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Glossary of Energy Terms

kWh = Kilowatt Hour
Electricity is measured in units called kWh, your energy cost is your energy rate multiplied by the number of kWh you have used.

kVa / kW = Demand
kVa (Kilovolt Amperes) or kW (Kilowatts) is typically measured by meters attached to commercial properties and measures the peak amount of power needed by that customer at any given time.

TDU = Transmission and Distribution Utility
This is your local metering company (in Houston this is CenterPoint Energy and in Dallas it is Oncor). They are responsible for getting the power to you, maintaining the power grid, and doing the onsite work such as installing and reading meters and responding to power outages.

ESI = Electric Service Identifier
Like a VIN number on a car, an ESI is linked to a meter point, and will identify that point forever (the ESI does not change when someone moves in or out of the property or when a meter is changed or removed). This is the most full-proof way for a provider to identify your home or business.

PUC = Public Utility Commission (of Texas)
This is the body that makes the rules that the electricity industry in Texas must follow. From generation, through delivery to the REPs, we must understand the rules and regulations provided for us by the PUC and follow them. The PUC has the authority to review any part of the industry and also to take action it sees fit to correct a breach of these regulations.

Renewable Energy
Renewable energy generally refers to electricity generated by resources that replenish themselves naturally, such as the sun, wind, earth, and water. Although the exact definition of "renewable" fuels varies depending on the governing program, law or regulations, they typically include solar, biomass, wind, hydro, and geothermal.

Unbundled rate plan
An unbundled rate plan means our energy charges are billed separately from your Transmission and Distribution Utility (TDU) charges.

TDU charges
TDU charges are those charges associated with the delivery of electricity to a customer over poles and wires from your Transmission and Distribution Utility (TDU). The TDU charges are outside of the control of StarTex Power, are approved by the PUCT, and are passed through directly to you without additional markup. TDU charges are assessed by each respective TDU to all customers in their service territory, regardless of who their REP is. StarTex Power, as the billing agent for the TDU, collects these charges from customers on behalf of the TDU and remits them back to the TDU. Such charges are clearly labeled as a separate line item on your bill so that you can clearly distinguish which charges are StarTex Power’s and which are the TDU’s.

Energy charge
Your energy charge is the amount that StarTex Power collects for electricity supplied and used. It is what you agreed to pay at a cost per kilowatt when you signed your contract. It is also the component of your electricity bill that StarTex Power controls.

Move-in request
A move-in request occurs when the address requesting to receive power is not currently supplied by another electricity provider at the time of the new service request. This can occur if the power was actually turned off at the location; or the account for that location was held in another person’s name.

Switch request
A switch request is when the service address is with another provider when establishing an account with StarTex Power, and you just want to change providers.

Following are two lists of billing-related terms to help you better understand the language used on your bill.

Residential

Advanced Metering Charge
A charge assessed to recover a TDU's charges for Advanced Metering Systems.

Assessments
Includes Gross Receipts Reimbursement and PUC Assessment Reimbursement

Avg. Price 
Average price you paid for electric service this month (in cents per Kilowatt hour including all fixed and variable recurring charges)

Base Charge 
A charge assessed during each billing cycle without regard to the customer's demand or energy consumption.

Contract documents 
The Terms of Service document (TOS), the Electricity Facts Label (EFL), and Your Rights as a Customer document (YRAC).

Contract expiration date 
The time when the initial term contract is completed.

Contract term 
The time period the contract is in effect.

Current Meter Read 
The numeric counter displayed on your meter used to calculate monthly usage up to your current meter read date.

Current Meter Read Date 
The most current date your meter was read according to your scheduled meter read cycle (as defined by your TDU).

Energy Charge 
A charge based on the electric energy (kWh) consumed.

Energy Efficiency Cost Recovery Factor 
A charge assessed to recover a TDU's costs for energy efficiency programs, to the extent that the TDU charge is a separate charge exclusively for that purpose that is approved by the Public Utility Commission.

Fixed rate product 
A retail electric product with a term of at least three months for which the price (including recurring charges) for each billing period of the contract term is the same throughout the contract term. Note that the price may vary from the disclosed amount to reflect actual changes in the Transmission and Distribution Utility (TDU) charges, changes to the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) or Texas Regional Entity administrative fees charged to loads or changes resulting from federal, state or local laws that impose new or modified fees or costs on a REP that are beyond the REP's control.

Gross Receipts Reimbursement 
A fee assessed to recover the miscellaneous gross receipts tax imposed on retail electric providers operating in an incorporated city or town having a population of more than 1,000.

Late Payment Penalty 
A charge assessed for late payment in accordance with Public Utility Commission rules.

Minimum Usage Fee 
A per ESI-ID fee assessed when the energy consumption value is less than or equal to the specified amount per billing period.

Month-to-month contract 
A contract with a term of 31 days or less. A month-to-month contract may not contain a termination fee or penalty.

Non-Tiered Rate 
Rate is not based on usage amount.

