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The Lingo of Bills

March 29, 2016
by dmirza

Our energy bills have their own language, one that may sometimes be confusing to understand. Most of the time, we just look at the amount owed and pay it, but have you ever wondered what the terms in the section that breaks down your bill mean? Well, wonder no more, because we have some answers for you.


  • Base Charges – This is the flat monthly fee for electricity service. Regardless of how much or how little electricity you use, this amount stays the same.
  • Current Charges – This is the amount due for the electricity you’ve used in the past month. It includes the amount of energy used, as well as the transmission charges combined.
  • Energy Charge – This is the cost of the electricity actually used. It’s a lot like the cost of a pizza when you order a delivery.
  • TDU Delivery Charges – This is the cost for all the electricity delivered to you. This would be like what you’d pay the driver who delivers the pizza (though, the TDU has set rates, rather than a voluntary tip).Save money
  • Amount Due – This is the total cost of your bill, including energy usage, transmission, and any fees or credits on your account.
  • Meter Charge – This is the cost of having someone read your meter.
  • Change in Rates – Only applying to variable rate plans, this will show you how much the cost of electricity has changed between your current and previous cycles.
  • PUC Assessment – This fee covers the cost of the Public Utility Regulatory Act, which helps the Public Utility Commission of Texas preside over energy companies and prevent them from scamming customers.


There are other terms that you may find on your bill, but most of them apply to special circumstances and programs. Now that you understand the basic terms in your electricity bill, you can accurately assess your electricity situation and see if you’re paying to much. Cheap residential electricity is possible, and all it takes is entering your zip code on our site. You can freely browse dozens upon dozens of plans and find the perfect one for you. Read the electricity facts label (EFL) for each plan and compare the rates listed under the terms we’ve shown you, and you will truly be able to master the art of finding cheap electricity.

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