PAL Energy Smart, LLC

Above-Market Generation
Electricity produced at costs higher than prevailing market prices.

Actual Peak Load Reductions
The actual reduction in annual peak load (measured in kilowatts) achieved by consumers that participate in a utility Demand Side Management (DSM) program. It reflects the real changes in the demand for electricity resulting from a utility DSM program that is in effect at the same time...

Advanced Metering Surcharges (AMS)
This is a Public Utility Commission-approved charge from your TDSP (Oncor, Centerpoint, AEP). This charge passed on to you without mark-up and then pays the fee to your TDSP.

Affiliated Retail Electric Provider
A Retail Electric Provider (REP) that is owned, but separately operated, by a former monopoly electric utility.

Amount Due 
Balances from the preceding bill, payments made since the preceding bill and amount due with a checkbox for the customer to voluntarily donate money to the bill payment assistance program.

Ancillary Services (AS or as)
Necessary services that must be provided in the generation and delivery of electricity. As defined by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission,they include: coordination and scheduling services (load following, energy imbalance service, control of transmission congestion); automatic generation...

Average Billing
Average billing allows you to pay an averaged amount every month instead of adapting to the highs and lows of seasonal bills. Each bill will show your average billing amount due that month, as well as your actual usage, current price and any deferred balance.

Average Revenue per Kilowatt hour
The average revenue per kilowatt-hour of electricity sold by sector (residential, commercial, industrial, or other) and geographic area (State, Census division, and national) is calculated by dividing the total monthly revenue by the corresponding total monthly sales for each sector and...

Avoided Cost
The cost to the utility if it had generated or otherwise purchased the power. It is a benchmark price for energy services, used to compare resource alternatives. Avoided cost is the marginal long-term or short-term production cost that could be avoided by an alternative supply-side or...

Base Bill
A charge calculated through multiplication of the rate from the appropriate electric rate schedule by the level of consumption

Base Charge
A charge assessed during each billing cycle without regard to the customer's demand or energy consumption.

Base rate
A fixed kilowatt-hour charge for electricity consumed that is independent of other charges and/or adjustments.

Basic Services
Services that are necessary for the physical delivery of service, including generation, transmission and distribution.

Billion Cubic Feet.

British Thermal Unit (Btu)
Is a standard unit of energy which is a common measure of heating value for different fuels. One Btu is equal to the amount of heat required to raise the temperature of one pound of liquid water by 1 degree Fahrenheit at its maximum density, which occurs at a temperature of 39.1 degrees Fahrenheit.

A retail agent who arranges or negotiates for the purchase and sale of electricity or natural gas. Brokers usually act on the behalf of others and do not buy energy for their own end-use customers.

Bundled Utility Service
All generation, transmission, and distribution services provided by one entity for a single charge. This would include ancillary services and retail services.

Capacity Charge
An element in a two-part pricing method used in capacity transactions (energy charge is the other element). The capacity charge, sometimes called Demand Charge, is assessed on the amount of capacity being purchased.

Changes in Rates
Any change in the customer’s rates or
charges consistent with the Terms of Service Agreement, such as a variable rate feature or changes to regulatory charges.

Competition Transition Charge
A charge assessed to recover a TDU’s charges for nonsecuritized costs associated with the transition to competition.

Competitive Power Suppliers
Companies that sell power - also called electricity providers, power generators or energy marketers. Your power is delivered by the local electric utility/distribution company (DISCO).

A condition that occurs when insufficient transfer capacity is available to implement all of the preferred schedules for electricity transmission simultaneously.

Contract Price
Price of fuels marketed on a contract basis covering a period of 1 or more years. Contract prices reflect market conditions at the time the contract was negotiated 
and therefore remain constant throughout the life of the contract or are adjusted through escalation clauses. Generally, contract...

Cooperative (Co-Op)
Rural electric cooperatives generate and/or purchase wholesale power, arrange for the transmission of that power, and then distribute the power to serve the demand of rural customers. Co-ops typically become involved in ancillary services such as energy conservation, load management and other...

