When you are on the lookout for the best electricity provider in the state of Texas, you realize that you have to sift through tons of electricity plans and deal with legal documents and confusing fees. People who get overwhelmed with their options may end up paying more for their energy bill.
Given this, you need to know what an Electricity Facts Label (EFL) is and how it can impact your monthly utility bill.
Getting to Know More About Electricity Facts Label (EFL)
The EFL is a standard disclosure that each energy provider must give per the mandate of the Public Utility Commission of Texas or PUCT. The PUCT has made considerable efforts to help standardize the details in an EFL, which makes it easier for Texans to compare the rates given by each energy provider. Also, the EFLs ensure that no energy provider takes advantage of any consumer.
The EFL contains useful information about the rates that you have to pay, including details on pricing. Note that the PUCT standardized the fact sheet to include prices for 500-kilowatt per hour, 1000-kilowatt per hour, and 2000-kilowatt per hour.
Note, however, that the fees listed are not the unit prices or price range. They are merely samples as consumer costs would still include the base energy charge and delivery charge, among others.
Consumers can also find relevant pricing details, such as the length of the contract, plan type, additional fees, and renewal content percentage. State certification and energy provider contact details are also stipulated here.
Calculating the Electricity Pricing per kWh
Each EFL has details on the average pricing for a 500-kilowatt per hour, 1000-kilowatt per hour, and 2000-kilowatt per hour consumption levels. Remember, this is not the unit price.
It is an estimated cost that includes energy charges, depending on the kilowatt-hour consumed in a billing period. It consists of the fees for:
Energy Charge Cost: This fee is what your energy provider charges for your consumption.
Transmission and Distribution Service Provider (TDSP) Fee: This serves as the fee that you have to shoulder to deliver electricity to your home. It is a tax duty mandated by the Public Utility Commission of Texas. Since this duty is regulated, the TDSP fee will remain the same across different energy providers. The rate varies periodically.
Other Monthly Fees: The monthly fees vary per energy provider, but they usually include the monthly base and daily use charges. Some providers charge fees for minimum use. Note, however, that this is only applicable if the consumption is less than the minimum. Say, you went on a month-long winter vacation, and the energy consumption is less than the minimum.
Standard Electric Bill Computation
If you have an EFL on hand, you would see something like this:
Standard Energy Charge x Actual Kilowatt per Hour Consumed) + Transmission and Distribution Service Provider fee + (Variable TDSP fee x Kilowatt per Hour Consumed) = Monthly Electricity Bill
If there are other monthly charges, it factors into the equation as well.
Keep this calculation in mind to make sure that you are paying for the correct monthly electricity charges. You can check your average consumption in your online account dashboard.
You have to be mindful of your usage and how your energy provider charges you, such as minimum use fees, tiered energy charges, and usage credits. Check if your charges are accurate with your estimated calculations.
Why Understanding EFLs are Important
While the PUCT has made efforts to standardize the EFLs, some energy providers can still present the information in their own unique style. And if you are not well versed in understanding your EFL, you are placing yourself at risk of experiencing an electric bill shock.
When choosing an energy provider, choose the one that can give you the best rates possible based on your average monthly usage.