I remember being in this very situation as a student but I still had to come up with a deposit. I eventually got my deposit back after a year and speaking of that got a cell phone deposit back after 2 years and never got a $750 deposit back from an apartment complex.
As you can see I have a bad history with deposits in general and you would think at least one utility or bill collector would let you sign up for service with no deposit and cut you a break but they all use something familiar to all of them to make this crushing decision, your credit score.
For a student the only way out of this electricity service deposit situation is to go with a prepaid electric company. There are two types of prepaid electric companies. You have the ones that use smart meter technology to charge you for your exact electric usage and than you have the prepaid electric companies that do not require a smart electric meter and charge you based on estimated usage.
You could be using yoru electricity very coservatively but if the prior tenant was an energy hog you will pay dearly.
On a positive not if you go with a prepaid electricity supplier that estimates your usage you may get estimates based on a tenant that used their energy very conservatively while you may be an energy hog.
In this example you may end up winning in the estimation game but there is usually a true up on those estimations.
What I mean by true up is that the electric company that is allowing you to prepay for your electricity will eventually correct the charges you paid in based on what you actually used. This prepay electric company will look at your usage as you build it up and true up the charges allowing you to get a refund or have you pay in a little more.
For students the prepay electric supplier route is the quickest easiest way to keep some of that deposit money in your pocket while you build up that credit score to the magic number.
To begin use the no deposit electricity compare chart asking for your zip code at the top right.
Hopefully a year from now you will have a good enough credit score to rent an apartment, sign up for cell phone service, and turn on your lights and not have to pay one single solitary darn deposit.