Cost-of-Service Regulation
Traditional electric utility regulation under which a utility is allowed to set rates based on the cost of providing service to customers and the right to earn a limited profit.

Cubic Foot
The most common unit of measurement of natural gas volume. It is the amount of gas that can fit within a space one foot times one foot times one foot in volume. One cubic foot of pipeline-quality gas contains approximately 1,000 BTU.

Current Charges 
The current charges for electric service as disclosed in your terms of service document, including applicable taxes and fees. If you are on a level or average payment plan, the level or average payment due shall be clearly shown in addition to the current charges.

Customer choice/electricity choice
In deregulated retail electricity markets like Texas, customer choice means you can choose a Retail Electricity Provider (REP) and an electricity plan to meet your specific needs. While just one company maintains the poles and wires that deliver your electricity; many companies compete to sell the electricity that runs over the poles and wires. As a result, you benefit from competitive rates, better product options and greater customer service.

Decatherm (or, Dekatherm)
Ten therms or 1 million Btu. One decatherm is equal to approximately 1,000 cubic feet (Mcf).

Default Service
The electric generation service provided to any consumer who does not or is unable to arrange for or maintain electric generation services with an electric supplier after deregulation begins.

Delivering Party
The entity supplying the capacity and/or energy to be transmitted at Point(s) of Receipt.

The amount of electricity used at any given instant or averaged over a designated period of time. Demand is usually measured in kilowatts or megawatts. The peak demand is the highest 15 or 30 minute recorded demand period over 12 months.

Demand Charge 
A charge based on the rate at which electric energy is delivered to or by a system at a given instant during the billing cycle.

The elimination of regulation from a previously regulated industry or sector of an industry (such as electricity or natural gas); sometimes used interchangeably with restructuring.

Direct Access
An arrangement that gives customers the choice of buying electricity from any supplier in the competitive market. Under direct access, customers could buy power from any generator and use the transmission and distribution network to transport the electricity.

Distribution Company
The company that delivers power to your home or business, also known as your local electric utility/distribution company (DISCO).

Distributed Renewable Generation (DRG)
A program for customers who own small-scale renewable power systems, such as solar panels, and who want to sell excess power back to their electricity company.

Electric Cooperative (COOP)
Customer-owned electric utility that distributes electricity to its members.

Electric utility
An electric power company, often a public utility, which engages in the generation, transmission and distribution of electricity.

Electrical Grid 
A network of transmission lines, substations and transformers that delivers electricity from suppliers to consumers.

The free flow of electrons. Electric generators convert mechanical energy into electric energy. Electrical energy is the generation or use of electric power over a period of time, usually expressed in kilowatt-hours (kWh) or megawatt-hours (mWh).

Electricity demand
The amount of electricity being consumed at any given time. Demand rises and falls throughout the day in response to the time of day and other environmental factors.

Electricity deregulationIn deregulated retail electricity markets like Texas, electricity deregulation means you can choose aRetail Electricity Provider and an electricity plan that meet your specific needs. While just one company maintains the poles and wires that deliver your electricity; many companies compete to sell the electricity that runs over the poles and wires. As a result, you benefit from competitive rates, better product options and greater customer service.

Electric Distribution Company (EDC)
The company that owns the power lines and equipment necessary to deliver purchased electricity to the customer.

Electric Power Plant
A station containing prime movers, electric generators, and auxiliary equipment for converting mechanical, chemical, and/or fission energy into electric energy.

Electric Utility
Any person or state agency with a monopoly franchise (including any municipality) that sells electric energy to end-use customers. End-Use The ultimate use to which energy service is put, such as water heating and air conditioning.

Electricity Facts Label
A standardized format sheet of information required by the PUC that provides customers with disclosure information on a Retail Electric Provider's prices, contracts, sources of power generation and emissions. This information will give you a better comparison of electricity offers from competing Texas Electric Providers. (See Energy's Historical EFLs)

Electricity generation
The process of producing electricity or the amount of electricity produced by transforming other forms of energy, commonly expressed in kilowatt hours (kWh) or megawatt hours (MWh).

Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT)
The corporation comprised and governed by a board of directors from investor and municipally owned electric utilities, generators, independent members and consumers to maintain and ensure the reliability of the power grid that operates in the State of Texas. They make sure you get electricity into your home or business.

Electric Service Provider
An entity that provides electric service to a retail or end-use customer.

Electricity Generation
The process of producing electric energy or transforming other forms of energy into electric energy. Also, the amount of electric energy produced or ex-pressed in watt-hours (Wh).

Energy Charge
A charge based on the electric energy (kWh) consumed.

Energy Efficiency Cost Recovery Factors (EECRF)
Charge assessed to recover a TDSPs costs for energy efficiency programs, to the extent that the TDSPs charge is a separate charge exclusively for that purpose that is approved by the Public Utility Commission.

Energy Service Company (ESCO)
Companies that offer customers energy and energy-related products and services; required to be approved or licensed by state public utility commissions.

Energy service provider
An energy entity that provides service to a retail or end-use customer. Also known as a Retail Electricity Provider.

ESI I.D. (Electric Service Identifier)
A unique 17- or 22-digit number number in the ERCOT market given to an electricity delivery point by the TDSP. You can find this number on your electricity bill.

Expiration Dates
The dates and times after which trading in options or futures contracts terminate, and after which all contract rights or obligations become null and void.

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC)
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission regulates the price, terms and conditions of natural gas and electricity sold in interstate commerce and regulates the price, terms and conditions of all wholesale transactions. FERC is the federal counterpart to state utility regulatory commissions.

Fixed rate
The amount you pay for your electricity is the rate, and it is usually an amount per kilowatt hour (kWh). On a fixed rate plan, the rate will stay the same for the duration of your contract.

Flat Rate
A fixed charge for goods and services that does not vary with changes in the amount used, volume consumed or units purchased.

Forced Outage
The shutdown of a generating unit, transmission line or other facility, for emergency reasons or a condition in which the generating equipment is unavailable for load due to unanticipated breakdown.

Fuel Factor Charge (or Fuel Adjustment)
The fuel charge included in your utility bill, through the Fuel Factor and/ or Power Cost Recovery Factor (PCRF), allows the electric utility to recover the cost of fuel (natural gas, coal, nuclear, hydro¬electric, wind, etc.) as well as the cost of energy purchased from co-generators and other utilities.

Full-Forced Outage
The net capability of main generating units that is unavailable for load for emergency reasons.

Fuel Loss
Fuel loss is associated with transporting natural gas across a pipeline system (also referred to as Line Loss or Shrinkage).

Fuel Surcharge/Refund
This is an adjustment for previous over-recovered and under-recovered costs for fuel.

Futures Market
Arrangement through a contract for the delivery of a commodity at a future time and at a price specified at the time of purchase. The price is based on an auction or market basis. This is a standardized, exchange-traded, and government regulated hedging mechanism.

Gas Adjustment Factor
An adjustment to a LDC sales rate to reflect the fluctuating cost of purchased gas.

Gas Day
The standard day by which gas is nominated (e.g. 10:00 am to 10:00 am the following day).

Gas Turbine Plant
A plant in which the prime mover is a gas turbine. A gas turbine consists typically of an axial-ow air compressor, one or more combustion chambers, where liquid or gaseous fuel is burned and the hot gases are passed to the turbine and where the hot gases expand to drive the generator and are

The production of electricity. Electricity in Texas is generated from natural gas, nuclear, coal, wind, water, and solar energy. Since 1995, Texas has built or has under construction some 27,000 MW of generation capacity and is projected to have reserve margins in excess of 25% through 2006.

Generating Unit
Any combination of physically connected generator(s), reactor(s), boiler(s), combustion turbine(s), or other prime mover(s) operated together to produce electric power.

Generation (Electricity)
The process of producing electric energy by transforming other forms of energy; also, the amount of electric energy produced, expressed in watt-hours (Wh).

