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Deregulation in Texas

What is a Provider of Last Resort?

What is a provider of last resort, or POLR? We share what a POLR is, why Texas has POLRs, and what you can expect if you become a POLR customer with CPL.


What is a Provider of Last Resort?

The Provider of Last Resort, or POLR, becomes your provider when your Retail Electric Provider, or REP, exits the electricity market for any reason. If your REP were to go out of business, the POLR acts as a safety net to ensure you have continued electric service even if your provider exits the market.

After the transition to a POLR, customers may then choose an energy plan with their POLR or shop for another provider to meet their longer-term needs, but the POLR system ensures that these customers will not experience an interruption in service in the interim.

POLR electric service pricing is generally higher than available competitive prices due to the uncertainty associated with a sudden influx of customers. Due to the volatility of the energy market, overall market prices are also expected to increase. If you are on a variable-rate plan like our POLR product, we encourage you to learn about CPL’s energy plans or sign up with an electricity plan with our affiliate brand, Direct Energy, to lock in a fixed-rate plan that meets your long-term needs and is free from rate changes.

Read more information about POLR policies on the Texas PUC website.

Why does Texas have POLRs?

When energy deregulation was implemented in Texas, utilities that monopolized their markets were no longer allowed to both sell and distribute electricity to consumers. Instead, the utilities now solely distribute electricity and competitive REPs sell electricity to consumers, allowing customers to choose their own electric providers. To keep the control of power distribution separate from competitive supply, policymakers wanted to keep utilities separate from the business of buying and selling energy to customers, even as backup providers. Instead of the utilities providing backup electric service to customers, the POLR structure requires competitive REPs to fill the gap in service for customers if their REP leaves the market.

Every two years, the PUCT designates certificated REPs to provide POLR service for each service area. The largest providers must serve as POLR and smaller providers may volunteer to participate. CPL is one of up to 15 companies in Texas that act as POLR companies.

The electric company I was with went out of business. Now I’m a CPL customer. What does this mean for me?

As a new CPL customer through the POLR program, you will be enrolled in our POLR electricity plan on a month-to-month variable rate.

If you have not already, you will receive a Welcome Kit in your mail including:

  • A Welcome Letter outlining the date your service with CPL will begin, your POLR plan details and information for contacting www.powertochoose.org
  • Electricity Facts Label for the POLR rate
  • Terms of Service   

Once you have been transitioned to service with CPL, you will have 15 days to do one of the following:

  • Complete enrollment with CPL's POLR plan as outlined in your Welcome Kit
  • Sign up for one of our other available electricity plans or with our affiliate brand, Direct Energy, to lock in a stable, fixed-rate plan free from price spikes.
  • Switch to another REP

How will this change affect my service and support?

You will continue to receive uninterrupted service from CPL on our POLR plan until you finalize your enrollment with CPL or enroll with another plan or provider.

Is there anything I have to do for my service to fully transition to CPL?

Once you have been transitioned to service with CPL, you will have 15 days to do one of the following:

  • Complete enrollment with the CPL POLR plan as outlined in your Welcome Kit
  • Sign up for a CPL electricity plan of your choice by contacting 1-855-615-6462
  • Switch to another REP.

Please note: CPL only serves non-POLR energy customers in the AEP Texas Central service areas. Our affiliate brand, Direct Energy, serves all of Texas and has a variety of electricity plans so that you can find one  that fits your needs.

Will I be assessed a deposit?

To ensure continuity of service, CPL requires a deposit or verification of satisfactory credit.  The deposit is due within 15 days of the date service begins with CPL. To pay the deposit or to learn about how you may qualify to have your deposit waived, please contact us at 1-855-615-6462. 

What happens to my contract and account with my previous provider?

Your contract with your previous REP will no longer be in effect. We cannot roll over any of the plan or contract details from your previous provider. Any payment or billing arrangements on your previous electricity plan, like average billing or Auto Pay, will need to be set up with CPL or your new provider. You will need to contact your previous REP for your previous account information.

You will be placed on CPL’s POLR month-to-month variable-rate plan and from there you may choose another plan from CPL or sign up with a different REP. Please contact us at 1-855-615-6462 for information on our other electricity plans.

What will happen if my contract term with my previous provider is expiring soon?

Your contract with your current REP, including AutoPay, rewards, historical bills and other account services will no longer be in effect. You will be placed on CPL’s POLR month-to-month variable plan and from there you may choose another plan from CPL or sign up with a different REP. Please contact us at 1-855-615-6462 for information on our other electricity plans.

Will I be charged an Early Termination Fee for my contract with my previous REP?

No, your previous REP may not charge you an Early Termination Fee (ETF).

Where do I log in online to make payments, view bills, and see any service-related information?

CPL offers access to Online Account Manager to pay your bill, view your payment history, and see any service related information.

Who is CPL?

CPL Retail Energy is part of the Direct Energy family of brands, which serves more than 5 million customers throughout the United States and Canada and is the third largest retail electricity provider in Texas. We bring you the benefits of a strong global business while still valuing our local heritage and commitment to customer service. However you become our customer, we appreciate and value your business.

What are the advantages of being a CPL customer?

At CPL, we provide convenient electricity plan management and help you become a savvier energy customer so you can save on your electricity bill. Our online account manager provides you with a convenient place to view your plan information, pay your bill, and track your usage.

We have convenient payment options that let you pay with the click of a button or by automatically withdrawing from your bank account. We offer a range of electricity plans so you can find one that’s right for you. 

Where is CPL located?

As an affiliate brand of Direct Energy, CPL is located at 12 Greenway Plaza #250 in Houston, Texas.

How can I contact you?

You can contact us by calling 1-855-615-6462 or visiting our Contact Us page.

Looking for a long-term plan?

Lock in a fixed-rate electricity plan and get a stable electric rate free from price spikes.

AEP Texas Central Customers: Contact us at 1-855-615-6462

Other Service Areas: View plans at Direct Energy or call 1-888-305-3828


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