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Billing Terms

Need some help understanding all the fancy words on your bill? This glossary can help!

  • Advanced Metering Charge: A charge assessed to recover the Transmission Distribution Utility (TDU) charges for Advanced Metering Systems (aka Smart Meters), to the extent that they are not recovered in a TDU's standard metering charge.
  • Base Charge: A charge assessed during each billing cycle separate from your demand or energy consumption.
  • Bill Payment Options: Bill payments can be made by mail, one-time automatic payment directly from your credit card or bank account, Western Union, or In Person Payment locations.
  • Collection Recovery Fee: A collection recovery fee is charged each time we send a Disconnection Notice to recoup charges for collection efforts. This involves calling customers who are past due in an attempt to collect the past due charges to avoid being disconnected, and any further collection events that could happen if the past due balance is not paid. We will charge a Collection Recovery Fee of $30.00 each time we initiate collections activity or provide you a written disconnection notice. The Collection Recovery Fee will be assessed regardless of whether your electric service is disconnected.
  • Demand Charge: A charge based on the rate at which electric energy is delivered to or by a system at a given instant, or averaged over a designed period, during the billing cycle.
  • Due Date: The date the bill must be paid by to avoid a 5% late payment charge.
  • 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 the purpose that is approved by the Public Utility Commission.
  • Estimated Reading: During any month when the Transmission and Distribution Utility fails to provide an actual meter reading on a timely basis, it will provide Direct Energy an estimate of your usage that will be used to generate your electric bill. Adjustments are made in subsequent bills if required, when an actual meter reading is provided.
  • Kilovolt Amperes (KVA)): The apparent power of an electrical distribution system (usually applicable to commercial usage).
  • Kilowatt (kW): 1,000 watts of electricity.
  • Kilowatt-hour (kWh): The unit of measurement for the electricity you use over time.
  • Late Payment Penalty: A charge assessed for the late payment in accordance with Public Utility Commission. A 5% late charge is added to the overdue amount if you do not pay your bill by the due date.
  • Miscellaneous Gross Receipts 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.
  • PUC Assessment: A fee assessed to recover the statutory fee for administering the Public Utility Regulatory Act assessed by the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT).
  • Sales Tax: Sales tax collected by authorized taxing authorities, such as the state, cities and special purpose districts.
  • Service Period: Indicates the period of time for which you are being billed for your electricity service.
  • TDU: Transmission Distribution Utility. This is also referred to as the Transmission & Distribution Service Provider (TDSP) or the utility company for your area.
  • Transmission Distribution Surcharges: One or more TDU surcharge(s) on a customer's bill in any combination. Surcharges include charges billed as tariff riders by the TDU.

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