A machine that converts mechanical energy into electrical energy.

Gigawatt (GW)
One billion watts.

Gigawatt hour (GWh)
One billion watt-hours.

Green Power
Power that is generated from renewable energy sources. Specific definitions of green power vary in each state. Typically, wind, solar and bio-mass fuels are considered sources of green power.

A system of interconnected power lines and generators that is managed so that the generators are dispatched as needed to meet the requirements of the customers connected to the grid at various points.

Grid Operator
The entity that oversees the delivery of electricity over the grid to the customer, while assuring consistently high levels of reliability, and public and worker safety. The grid operator potentially could be independent of the utilities and suppliers.

Gross Generation
The total amount of electric energy produced by the generating units at a generating station or stations, measured at the generator terminals.

Hedging Contracts
Contracts which establish future prices and quantities of electricity independent of the short-term market. Derivatives may be used for this purpose.

Henry Hub
A pipeline interchange near Erath, LA where a number of interstate and intrastate pipelines interconnect. Used as the standard delivery point for the NYMEX gas futures contract.

Hourly Metering or Time of Use Metering
Tracking or recording your consumption during a specific time period.

Hourly Non-Firm Transmission Service
Point-to-point transmission that is scheduled and paid for on an as-available basis and is subject to interruption.

A geographic location where multiple participants (e.g. pipelines) trade services.

Independent Power Producer (IPP)
Wholesale electricity producers (other than qualifying facilities under the Public Utilities Regulatory Policies Act of 1978) that are unaffiliated with franchised utilities in the area in which the independent power producers are selling power and that lack significant marketing power. Unlike...

Independent System Operator (ISO)
A neutral, independent, and (typically non-profit) organization with no financial interest in generating facilities that administers the operation and use of the transmission system. ISOs exercise final authority over the dispatch of generation to preserve reliability and facilitate...

Interruptible Gas
Gas sold to customers with a provision that permits curtailment or cessation of service at the discretion of the distributing company under certain circumstances, as specified in the service contract.

Interruptible Rate
A special utility rate given to certain industrial customer who agrees to have their service reduced or temporarily stopped as part of an agreement with their electric provider.

Interstate Pipeline
Pipeline extending across several states. Such a pipeline is involved in interstate commerce and is therefore regulated by the FERC.

Investor-Owned Utility
A class of utility whose stock is publicly traded and which is organized as a tax-paying business, usually financed by the sale of securities in the capital market. It is regulated and authorized to achieve an allowed rate of return.

Kilowatt (kW)
A unit that measures electrical energy (1,000 watts=1 kW)

Kilowatt-Hour (kWh)
A measurement of energy equal to one kilowatt (kW) of power for a one-hour duration. This is the amount of electricity providers charge you on your bill for each billing period.

Late Payment Penalty
A one-time penalty of not more than 5% may be charged on a delinquent bill. Outstanding delinquent balances cannot be repenalized. Penalty does not apply to residential or small commercial customers of the Provider of Last Resort (POLR).

Line Loss
The fuel loss associated with transporting natural gas across a pipeline system (also referred to as Shrinkage or Fuel Loss).

Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG)
Natural gas that has been liquefied by lowering its temperature to negative 260 degrees Fahrenheit.

Stands for Locational Market Pricing.

Load Factor
The ratio of average energy demand to maximum demand for a time period, such as one year, one month, or one hour. An end user with a high load factor uses energy at a consistently higher level year-round than an end user who may use energy specifically for heating or cooling.

Load Management
Shifting use of electricity from periods of high demand to periods of lower demand, when the cost of electricity usually is lower.

Local Distribution Company (LDC)
A business entity that obtains its primary revenues from the operations of a local retail gas distribution system and operates no transportation system other than connections within its own system or to the system of another company. Most often, an LDC is a utility.

Local wires company
The company that transmits and delivers electricity to a customer's home or business along the electrical poles and wires. The local wires company is responsible for maintenance and repair of these poles and wires and is referred to as the Transmission and Distribution Service Provider (TDSP).

