In an effort to keep things simple, transparent, and unsurprising SWPL has compiled a Glossary of common deregulation terms.
A charge assessed to recover a TDU’s charges for Advanced Metering Systems, to the extent that they are not recovered in a TDU’s standard metering charge.
Southwest Power & Light offers customers an option which allows automatic payment of electric bills from a customer’s bank account or credit card (MasterCard and Visa only). Payments are drafted 10 days after the invoice date in compliance with our Terms of Service.
An agreement worked out between Southwest Power & Light and a customer, which allows you to pay approximately the same amount for your electricity each month, with the balance to be trued- up periodically to account for over- or under- payments. The total variance is reflected on our invoice as "Total Budget Variance to Date".
A non-profit utility that is owned and operated by the city it serves. In Texas, city-owned utilities may opt into the competitive retail electric marketplace. See also "Municipally Owned Utility".
The amount of electricity used at any given instant or averaged over a designated period of time. Demand is usually measured in kilowatts or Megawatts. The Peak Demand is the highest 15 minute recorded demand period over 12-months.
A customer-owned electric utility that distributes electricity to its members. In Texas, co-ops can choose to opt into the competitive retail market.
A fact sheet that provides customers with standardized information about an electric plan, including contract terms, pricing, fees, and the percentage of renewable energy offered. The PUC requires an EFL for every plan so that customers can make an "apples-to-apples" comparison of the different offers.
The independent system operator that administers and maintains the reliability of the state's electrical power grid. When you choose a new electric company, ERCOT will send you a mailer confirming your switch.
In the state of Texas, an ESI ID is a 17 or 22-digit number used in the deregulated market to identify a unique point of electric service delivery to a premise (your home or business).
A charge based on the electric energy (kWh) consumed.
A fixed-rate plan has a set rate that doesn't change throughout the contract period, with minor exceptions. If you choose a plan with a fixed rate, your price per kWh will not change during your contract period except for changes in Transmission and Distribution fees, changes in ERCOT or Texas Regional Entity administrative fees, or changes resulting from federal, state or local laws that impose fees beyond your REP’s control.
The accepted abbreviation for “Miscellaneous Gross Receipts Tax Reimbursement”. This is the charge assessed to recover the miscellaneous gross receipts tax imposed on retail electric providers operating in an incorporated city or town. The Miscellaneous Gross Receipts Tax Reimbursement is imposed on both utility companies and retail energy providers located in a city or town having a population of more than 1,000 according to the last federal census.
A unit of energy equivalent to one kilowatt (kW) of power expended for one hour of time. The amount of electricity you use each billing period will be expressed on your bill in terms of kilowatt-hours.
Flat fee applied each month. The fee may vary based on plan enrolled, usage, or size of customer.
For some meters, the actual amount of energy displayed is too large to be registered and the meter shows a fraction of the actual use. A multiplier is then applied to the difference between your present and previous readings to determine your actual energy use.
A non-profit utility owned and operated by the municipality it serves. In Texas, municipally owned utilities may opt into the competitive retail electric marketplace. See also "City-Owned Utility".
If you elect to pay your invoice by any method other than an approved Auto-Pay method, you will be subject to a payment processing fee of 0.005/kWh.
The Provider of Last Resort (POLR) serves as the "back-up" provider when an electric company leaves the market for any reason. If this happens, customers may opt for service from the POLR or switch to another retailer.
The state agency responsible for the regulation and oversight of electric and local telecommunication services in Texas. The PUCT regulates the delivery of electricity and enforces customer protections.
A combination of TX PUC Assessment and Gross Receipts Tax.
Commonly called electric companies, Retail Electric Providers (REPs) sell electricity to customers. They do not generate electricity, read meters, or operate or maintain transmission or distribution wires. All REPs must be certified to do business by the Public Utility Commission of Texas.
A contract between a Retail Electric Provider and a customer, which outlines fees, length of service, and other important information.
The actual delivery of electricity over poles and wires to your home or business. These services are provided by your local wires company (often called the Transmission and Distribution Service Provider "TDSP"), which is responsible for maintaining the poles and wires and responding to emergencies and power outages. The PUC regulates transmission and distribution to ensure the safety and reliability of your electric service.
This is the charge assessed by the Texas Public Utilities Commission (PUC) to recover the statutory fee for administering the Public Utility Regulatory Act. It is equal to 1/6 of 1 percent of the charges on your bill, excluding sales tax.
Usage is the amount of electricity used during the billing period. Usage is measured in kilowatt-hours (kWh) and will be listed on your electric bill as "kWh Usage".
The total amounts assessed by a TDSP (see Transmission and Distribution) for the delivery of electricity to a customer.
Variable rate plans have no monthly contract or cancellation fee, but the rate you pay per kWh can vary from month to month. Your rate can go up or down based on the market and the discretion of your electric company. Variable plans allow customers to benefit from falling market prices, but they also have an increased risk for higher rates if electricity prices spike due to natural disasters, cold winters, or adverse market conditions.
A document that informs you of your rights as mandated by the PUCT. Your electric provider must provide you with this disclosure.