Switch holds: How to get lights

How to get lights with a switch hold.

Enri avatar
Written by Enri
Updated over a week ago

What is a switch hold?

A switch hold is a response to an electricity customer who does not pay a past-due bill as a means to block and prevent that customer from switching to another light company before paying their overdue light bill.

A switch-hold will remain in effect until your light company notifies the Utility company that payment obligations have been met, including back-billings and meter repair charges due to tampering if applicable.

If you are disconnected for non-payment, you will need to pay your provider to get your lights turned back on.

How to remove a switch hold?

A switch hold can be removed by paying any past due balance owed to your electricity company. Once the balance is paid in full it can take up to 72 hours to remove the switch hold.

If you are a new occupant in a residence that has a switch hold you can remove the switch hold by contacting the electricity company that you are trying to set up services with and requesting a New Occupant Statement (NOS). New Occupant Statements must be accompanied by at least one of the following documents:

  1. Copy of signed lease

  2. A notarized affidavit of landlord

  3. Closing documents

  4. Certificate of Occupant; or

  5. Utility bill in Customer’s name dated within the last two months from a different premise.

Please Note: Any accompanying NOS documentation has to be sent directly to the electric provider for review and for processing. ComparePower.com is unable to remove switch holds therefore please do not send documentation via chat or email to ComparePower.

Why is a switch-hold placed on my account?

The switch-hold prevents a switch or move-in transaction from occurring. In the event that you are not able to pay your light bill, your electric company will offer you a deferred payment plan to allow you to pay any outstanding balance in installments. Upon entering this agreement the light company can place a switch hold on your meter to prevent you from switching to another light company to avoid the balance due.

Another reason is if your utility company determines that meter tampering has occurred at your location. It is against the law to tamper with the Transmission and Distribution Utility meter to benefit from unbilled electricity service.

Can you switch electric companies if you owe money?

In Texas, you can switch light companies if you owe money (as long as there is no switch hold already in place). However, you will most likely be required to pay a deposit to start service with a new company. If your power is disconnected contact your electric company and request a payment plan to pay the balance owed overtime.

Note: When entering a payment plan with your electric provider you also agree to have a switch hold placed on your service address. To prevent a switch hold from being placed on your account in the first place, do not enter into a payment agreement with your light company. If at all possible pay your bill in its entirety. If you do not have the funds we still recommend that you pay your bill and switch to a prepaid company right here on ComparePower. Not paying your light bill might have a negative impact on your credit which will make it more difficult to get lights in the future, when you need them most.

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