Long-Term Contract
A supply contract in the physical market covering energy deliveries of more than 18 months. Mid-term and long-term contracts are significant because they extend over a heating season.

Market Clearing Price
The price at which supply equals demand for the Day Ahead and/or Hour Ahead Markets.

Market Participants
Any parties or agents who participate in the electrical energy marketplace through either the buying or selling of electrical energy or services.

Market Power
When one company owns a sufficiently large percentage of generation, transmission, or distribution capabilities in a region to allow it to influence the price of electricity by forcing the purchase of its own power.

Market-Based Pricing
Electric service prices determined in an open market system of supply and demand under which the price is set solely by agreement as to what a buyer will pay and a seller will accept. Such prices could recover less or more than full costs, depending upon what the buyer and seller see as their...

Maximum Demand
The greatest of all demands of the load that has occurred within a specified period of time.

Thousand Cubic Feet

Megawatt (MW)
One million watts

Megawatt hour (MWh)
One million watt-hours.

A device that measures the amount of electrical energy consumed by a residence, business or an electrically powered device. Power companies read meters to determine how much electricity each customer used. Types of electricity meters include digital meters and smart meters.

Meter Charge
A charge assessed to recover a TDU’s charges for metering your consumption, to the extent that the TDU is a separate charge exclusively for that purpose that is approved by the Public Utility Commission.

Minimum Usage Fee 
A fee charged when a customer uses a certain amount of usage.

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 1000.

Name of wholesale power pool that serves the Ohio Grid. The Midwest Independent Transmission System Operator, Inc. is the official name of the ISO covering that region and serves a total of 11 States.

One million British Thermal Units, one dekatherm. Approximately equal to thousand cubic feet (Mcf) of natural gas.

One million cubic feet.

One seller of electricity with control over market sales.

Municipally Owned Utility (Muni)
A non-profit utility that is owned and operated by the municipality it serves.

Municipally or City Owned Utility
A non-profit electricity provider that is owned and operated by the municipality it serves. Texas city-owned utilities may decide whether or not their customers will have a choice of REPs. Customers should contact their electric cooperative or city utility for more information.

Net Generation
Gross generation minus plant use from all electric utility owned plants. The energy required for pumping at a pumped-storage plant is regarded as plant use and must be deducted from the gross generation.

New Services or Products
Notice of any new products or services being provided to the customer since the pervious bill.

Non-Coincidental Peak Load
The sum of two or more peak loads on individual systems that do not occur in the same time interval. Meaningful only when considering loads within a limited period of time, such as a day, week, month, a heating or cooling season, and usually for not more than 1 year.

Non-Recurring Charges 
Identifies and itemizes any nonrecurring charges such as late fees, returned check fees, restoration of service fees, or other fees disclosed in the Retail Electric Provider’s Terms of Service Agreement.

Nuclear Decommissioning Fee
Fee that covers the cost of safely removing a nuclear generation facility from service, reducing residual radioactivity to a level that permits release of the property for unrestricted use and termination of license. Only the local wires company or transmission and distribution
utility can assess this fee to any company that uses its wires to deliver electricity to consumers.

Obligation To Serve
Under traditional regulation, it is the duty of a regulated utility to provide service to all customers in its service territory on a non-discriminatory basis.

Off peak
A period of relatively low system demand for electricity. These periods often occur in daily, weekly and seasonal patterns. The use of smart meter technology has allowed electricity companies to offer new products that take advantage of off-peak pricing periods.

On peak
Periods of relatively high system demand for electricity. These periods often occur in daily, weekly and seasonal patterns.

Open Access
Gives all customers equal opportunity to the grid.

Open Access Same-Time Information System (OASIS)
OASIS is a real-time information-sharing system that enables all buyers and sellers of electricity to access the transmission costs for all other buyers and sellers. This system is designed to ensure that transmission owners and their affiliates do not have an unfair advantage in using...

The period during which a generating unit, transmission line, or other facility is out of service.

The effect of adding on charges as power moves through several transmission systems.

