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A fixed rate plan is one in which your rate for electricity stays the same but your bill will fluctuate depending on how many kWhs you use or if the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT) approves any new changes to the TDSP tariff.
An index plan means you pay the market price of a kWh, plus a small service fee. You can see our recent rates and the actual cost of a total bill for some of our residential customers on this plan on the Power Wall page of our website.
A variable rate plan is one in which the price per kWh fluctuates for factors determined by an REP.
Average Payment Plan – also known as Balanced Billing - is designed to balance out your high and low usage months and bills over a 12-month period. In Texas power bills are normally much higher in the summer due to air conditioning or in the winter if you have electric heating in your home. Balanced Billing allows to smooth your power bills out over the year.
Balanced Billing terms used on bill:
See your Terms of Service for additional information.
The Electricity Facts Label (EFL) provides you with pricing for your energy usage per kilowatt-hour (kWh), contract, charge breakdown between VOLT and your local Transmission & Distribution Service Provider (TDSP, also known as the utility company), product description, fee information, and emissions information regarding your electricity service. Your EFL will be provided to you by VOLT with your Welcome Packet along with your Terms of Service Agreement.
The Terms of Service (TOS) document outlines the agreement made between you and your electricity provider about your rate, length of contract, and other specific details about your plan.
Your Retail Electricity Provider (REP) will send you a document titled Your Rights as A Customer (YRAC) that outlines the rights you have as a consumer. These rights include programs for low-income customers, your right to have your meter tested once every four years without charge, or what to do in case you service is disconnected.
A kWh is how electrical power is measured over time. When you buy produce at the grocery store, you are charged by the pound. With electricity, you are charged by the kilowatt-hour. To get a kilowatt hour, you have to use 1000 watts of energy for 1 hour. For example, in order for a 25 watt light bulb to use 1 kWh, you would have to leave it on for 40 hours.
TDU (which stands for Transmission Distribution Utility) charges, or delivery charges, are charged to every ESI ID. They go toward maintaining the power lines and poles, and repairing storm damage. Without these charges the TDU would not be able to provide reliable service.
Since Texas is a wholesale power market, electricity prices are subject to market forces. In the summertime, high demand for energy means that the state’s supply is being used at a faster rate. Depending on how much has been generated, ERCOT predictions for electricity usage could cut closer to our reserve margins and cause energy rates to climb. Unfortunately, there isn’t anything that either you or we can do to keep electricity prices from going up in peak seasons. However, if you’re smart about conserving energy and switch to a fixed rate electricity plan, you can mitigate your energy costs and have some protection from market fluctuations. Learn more about the open energy market here.