Switch Holds

Why A Switch Hold is Placed

A switch hold will be applied to an electric meter for one of the following reasons:

  • If your local transmission and distribution service provider (TDSP) has determined that electric meter tampering or theft of electric service has occurred at the premise. The current electric customer of record will be notified, usually via door hanger, that a switch hold has been placed by the TDSP.

OR

  • If you entered into a deferred payment plan with your retail electric provider (REP) and part of the agreement was to have a switch hold placed on the electric meter until the terms of the deferred payment plan have been satisfied. The REP is required to notify you that a switch hold will be applied before you agree to the terms of the deferred payment plan.

How To Get A Switch Hold Removed

If you are the current electric customer of record for this address:

If switch hold was placed for meter tampering, the existing customer of record will be required to pay any charges for the previously unbilled usage and any applicable meter repair and restoration charges in order to avoid disconnection of service and remove the switch hold.

If switch hold was placed for a deferred payment plan, you will be required to meet the terms of your deferred payment plan, including the payment of any amounts owed. You can call you current or previous Retail Electric Provider to get additional information on the terms of your deferred payment plan.

If you are a new resident moving in and have never lived at the premise where a switch hold exists and are not associated with the customer for which the switch hold was imposed, you will need to provide some additional information in order for us to process your request for electric service.

To complete the processing of your request for a new service move-in, you will need to send us the following documents:

  1. A completed and signed New Occupant Statement (download form: English or Spanish).
  2. A copy of any one of the following documents showing that you are a new occupant at the address and are not associated with the customer for which the switch-hold was imposed:
    1. Signed Lease;
    2. Affidavit of Landlord (download form here);
    3. Closing documents;
    4. Certificate of occupancy; or
    5. Utility bill in your name dated within last two months from a different premise

You may send us this information by email (SwitchHoldGMERES@greenmountain.com), fax (1-855-632-7029) or mail:

  • Green Mountain Energy
    Attn: New Resident Confirmation
    P.O. Box 328
    Houston, Texas 77001-0328

Once we receive these documents, we will submit to the TDSP for confirmation that this is a legitimate move-in by a new occupant that is not associated with the preceding occupant. This information will also be made available to the current retail electric provider for the premise, who will have an opportunity to submit additional information to the TDSP to aid in their determination that this is a legitimate new move-in by an occupant not associated with the preceding occupant. This process may result in a delay in processing your move-in request of up to 1 to 2 business days from the time we receive your documentation. We apologize for the inconvenience.

For more information about switch holds and meter tampering, see our FAQs below.

How do I get the switch hold removed?

There are two different types of switch holds:

  • If your local transmission and distribution service provider (TDSP) has determined that electric meter tampering or theft of electric service has occurred at the premise. The current electric customer of record will be notified, usually via door hanger, that a switch hold has been placed by the TDSP.

OR

  • If you entered into a deferred payment plan with your retail electric provider (REP) and part of the agreement was to have a switch hold placed on the electric meter until the terms of the deferred payment plan have been satisfied. The REP is required to notify you that a switch hold will be applied before you agree to the terms of the deferred payment plan.

For a meter tampering switch hold placed by the TDSP  - Once the TDSP has placed a switch hold on a meter for tampering, all fees related to the meter tampering plus any usage previously not billed as a result of tampering or theft must be paid in order to have the switch hold removed.  The fees include any costs related to repairing or replacing the meter and any other equipment.

For deferred payment plan switch hold placed by a REP - If the Retail Electric Provider (REP) has placed a switch hold on the meter for a deferred payment plan, you will be required to meet the terms of your deferred payment plan, including the payment of any amounts owed. You can call you current or previous REP to get additional information on the terms of your deferred payment plan.

I didn’t tamper with my meter, the tampering happened before I moved to this address. Do I still have to pay these fees?

If the meter tampering occurred before you became the customer of record at this address, you may be billed for any electricity usage that was previously unbilled.

If the meter tampering began after you became customer of record at this location and your current REP was providing your electric service at that time, you may also be billed meter repair and restoration charges.

However, if you feel you are not responsible for these meter tampering fees and wish to dispute them, you can submit a dispute to your TDSP.  Please contact your TSDP directly.

I received a notification that my meter has been flagged for meter tampering. What does that mean?

Your local Transmission and Distribution Service Provider (TDSP) has determined that the meter at your premise has been tampered with and/or that theft of service has occurred. As a result, a switch hold has been placed on the meter. A switch of electric providers cannot be completed for a premise with a switch hold. In other words, you cannot switch your service to a different provider until the switch hold has been removed. This is the result of Public Utility Commission rules implemented on July 1, 2010 to deal with the problem of meter tampering and theft of electric service in Texas.

I want to dispute the switch hold, what do I need to do?

If you have questions or wish to dispute the TDSP's assessment of meter tampering or theft of electric service and imposition of a switch hold, you must contact your TDSP at:

Oncor 888-313-6862
Centerpoint 800-332-7143
TNMP 888-866-7456
TCC/TNC (AEP) 877-373-4858

If you want to dispute a switch-hold imposed by your current or previous retail electric provider in connection with a deferred payment plan, please contact that retail electric provider.

I want to initiate new service with Green Mountain, but there is a switch hold on my meter. What are my options?

Please read above for details depending on whether you are a new resident or the current electric customer of record for the customer.

What payment options are available to me?

Green Mountain will accept the following types of payments for switch hold removals:

  • Cash – can be paid at any pay stations. For a list of pay stations, please click here.
  • Money orders or Certified funds
  • Checks – please note that the switch hold will remain in place for 14 days after we receive your check to ensure that funds are available.

If fees are owed to another retail electric service provider (REP), you will need to contact them directly for payment options.

When do I have to pay these fees?

If these fees were assessed on a Green Mountain Energy® electricity invoice, you have until the due date on your invoice to pay the fees.  If the charges are not paid by the invoice due date, they will be considered past due and the normal collections process will apply.

If these fees were assessed by another retail electric service provider (REP) you will need to contact them directly regarding the fees.