Peak Demand
The maximum load during a specified period of time.

Peak Load Plant
A plant usually housing old, low-efficiency steam units; gas turbines; diesels; or pumped-storage hydroelectric equipment normally used during the peak-load periods.

Peaking Capacity
Capacity of generating equipment normally reserved for operation during the hours of highest daily, weekly, or seasonal loads. Some generating equipment may be operated at certain times as peaking capacity and at other times to serve loads on an around-the-clock basis.

Performance Based Ratemaking (PBR)
Under performance-based ratemaking, rates for utility service would no longer be based on cost-of-service, but instead on performance standards and market indices. PBR allows a utility greater flexibility to manage the costs of its electric system and to price its power at competitive levels...

A facility at which are located prime movers, electric generators, and auxiliary equipment for converting mechanical, chemical, and/or nuclear energy into electric energy. A plant may contain more than one type of prime mover. Electric utility plants exclude facilities that satisfy the...

The rate at which work is performed or that energy is transferred. Electric power is commonly measured in watts or kilowatts. A power of 746 Watts is equivalent to 1 horsepower.

Power Generation Company
A competitive company that operates and maintains existing generation plants. The company may own the generation plants or may interact with the short-term market for electric power on behalf of plant owners.

Power Marketers
Business entities engaged in buying, selling, and marketing electricity. Power marketers do not usually own generating or transmission facilities. Power marketers, as opposed to brokers, take ownership of the electricity and are involved in interstate trade. These entities file with the...

Power Pool
An association of two or more interconnected electric systems having an agreement to coordinate operations and planning for improved reliability and efficiencies.

Power Sources
The different types of fuels that can be used to produce electricity; nuclear, fossil fuels (oil, coal, and natural gas) and renewable energy resources.

Prepaid plans
Prepaid electricity plans provide electricity service on a pay-as-you-go basis. These plans offer customers the freedom to decide how much electricity to purchase, as opposed to a traditional plan that delivers a bill at the end of a billing cycle. Customers can choose to make recurring payments and avoid any worries about dwindling account balances.

Price Cap
A level above, which regulated prices, may not rise.

Price Transparency
Market prices for generation and transmission service made available to the public so that customers know how much they will pay for power supply and transportation in a deregulated market.

Prompt Month
The futures contract closest to maturity (also called nearby month or spot month).

Provider of Last Resort
The Provider of Last Resort becomes your provider when a Retail Electric Provider exits the market for any reason. If this happens, customers may switch back to the Affiliate Retail Electric Provider or establish service with a new Retail Electric Provider.

PUC Assessment  
A fee assessed to recover the statutory fee for administering the Public Utility Regulatory Act.

Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUC)
The state agency that is responsible for the regulation and oversight of electric services in Texas. The Public Utility Commission regulates the delivery of electricity to ensure the safety and reliability of your service. The mission of the Public Utility Commission of Texas is to protect customers, foster competition, and promote high quality infrastructure.

Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978 (PURPA)
The federal act outlines requirements for state utility commissions, electric utilities, independent power producers and certain federal regulatory agencies to encourage the use of alternative energy sources in the generation of electric power. The act created a market for independent power...

Purchased Power Adjustment
A clause in a rate schedule that provides for adjustments to the bill when energy from another electric system is acquired and it varies from a specified unit base amount.

The amount you pay for your electricity is the rate, and it is usually an amount per kilowatt hour (kWh).

Rate Base
The value of property upon which a utility is permitted to earn a specified rate of return as established by a regulatory authority. The rate base generally represents the value of property used by the utility in providing service and may be calculated by any one or a combination of the...

Stands for Residential Customer Equivalent.

RCE Annual
Residential Customer Equivalent based on 12 Months of Annual Historical Usage (HU). For Power we divide Annual HU by 10,000 kWh = 1 RCE, Gas we Divide Annual HU therms by 1000 = 1 RCE.

