Direct Energy, one of Texas’ largest power providers, says it offers customers an “easier way to pay for electricity.”
But consumer advocates are raising concerns that enrolling in prepaid electricity plans could leave low-income Texans vulnerable to hidden fees and sudden electricity shutoffs — and without access to public assistance that agencies may offer to a customer who falls behind on traditional payments.
It’s the latest debate about whether consumers have enough information and protections in a deregulated power market that allows most Texans to choose their provider.
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Is a policy analyst consultant for TCAP, a coalition of political subdivisions in Texas that purchase electricity in the deregulated market for their own governmental use. Because energy costs are typically a significant budget item to our members, TCAP is consistently looking for ways to save our members money, through cost-saving contracts, energy efficiency or demand response programs.