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Prepaid Electricity

Manage your energy bill with pay-as-you-go electricity.

At Choose Energy, our reporters seek out information that puts you in control of your energy. Our partners do not direct our editorial content, though we may reference their products in our posts. Read about how we make money to learn more.

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What is prepaid electricity?

Prepaid electricity, sometimes known as pay-as-you-go electricity, is a type of electric plan that allows customers to pay for their electricity before they use it. 

Prepaid electric plans can offer more control over your monthly energy bill because you pay in advance and monitor your usage to stay on track. Such plans are similar to pay-as-you-go cell phone plans.

Other benefits of prepaid electricity include:

If you think prepaid electricity is the right choice for you, enter your ZIP code on the Choose Energy marketplace to compare prepaid plans from top retail electric providers. Or, keep reading to learn more about the pros and cons of choosing a prepaid electric service.

Advantages and disadvantages of prepaid electricity plans

Prepaid plans work well for some energy customers, but they aren’t for everybody. Here’s a look at who can benefit from pay-as-you-go electricity — and who may want to think twice. 

Who should get prepaid electricity?

Prepaid electricity is a good option for customers with low credit scores. However, prepaid plans can also be advantageous for other reasons. Here are a few scenarios where a prepaid light company might be the best choice:

  • Families with limited credit or utility history
  • Anyone trying to sign up for electric service without additional upfront costs
  • Families or individuals who will be moving soon or move frequently

Who should not get prepaid electricity?

Prepaid plans are great if you don’t want to pay a deposit or you don’t have great credit. They allow you to know what you owe in advance and manage usage as the month progresses. But there are also some downsides, and you may not want to prepay for energy if:

  • You don’t want to pay in advance. If you’re already worried about paying a deposit, this might not be a good choice.
  • You don’t want to tie up money in a minimum account balance. If you frequently find yourself needing more electricity than you paid for, this could become a problem.
  • You want to keep your rate as low as possible. While prepaid electricity plans don’t include early termination fees to keep you from switching before a contract ends, rates often are higher than traditional plans.

Despite these drawbacks, prepaid electricity plans are beneficial to many because they don’t tie up funds in a huge deposit that doesn’t go toward energy costs. Customers with a tight budget can manage their energy usage to keep costs down.

Prepaid electricity providers

Many retail electric providers (REPs) in Texas, including Payless Power, offer pay-as-you-go electricity alongside their standard contracts. To find the best prepaid electricity options in your area, enter your ZIP code. You can use the filter tool to narrow down your results by plan type. We’ll show you today’s rates and help you find the best prepaid electric company for your needs.

Prepaid electricity reviews

It’s difficult to review providers based solely on prepaid plans, as many REPs offer both prepaid and postpaid options. However, we’ve evaluated some of the top REPs in Texas so you can be sure you’re getting reliable service, regardless of which type of plan you choose.

More information about pay-as-you-go electricity

If you’re not sure whether prepaid electricity is the correct choice for you, consult our energy buying guide to compare all your options for electricity service.

Still have questions? Call the number on this page to speak with one of our energy experts, who can answer questions about pay-as-you-go electricity.