RCE Contracted Inception
Residential Customer Equivalent based on the Inception of the contract term multiplied by the Annual Historical Usage (HU) as an example: if the customer has a 2 year contract we calculate as follows ( Contract End Date - Contract Start)/30 Days Average Month/12 Months Per Year Annual HU. For...

Receipt Point
The point at which gas is delivered to, or received from a pipeline.

Recurring Charges
Identifies and itemizes any recurring charges other than for electric service.

The governmental function of controlling or directing economic entities through the process of rulemaking and adjudication.

The ability to deliver uninterrupted electricity to customers on demand and to withstand sudden disturbances such as short circuits or loss of major system components. This encompasses the reliability of the generation system and of the transmission and distribution system. Reliability may be...

Renewable (Green) Energy
Electricity that is made from natural fuel sources via the environment, such as wind, water or solar. See Bounce Energy green energy plans and rates.

Renewable Resources
Naturally, but flow-limited resources that can be replenished. They are virtually inexhaustible in duration but limited in the amount of energy that is available per unit of time. Some (such as geothermal and biomass) may be stock-limited in that stocks are depleted by use, but on a time scale(...)
Replacement Shipper

REP Charges  
Retail Electric Providers may bundle all charges as¬sociated with your electric service into the price per kWh or they may separate the charges using the following:

Sales covering electrical energy supplied for residential, commercial, and industrial end-use purposes. Other small classes, such as agriculture and street lighting, also are included in this category.

Retail Competition
The concept under which multiple sellers of electric power can sell directly to end-use customers and the process and responsibilities necessary to make it occur.

Retail Customers
Customers, including residences and businesses, who themselves use the electricity they purchase; also referred to as end-use customers

Retail Electric Provider ("REP")
A company that sells electricity to customers. All Retail Electric Providers must be certified to do business by the Public Utility Commission of Texas

Retail Market
A market in which electricity and other energy services are sold directly to the end-use customer.

Retail Wheeling
The process of moving electric power from a point of generation across one or more utility-owned transmission and distribution systems to a retail customer.

Stands for Real-Time Pricing.

Rural Electric Cooperatives
These are electric coops located in rural areas of the country and established and operating under rules established by Congress.

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

Scheduled Outage
The shutdown of a generating unit, transmission line, or other facility, for inspection or maintenance, in accordance with an advance schedule

Scheduling Coordinators
Entities certified by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission that act as a go-between with the Independent System Operator on behalf of generators, supply aggregators (wholesale marketers), retailers, and customers to schedule the distribution of electricity.

Service Agreement
The initial agreement and any supplements thereto entered into by the Transmission Customer and the Transmission Provider for service.

Service Area
The geographic territory served by a utility.

Service Obligation
Refers to the duties a regulated public utility must perform for its customers. Service obligation includes the duty to serve all prospective customers, to provide adequate, reliable service and to render safe, efficient and nondiscriminatory service.

The price established by the NYMEX at the close of each trading session as the official price.

Shareholder-Owned Electric Utilities
U.S. public utilities owned by shareholders, organized as corporations, and regulated by Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and state public utilities commissions. About three-quarters of all Americans receive electric service from shareholder-owned electric utilities.

Smart meter
A type of electricity meter that has continuously available, remote, two-way communication and information storage capability. Smart meters record and store your electrical usage in 15-minute intervals and communicate that usage information back to your local wires company. Unlike traditional electric meters that only measure total consumption, smart meters show when the energy was consumed.

An entity, other than the LDC, that can perform energy and customer service functions in a competitive environment, including provision of energy and assistance in the efficiency of its use.

System Benefit Fund 
A non bypassable charge set by the PUC, not to exceed 65 cents per megawatt hour. Pays for energy efficiency and customer education programs.

A document, approved by the responsible regulatory agency, listing the terms and conditions, including a schedule of prices, under which utility services will be provided.

TDSP (Transmission and Distribution Service Provider)
Transmits and delivers the electricity to a customer's home or business along the poles and wires. This company is responsible for maintenance and repair of these poles and wires and regulated by the PUC. Examples include Centerpoint, Oncor, AEP North, AEP Central, and Texas-New Mexico Power.

