March 3rd, 2021
POLR: Here’s what you need to know
The aftermath of Texas’ energy crisis hasn’t been easy. On top of thousands of homes being in a state of disrepair, many are looking for ways to pay shockingly high energy bills due to unprecedented price spikes. Not only are customers feeling let down by ERCOT and the Public Utilities Commission of Texas (PUCT), but so are many retail energy providers (REPs) who can’t afford to pay the price spikes. As a result, many mid-sized REPs are at risk of complete collapse and customers are wondering, Will we lose electricity?
The good news is, when an REP goes under, customers are protected from losing electricity because of something called POLR — Provider of Last Resort. Customers are immediately switched to a designated provider to avoid any disruptions in energy service.
If you are getting your energy from an REP that’s at risk of shutting down, here’s what to expect.
- The PUCT will reach out to you by mail, letting you know that your REP is going out of business. They may also reach out to you by phone or email.
- Your REP will (hopefully) let you know that they are no longer able to continue operation.
- You’ll also receive a letter in the mail from your POLR, which will have details about your energy plan.
So great, there will be no interruptions to my energy service. But do I get to keep my rate?
Here’s the downside of POLR. Customers have no choice who they are switched to when this happens. Not only that, but the rates these designated companies set are often higher than what you were paying before. How much higher? Even higher than what you’d pay typically, even if you were to choose them on your own. POLR rates can be much higher than the industry average because the POLR has to account for the sudden accumulation of customers from your REP. And, this number can spike even higher in summer months.
Can I switch providers if I’m POLR?
Yes! You have 60 days to switch to another REP if you’ve been assigned to POLR. Our recommendation, don’t wait and do this immediately. After 15 days, your POLR may require you to pay a deposit to stay with them.
POLR is intended as a safety net for making sure you’re not caught without an electricity provider. But, it’s not a long-term solution. Switch to an REP that meets your energy needs, as soon as you can. Your wallet will thank you.
Switch to Octopus Energy
Because POLR rates are expensive, the sooner you switch, the more money you’ll save. Join us by enrolling on our website https://www.octopusenergy.com/join or call us at (844) 386-5832 and speak to one of our customer service team members, we’re happy to help!
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