Typically, you pay for electricity after you use it. Most Retail Electricity Providers perform a soft credit check during enrollment. To clarify, soft credit checks require a full legal name, social security number, and date of birth. Providers determine if you need to pay an electricity deposit with this information. Furthermore, deposit requests commonly add up to either 1/5 of your estimated annual electricity costs or the total of the estimated bills for the first two months of service.
Good news: The Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT) requires all providers to return deposits in full plus interest. (The PUCT determines the exact percentage of interest.)
Asked to Pay an Electricity Deposit?
Common misunderstanding: Deposit requests consider only an overall credit score.
A high credit score doesn’t exempt someone from the process. However, good utility payment history helps. (i.e., telephone, cable, electricity, or water).
The most common reasons for deposit requests:
- No utility payment history – No utility accounts established.
- Poor utility payment history – Missed or late payments in the past twelve months.
- Outstanding balance owed – Unpaid balance either gets sent to a collection agency or reported to a major credit bureau.
- Unable to verify your identity – A credit freeze/fraud alert with any of the major credit bureaus blocked your information. Mistyping personal information also triggers a deposit request.
Available Electricity Deposit Waiver Options
- Active Military: Current member of the U.S. Military with proper ID.
- Over 65 years old: 65 years old with a Driver’s License and a recent electric bill showing good standing.
- Victim of Family Violence: Complete the Texas Council on Family Violence deposit waiver certification letter.
- Letter of Credit: A letter from your current provider listing no more than one late payment in the past 12 months.
When is an Electricity Deposit Returned?
Providers typically return deposits after 12 consecutive months of positive payment history. Else, the refund happens after account closure minus any outstanding balance owed.
The deposit gets applied to any outstanding balance, and the provider refunds the remaining deposit amount.
Ensure Your Electricity Deposit Gets Returned
Contact the provider by phone or email to ask about their specific deposit refund process.
For Energy Ogre members, send us a quick email at email@example.com or call us at (832) 975-1000 for assistance. Our ogres help with this process.
How to Avoid Electricity Deposits in the Future?
Make your payments on time to avoid deposits. Set up automatic payments when possible. We understand that paying on time isn’t always an option. Just work with your provider on setting up a payment plan before you receive a late fee or disconnection notice.
Basically, Energy Ogre enrolls members into competitive plans fitting their needs. Evaluating all options available and finding the right solution for each member. We submit all the necessary documentation and make sure our members get enrolled successfully. In conclusion, deposits rarely come as a welcome surprise, but they shouldn’t be a hurdle to affordable electricity service.