TDU Delivery Charges
A charge to cover the cost of moving electricity from the generation plant to your home.

Terms of Service
Contract between a Retail Electric Provider and a customer that outlines fees, length of service and other important information.

The equivalent of 100,000 Btu or approximately 100 cubic feet of natural gas.

Time-of-Use (TOU) Rates
The pricing of electricity based on the estimated cost of electricity during a particular time block, either time-of-day or by season.

A device used to transfer electric energy from one circuit to another.
Transmission and Distribution Service Provider (TDSP)
The local wires company responsible for the poles and wires that transmit and deliver electricity to your home or business. TDSPs are responsible for the maintenance and repair of these poles and wires.

The movement or transfer of electric energy over an interconnected group of lines and associated equipment between points of supply and points at which it is transformed for delivery to consumers, or is delivered to other electric systems. Transmission is considered to end when the energy is...

Transition Charge 
Utilities are allowed to securitize or refinance their regulatory assets and/or stranded costs (assets that become uneconomical as a result of deregulation) as long as it benefits ratepayers. Securitizing debt provides funding at a lower cost than traditional utility funding. Utilities are also allowed to recover the transaction costs of securitization through this fee.

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.

Unbundled Service
This is electric service broken down into its basic components. Each component is priced and sold separately. For example, generation, transmission and distribution could be unbundled.

Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS)
A device that provides a constant regulated voltage output in spite of interruptions of the normal power supply. It includes filtering circuits and is usually used to feed computers or related equipment which would otherwise shutdown on brief power interruptions.

The measurement of electricity used during the billing cycle listed in kilowatt-hours (kWh) on your electric bill as kWh.

A regulated energy company with the characteristics of a natural monopoly.

Variable rate
With a variable rate electricity plan, the rate you pay may go up or down depending on the monthly changes in the marketplace.

Volumetric Wires Charge
A type of charge for using the transmission and/or distribution system that is based on the volume of electricity that is transmitted.

Weighted Average Cost of Gas.

Wheeling Service
The movement of electricity from one system to another over transmission facilities of intervening systems. Wheeling service contracts can be established between two or more systems.

Wholesale Competition
A system whereby a distributor of power would have the option to buy its power from a variety of power producers, and the power producers would be able to compete to sell their power to a variety of distribution companies.

Wholesale Customer
Any entity that purchases electricity at the wholesale level, including municipal utilities, private utilities, rural electric cooperatives or government-owned utility districts. Wholesale customers purchase electricity from other wholesale suppliers to resell to their own retail customers.

Wholesale Power Market
The purchase and sale of electricity from generators to resellers (who sell to retail customers), along with the ancillary services needed to maintain reliability and power quality at the transmission level.

Wholesale Sales
Energy supplied to other electric utilities, cooperatives, municipals, and Federal and State electric agencies for resale to ultimate consumers.

Wholesale Transmission Services
The transmission of electric energy sold, or to be sold, at wholesale in interstate commerce (from EPACT).

Wholesale Wheeling
The process of sending electricity from one utility to another wholesale purchaser over the transmission lines of an intermediate utility. Under the U.S. Energy Policy Act of 1992, utilities must provide wholesale transmission wheeling services to any electric utility, federal power marketing...

Wind Energy
The kinetic energy of wind converted into mechanical energy by wind turbines (i.e., blades rotating from a hub) that drive generators to produce electricity.

Wind power
A form of energy conversion in which turbines convert the kinetic energy of wind into electrical energy that can be used for power.

Wind Turbine
Windmill of advanced aerodynamic design connected to an electricity generator and used in wind power installations. Wind turbines can be either large propeller-type rotors mounted on a tall tower or flexible metal strips fixed to a vertical axle at top and bottom.

Charges levied for transmission or distribution wires.

Your Rights As a Customer Disclosure
A document that informs you of your rights as mandated by the PUC. Retail Electric Providers must provide you with this disclosure.

Subsets of a utility’s overall territory based on geographical areas.