High Electricity Surcharges

Some ogre’s may get a little bill shock when the see the cost of the delivery charges which are known by different names: transmission charges, TDSP (Transportation Distribution Service Provider) charges, poles and wires charges or pass through charges.

TDSP charges are the fees associates with servicing and delivering power to your meter from the generation source. The TDSP, sometimes called your Transmission and Distribution Utility (TDU), is the utility company that manages the energy grid in your area of the state.

Transmission and Distribution Service Provider (TDSP) or Delivery Companies, (CenterPoint, Texas New-Mexico Power, Oncor and others), are the owners, operators and maintainers of the power lines and meters and are responsible for maintaining the poles, wires, meters, and other transmission equipment relating to the distribution of energy from the power plant to the final delivery point.

Fees are based on your meter’s “peak demand” which is the maximum electricity that you use at a given point in time.  Although there are fixed costs and other components associated with your TDSP charges, higher demands are generally the primary cause of higher TDSP fees and charges.

It’s important to understand, the TDSP charges are tariff based and approved by the Public Utilities Commission of Texas (PUCT). These charges include the cost of delivering power to your service address, reading your meter, and handling line outages and emergencies. TDSP Delivery Charges are assessed on a monthly basis and are billed to all energy providers. Because these charges are tariff based, they apply to all customers based upon classification and they are not bypass-able.  Also it is important to remember that the TDSP charges for you and your home are going to be the same amount regardless of who your have as your Retail Electricity Provider (REP).

Certain TDSP charges are billed on a monthly basis, and some are billed on a usage basis (per kilowatt hour).  For this reason, the total Delivery Charges amount will vary each month depending on your monthly kilowatt-hour usage.

Every electric company can choose how they show these fees on a bill, which can be confusing. With your past electric providers they may have lumped the fees together with your energy charge. The energy charge is the cost to produce your power. You can always find all charges on the Energy Facts Label (EFL) of your current plan. Every electric plan offered by an electric provider will include these charges.

Electricity Demand vs. Consumption

TDSP charges are based primarily on “how” you use your electricity and not exactly “how much” you use.  You can have two facilities in the same area that consume the same amount of electricity over a year but can be charged different TDSP charges.

Why Are My Demand Charges So High?

Have you seen a sudden hike in your TDSP charges?  Here are some potential reasons.

1.) Is your current meter faulty or did you get a new Smart Meter? If you had an analog meter, there is a chance it was not accurately reading your demand and consumption. The new Smart Meter’s are equipped to more accurately read your demand and consumption.

2.) If you use very little electricity, the TDSP charges can be proportionately larger.  That’s because there are fixed components associated with the cost to deliver your power. It can cost more to deliver your electricity and to serve your meter than to pay for the actual electricity itself.

3.) Is your retail electricity provider marking up your TDSP charges?

Energy Ogre CEO, Jesson Bradshaw says the high delivery charges can actually be a good thing as that means the Energy Ogre team is doing our job well on your behalf!

How Can I Save Money on TDSP Charges?

Here are some options to ensure that you are not being charged too much on TDSP charges.

1.)  Have an Energy Ogre member care representative assist you in requesting that your TSDP check for a faulty meter.

2.)  An Energy Ogre member can analyze your bill to make sure all fees are correct and that your provider didn’t mark up the cost of TDSP charges that weren’t accounted for in your bill analysis.  Note, it is completely legal for retail electricity providers to mark up these charges, however they must disclose this markup in the EFL.

3.) Build up your electricity usage slowly.   Don’t turn on all your lights, crank down the air, start the laundry and dishwasher all in a matter of 5 minutes. Wait more than 15 minutes to bring each large component online. Limit the equipment running simultaneously if possible, or at least the level at which they operate. Also have your HVAC checked regularly.

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