Need help understanding your energy bill?

There's a lot of important information on your energy bill and we know that it can get confusing. That's why we've created a simple guide below to walk you through it.

Understanding your energy bill

Being able to read and understand your energy bill makes it easier to manage your usage and costs. Let's break it down section by section for a closer look.

For a printable PDF, click here.

ACCOUNT INFORMATION: Includes basic account information like your account number, customer name, invoice date, invoice number, referral ID, and mailing address.

This is the section you should check out if you have any questions about your account details. Service address will now show in the Energy Insight section.


Important! Your account number is the full number, including the dash and following number. Example: 1234567890-1 

You’ll need to reference your account number when managing your account, calling customer service, or making a payment

BILLING SUMMARY: Summary of your Direct Energy account, or accounts if you have multiple.

  • Previous balance: The amount due from your previous bill
  • Payments received: The most recent payment we’ve received
  • Adjustment: Any balance edits to your bill total, including discounts
  • Balance forward: The difference between previous balance and payments received, plus any adjustments. This balance is due right away (not when your bill is due). If you paid this amount after the invoice was generated, it will still appear on your invoice.
  • Current charges: Your total electricity charges for this billing cycle. Under the total amount due, you’ll find the date that you must pay your bill to avoid a late penalty
  • Total amount due: The bill’s total amount due, including previous balance due, adjustments and credits.

PAYMENT AND DUE INFORMATION: Shows the due date and the amount due (the total of current charges plus any balance) that must be received by Direct Energy in order to avoid late payment penalties.

Your account will be “past due” if payment has not been received and processed by the due date.

When mailing payments, please mail 5 days prior to the due date.

YOUR ELECTRIC USAGE: Shows your total electricity usage and average daily use in kilowatt-hours.

It also shows the average high temperature for that billing period and number of billing days for the current service period. 

IMPORTANT MESSAGES AND PROMOTIONS: Special messages from us, which may include important information about your plan, special offers and other promotions.

Messages may continue on at the bottom of the bill.

PAYMENT SLIP: If you are mailing in your payment or pay at a payment center, tear off this portion of the bill.

The blue area contains your account number, amount due, due date and amount due if after due date.

If you would like to contribute to our Neighbor to Neighbor bill assistance program, you can check the box and/or enter the amount you would like to contribute with total amount paid.

Make checks payable to Direct Energy. All payment options are listed on the back of the payment slip.

ENERGY INSIGHT: Displays information about your electricity plan, including contact expiration date.

The ESI ID is the unique identifier created for our service address by your Transmission Distribution and Service Provider.

CHARGES: Itemization of your Direct Energy account. Consists of the balance and the current charges for electricity service as disclosed in your electricity facts label, including applicable taxes and fees.

Summary of meter usage: The top portion shows your meter number as well as actual or estimated meter readings. The difference between the previous and current meter readings is used to determine your usage and consumption charges under “Energy charge”. 

Breakdown of energy charges:

  • Base charge – A flat fee applied each month regardless of the amount of kilowatts (kWh) used.
  • Energy charge – A charge based on the electric energy (kWh) consumed.
  • Transmission distribution surcharges (TDU surcharges) – Surcharges include charges billed as tariff riders by the TDU.
  • PUC assessment – A fee assessed to recover the statutory fee for administering the Public Utility Regulatory Act.
  • TDU delivery charges – Charge to cover the cost of moving electricity from the generation plant to your home.
  • Miscellaneous gross receipt tax 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.
  • Sales tax – Sales tax collected by authorized taxing authorities, such as the state, cities and special purpose districts.
  • Average price you paid – The total of all fixed and variable recurring charges, excluding state and local sales taxes, reimbursement for the state miscellaneous gross receipts tax, and any nonrecurring charges or credits, divided by the kilowatt-hour consumption.

Note: You may also see non-electricity charges if you signed up for non-commodity services. Non-electricity charges consist of current charges for non-electricity items, the billing period, applicable taxes and the total of all non-electricity charges.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: This section covers how to contact us with questions, payment information, or utility information in case of an outage.

  • Contact us: Lists our website, contact information, and Customer Support numbers for information about your bill or service.
  • Payment information: Lists the various options you have for paying your electricity bill.
  • Local wires utility. If you are experiencing an outage or have an emergency, we have provided the Utility Contact information here. 

Need help placing an order?
Texas customers: call us at 1-855-461-1926
Northeast and Midwest customers: Contact us

Questions about your current service?
Texas customers: call us at 1-888-305-3828
Northeast and Midwest customers: Contact us