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Affiliate Retail Electric Provider
The Affiliate Retail Electric Provider was part of the original
electric company that generated and sold electricity in your area. Now,
the Affiliate Retail Electric Provider only sells electricity and
provides customer service. Learn more.
An entity registered with the Public Utility Commission that brings together a group of customers to buy electricity in bulk. Learn more.
Average Payment Plan
An agreement worked out between a Retail Electric Provider and a
customer that allows you to pay approximately the same amount for your
electric service each month. All Retail Electric Providers are required
by the PUC to offer average payment plans.
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."
One of three commonly used designations
for classes of customers. The others are residential and industrial.
Commercial customers are not involved in manufacturing. Examples of
commercial customers are retail stores, restaurants and educational
Competitive Retail Electric Provider
A Retail Electric Provider that is certified by the PUC and competes for
your business by offering lower prices, renewable energy options, added
customer service benefits or other incentives.
Adding charges to a bill without a customer’s approval. This practice is illegal and penalties are enforced by the PUC. Learn more.
Removal or relaxation of regulations or controls governing a business or service operation like utilities.
Do Not Call List
The PUC has established two No-Call Lists
for customers who do not want to receive telemarketing calls from
Retail Electric Providers or other telephone marketers doing business
in Texas. Learn more.
Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT)
The corporation that administers and maintains the reliability of the
state's electrical power grid. When you choose a new Retail Electric
Provider, this group will send you a postcard confirming your switch
from one Retail Electric Provider to another. Learn more.
Electricity Facts Label
An information sheet required by the PUC that provides customers with
standardized information on a Retail Electric Provider’s prices,
contracts, sources of power generation and emissions. It allows
customers to make an "apples-to-apples" comparison of Retail Electric
Provider offers. Learn more.
An Affiliate Retail Electric Provider is allowed to recover its costs
for the fuel used to generate electricity, such as coal, natural gas,
wind, water, nuclear, etc., through the fuel factor. This cost is set
by the Public Utility Commission of Texas and charged on each
customer’s bill, based on kilowatt-hour (kWh) usage. An Affiliate
Retail Electric Provider is prohibited from making a profit on fuel
The production of electricity. In Texas,
electricity is produced by a number of methods, including natural gas,
coal, nuclear power, wind, water and solar energy.
One of three commonly used classes of
customers. The others are commercial and residential. Industrial
customers typically have the highest demand for electricity.
Examples of industrial customers are a factory or manufacturing
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 is expressed in terms of a
kilowatt-hour, and is noted on your bill.
Local Wires Company
The company that transmits and delivers
electricity to a customer’s home or business along the poles and wires
(formerly a local electric utility). This company is still responsible
for maintenance and repair of these poles and wires.
Municipally Owned Utility ("Muni")
A non-profit utility that
is 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."
The highest 15- or 30-minute demand recorded during a 12-month period.
Provider of Last Resort
The Provider of Last Resort serves as
the "back-up" provider when a Retail Electric Provider leaves the
market for any reason. If this happens, customers may switch back to
the Affiliate Retail Electric Provider or choose another competitive
Retail Electric Provider offering electric service in their area.
Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUC)
The state agency
that is responsible for the regulation and oversight of electric and
local telecommunication services in Texas. Under Electric Choice, the
PUC regulates the delivery of electricity and enforces customer
protections. Learn more.
Electricity that is made from "environmentally friendly" fuel
resources, such as wind, water, biomass or solar. Sometimes referred to
as "green" energy. Information on a Retail Electric Provider’s
generation sources can be found on its Electricity Facts Label.
One of three commonly used customer
classes. The other two are commercial and industrial. Residential
customers include private households that utilize energy for such needs
as heating, cooling, cooking, lighting and small appliances.
The reorganization of traditional monopoly
electric service to allow operations and charges to be separated or
"unbundled" into generation, transmission and distribution and retail
services. This allows customers to buy retail electric service from
Retail Electric Provider
A company that sells electricity to
customers. All Retail Electric Providers must be certified to do
business by the Public Utility Commission of Texas.
Rural Electric Cooperative (Co-op)
A customer-owned electric utility that distributes electricity to
members and that receives lower-cost financing through the federal
government. In Texas, co-ops can choose to opt into the competitive
Switching electric service without a customer’s approval. This practice is illegal and penalties are enforced by the PUC. Learn more.
Terms of Service
A contract between a Retail Electric
Provider and a customer that outlines fees, length of service and other
Texas Electric Choice
The public education program managed by
the Public Utility Commission to inform Texans about their options in a
competitive retail electric market.
Transmission and Distribution
The actual delivery of
electricity over poles and wires to your home or business. These
services are provided to you by your local wires company, which is
responsible for maintaining the poles and wires, and responding to
emergencies and power outages as always. The PUC still regulates
transmission and distribution to ensure the safety and reliability of
your electric service.
This is the amount of electricity you used during the
billing period listed in kilowatt-hours (kWh). This will be listed on
your electric bill as kWh used.
Your Rights As a Customer Disclosure
A document that informs
you of your rights as mandated by the PUC. Retail Electric Providers
must provide you with this disclosure.
This template features a two-column layout.