was part of the original Retail Electric Provider that generated and sold electricity in your area that now only sells electricity). No matter which electric provider you choose, the Public Utility Commission (PUC) will continue to protect your rights. Your rights 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 optional 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 Public Utility Commission. Privacy of Information: Retail Electric Providers cannot release any customer-specific information to other Retail Electric Providers or any other companies without your permission. In addition, all Retail Electric Providers must follow a new set of customer protections, by providing: An 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 agreement: 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.
  37. ?

    What is Slamming?
    Slamming is the illegal practice of switching your electric service without your permission.
  38. ?

    My Retail Electric Provider is not based in my area. Who will repair the poles and wires in my neighborhood?
    No matter which Retail Electric Provider sells you electricity, the actual delivery of electricity to your home across poles and wires is provided to you by your local wires company. The local wires company is responsible for maintaining the poles and wires and responding to emergencies and power outages, as always. The Public Utility Commission continues to regulate this delivery of electricity to ensure the safety and reliability of your electric service.
  39. ?

    How can I make sure I am not slammed or crammed?
    Preventive measures may be taken to prevent slamming and cramming. First, do not give any provider any account information unless you want to switch to that provider. Second, if a provider change is requested, a Terms of Service agreement will be provided to you. You have three days from the date you receive the Terms of Service agreement to cancel your switch request. Slamming and cramming are illegal in Texas. The Public Utility Commission of Texas will enforce this law.
  40. ?

    Who reads my meter?
    The local utility company (i.e., CenterPoint, ONCOR, TNMP, etc.) is the one that reads your meter.
  41. ?

    Do I have to switch from my current electric utility?
    No. If you decide not to choose a new Retail Electric Provider, your service will be provided by the Affiliate Retail Electric Provider. The Affiliate Retail Electric Provider is the electric provider that was part of the original Retail Electric Provider that generated and sold electricity in your area, that now only sells electricity and provides customer service.
  42. ?

    What are the benefits of Electric Choice?
    Texas' electric rates are average compared to rates across the rest of the country, but our usage is among the highest in the nation due to demand for air conditioning during the long, hot summer season. Competition in other industries has often brought lower prices and innovative, new products and services. Having more control over your buying decision should make it easier to determine what matters most to you, whether it is prices, renewable or green energy sources, customer service or simply a name you know. Electric competition also should help the environment because Retail Electric Providers may offer electricity from environmentally-clean energy sources. Generating electricity from renewable sources such as wind produces less air pollution than generation that relies on burning coal or natural gas. Natural gas is considered a "clean" fuel source in Texas, since it produces fewer emissions than coal.
  43. ?

    Does it cost anything to switch to another Retail Electric Provider?
    Absolutely not! It is completely free and simple to enroll.
  44. ?

    Can my electricity be disconnected for nonpayment?
    Yes. You will receive a termination notice giving you 10 days to pay the bill or make payment arrangements.
  45. ?

    What are TDU delivery charges?
    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.
  46. ?

    In addition to my energy usage, what charges/fees will I see on my bill?
    You will see a monthly usage fee (if applicable), energy usage charge, charges set by the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT) that go to your utility and any applicable taxes.
  47. ?

    Why use PAL Energy Smart LLC?
    We understand how the markets work, we know numerous Retail Electricity Providers, and we understand the various product structures. We have procured many thousands of electricity and natural gas contracts, and are transacting everyday on behalf of our clients. Just like many other services for your home or business, it makes sense to utilize a specialist in the energy deregulation industry. We source and negotiate your energy from a vetted group of energy suppliers from across the country and Canada. We are experts at cracking through the complexity and compare apples to apples, thus simplifying the process for you.
  48. ?

    What has changed in electric service?
    You can now choose to buy your electricity from a different electric provider than the original provider for your area. These companies are called Retail Electric Providers. Additionally, your bill now looks different than bills you have received in the past, but each Retail Electric Provider provides the same standard information.
  49. ?

    What happens once I complete the enrollment process online?
    Once you complete the enrollment you’ll get a confirmation email containing your contract number, plan details and other information about your service with your selected Retail Electric Provider. You will also be receiving a welcome letter containing terms of service.
  50. ?

    What does it mean if I have to pay a deposit in order to establish service with any of PAL Energy Smart, LLC many affiliated Retail Electric Providers?
    Having to pay a deposit won’t have any impact on the price we charge or the service you receive.
  51. ?

    If I do not choose an electric provider, who will supply my electricity?
    If you decided not to choose a new Retail Electric Provider, your service is being provided by the Affiliate Retail Electric Provider. The Affiliate Retail Electric Provider is the electric provider that was part of the original electric company that generated and sold electricity in your area, that now only sells electricity and provides customer service.
  52. ?

    What is a system benefit fund charge?
    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.
  53. ?

    If I sign up with a new Retail Electric Provider, when will the switch to that company happen?
    Customers can choose a Retail Electric Provider at any time; however, you will not begin to receive power from your new Retail Electric Provider until about 3-7 days after your energy contract has been approved. Before you are switched, you will receive written confirmation in the mail. You will receive your first electric bill from your new Retail Electric Provider on the following billing cycle.
  54. ?

    How do I know when my switch or move-in has occur?
    Once you sign up, you’ll get an enrollment e-mail or text containing your estimated switch or move-in date. Afterwards, you will receive a welcome letter from your chosen Retail Electric Provider within days.
  55. ?

    What is a competion transition charge?
    A charge assessed to help your TDU recover some of the costs that occurred because of deregulation.
  56. ?

    What is a PUC assessment?
    A fee assessed to recover the statutory fee for administering the Public Utility Regulatory Act.
  57. ?

    Will PAL Energy Smart, LLC check my credit?
    No, but every of our affiliated Retail Electric Providers will do a credit check as part of our signup process.
  58. ?

    What is a nuclear decommision fee?
    A charge assessed to recover a TDU’s charges for decommissioning nuclear power generation sites.
  59. ?

    Do you offer any alternatives to paying a deposit?
    Yes, we can waive your deposit if you qualify for any of the following: 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 PAL Energy Smart, LLC via email: [email protected]; fax, 1-888-486-2010. 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: o Has been a customer of any retail electric provider or an electric utility within the two years prior to the request for electric service; o Is not delinquent in payment of any such electric service account; and o During the last 12 consecutive months of service was not late in paying a bill more than once. Billing Submission - Submit a few required electricity bills per our affiliated Retail Electric Providers (REPs) request with zero or NO balance forwarding. Auto Payment – Completing or setting up an EFT, or Electronic Funds Transfer, either by credit, debit, or bank draft (check) per our affiliated REP’s request. Personal Guaranty Form – Completing a PG, or Personal Guaranty Form (the submission of this form may sometimes bypass the required deposit; not all REPs use or accept this form though. Other alternatives – Please call PAL Energy Smart, LLC at 888-522-8387 or 281-271-8595 for more information.
  60. ?

    How do I know which providers are providing service in my area?
    Providers may also contact you directly to market their services.
  61. ?

    What is a miscellaneous gross receipts tax reimbursement?
    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.
  62. ?

    What is a meter charge?
    A charge assessed to recover a TDU’s charges for monitoring and recording your electricity usage.