*To read the formal definitions of these terms as defined by the PUC, click here.

Energy Terms and Definitions

Advanced Metering Charge

The advanced metering charge is a charge approved by the Public Utility Commission to recover the costs that your TDU incurs for the new advanced electric meters (smart meters).

Base Charge

A base charge is a charge that is assessed each billing cycle.

Competition Transition Charge

When many regulated markets in Texas switched to deregulated markets, the TDUs incurred certain costs associated with the switch. The competition transition charge is a non-securitized charge that helps your TDU pay these costs.

Demand Charge

A demand charge is a charge that is assessed to commercial accounts whose maximum energy usage at any given time is more than 10kW. This charge is to cover the cost that is incurred for the equipment needed to supply a large amount of energy to these businesses.

Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT)

ERCOT is an organization that manages the flow of electricity to most homes and businesses in Texas. They schedule power on an electric grid and manage transactions between the members of the energy industry.

Electric Service Identifier (ESI ID)

Your Electric Service Identifier (ESI ID) is the unique identifier for the location of your home or business. As the ESI ID is associated with your address, you will have the same ESI ID as long as you live at that residence, regardless of your REP.

Electricity Facts Label (EFL)

The electricity facts label (EFL) is a document that describes the details of your electricity plan. It includes your average rate, term length, and any fees associated with your plan.

Energy Charge

An energy charge is a charge that is based on the amount of electricity consumed.

Energy Efficiency Cost Recovery Factor

An energy efficiency cost recovery factor is a charge assessed to cover the cost that the TDU incurs for energy efficiency programs.

KiloWatt (kW)

A KiloWatt is the standard unit for measuring electricity demand, equal to 1,000 watts.

KiloWatt-hour (kWh)

A KiloWatt-hour is the standard unit for measuring electricity consumption, equal to 1,000 watt-hours.

Late Payment Penalty

A late penalty charge is a charge assessed for the lack of a payment by the due date in accordance with PUC rules.

Meter Charge

A meter charge is a charge assessed by the TDU for measuring your monthly usage on your meter.

Minimum Usage Fee

A fee assessed when less than 1000 kWh is used in a billing cycle.

Miscellaneous Gross Receipts Tax Reimbursement

A miscellaneous gross receipts tax reimbursement is a fee that is assessed to recover the cost that retail electric providers incur for operating in an incorporated city or town that has a population of over 1,000.

Nuclear Decommissioning Fee

A nuclear decommissioning fee is a charge assessed to recover a TDU’s charges for decommissioning nuclear generating sites.

PUC Assessment

A PUC assessment is a fee assessed to recover the statutory fee for administering the Public Utility Regulatory Act.

Retail Electric Provider (REP)

A retail electric provider (REP) is a company that sells electricity to customers in the areas of Texas where the sale of electricity is open to retail competition. Brilliant Energy is a REP. Our job is to buy electricity from the generators and wholesalers for your use, buy the electricity services that the TDU provides, and act as your direct contact to resolve electric service issues.

Sales tax

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

System Benefit Fund

The System Benefit Fund (SBF) is a dedicated account that is financed by a non-bypassable charge approved by the PUC. This account can be used for various activities that benefit customers of retail electricity providers such as energy education and energy efficiency programs.

TDU Delivery Charges

TDU delivery charges are all charges assessed by your TDU for the delivery of your electricity over poles, wires and other TDU facilities not including discretionary charges.

TDU Meter Surcharge

The TDU meter surcharge is the charge from your TDU for the cost of maintaining electricity poles, wires, meters, storm restoration, and all other equipment associated with providing your electricity. This charge may include charges such as the advanced metering fee. These charges are approved by the Public Utility Commission of Texas.

Transition Charge

When many regulated markets in Texas switched to deregulated markets, the TDUs incurred certain costs associated with the switch. The transition charge is a securitized charge helps your TDU pay these costs.

Transmission Distribution Surcharges

Transmission distribution surcharges are one or more TDU surcharge(s) on a customer’s bill in any combination. Surcharges include charges billed as tariff riders by the TDU.

Transmission Distribution Utility/Transmission Distribution Service Provider  (TDU/TDSP)

Your TDU (TDSP) is the company in your area that owns and maintains all of the equipment associated with providing power, including power lines and meters. They turn on your power, read your meter, and resolve power outages. We provide service in the territories of CenterPoint, Oncor, Texas New Mexico Power, AEP Texas North, and AEP Texas Central.