Previous Meter Read 
The numeric counter displayed on your meter used to calculate monthly usage as of your previous meter read date.

Previous Meter Read Date 
The previous date in which your meter was read according to your scheduled meter read cycle (as defined by your TDU).

Price 
The cost for a retail electric product that includes all recurring charges excluding state and local sales taxes, and reimbursement for the state miscellaneous gross receipts tax.

PUC Assessment Reimb 
A fee assessed to recover the statutory fee for administering the Public Utility Regulatory Act.

Recurring charge 
A charge for a retail electric product that is expected to appear on a customer's bill in every billing period or appear in three or more billing periods in a twelve month period.

Taxes 
Sales tax collected by authorized taxing authorities, such as the state, cities and special purpose districts.

TDU 
Transmission and Distribution Utility. Facility that transmits and/or distributes electricity, and whose rates for Transmission Service, distribution service, or both is set by a Governmental Authority. Previously referred to as TDSP - Transmission and Distribution Service Provider.

TDU Surcharges 
One or more TDU surcharge(s) on a customer's bill in any combination.

Term contract 
A contract with a term in excess of 31 days.

Variable price product 
A retail product for which price may vary according to a method determined by the REP, including a product for which the price, can increase no more than a defined percentage as indexed' to the customer's previous billing month's price. For residential customers, a variable price product can be only a month-to-month contract.

Business

Assessments 
Includes Gross Receipts Reimb. and PUC Assessments

Avg. Rate 
Average price you paid for electric service this month (in cents per Kilowatt hour including other reoccurring charges)

Base Charge 
A charge assessed during each billing cycle without regard to the customer's demand or energy consumption.

Contract documents 
The Terms of Service document (TOS), including the Electricity Facts Label (EFL) and Your Rights as a Customer document (YRAC) for Small Commercial.

Contract expiration date 
The time when the initial term contract is completed.

Contract term 
The time period the contract is in effect.

Current Meter Read 
The numeric counter displayed on your meter used to calculate monthly usage up to your current meter read date.

Current Meter Read Date 
The most current date your meter was read according to your scheduled meter read cycle (as defined by your TDU).

Energy Charge 
A charge based on the electric energy (kWh) consumed.

Fixed rate product 
A retail electric product with a term of at least three months for which the price (including recurring charges) for each billing period of the contract term is the same throughout the contract term. Note that the price may vary from the disclosed amount to reflect actual changes in the Transmission and Distribution Utility (TDU) charges, changes to the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) or Texas Regional Entity administrative fees charged to loads or changes resulting from federal, state or local laws that impose new or modified fees or costs on a REP that are beyond the REP's control.

Gross Receipts Reimb. 
A fee assessed to recover the miscellaneous gross receipts tax imposed on retail electric providers operating in an incorporated city or town having a population of more than 1,000.

Indexed product 
A retail electric product for which the price, including recurring charges, can vary according to a pre-defined pricing formula that is based on publicly available indices or information and is disclosed to the customer, and to reflect actual changes in TDU charges, changes to the ERCOT or Texas Regional Entity administrative fees charged to

kW 
Kilowatt, the standard unit for measuring electricity demand, equal to 1,000 watts

kWh 
Kilowatt-hour, the standard unit for measuring electricity energy consumption, equal to 1,000 watt-hours

Late Payment Penalty 
A charge assessed for late payment in accordance with Public Utility Commission rules.

Month-to-month contract 
A contract with a term of 31 days or less. A month-to-month contract may not contain a termination fee or penalty.

Previous Meter Read 
The numeric counter displayed on your meter used to calculate monthly usage as of your previous meter read date.

Previous Meter Read Date 
The previous date in which your meter was read according to your scheduled meter read cycle (as defined by your TDU).

Price 
The cost for a retail electric product that includes all recurring charges excluding state and local sales taxes, and reimbursement for the state miscellaneous gross receipts tax.

PUC Assessment 
A fee assessed to recover the statutory fee for administering the Public Utility Regulatory Act.

Recurring charge 
A charge for a retail electric product that is expected to appear on a customer's bill in every billing period or appear in three or more billing periods in a twelve month period.

Sales Tax 
Sales tax collected by authorized taxing authorities, such as the state, cities and special purpose districts.

TDU 
Transmission and Distribution Utility. Facility that transmits and/or distributes electricity, and whose rates for Transmission Service, distribution service, or both is set by a Governmental Authority. Previously referred to as TDSP - Transmission and Distribution Service Provider.

TDU Delivery Charges 
The total amounts assessed by a TDU for the delivery of electricity to a customer over poles and wires and other TDU facilities not including discretionary charges.

Term contract 
A contract with a term in excess of 31 days.

Variable price product 
A retail product for which price may vary according to a method determined by the REP, including a product for which the price, can increase no more than a defined percentage as indexed' to the customer's previous billing month's price. For residential customers, a variable price product can be only a month-to-month contract.