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    Electricity Glossary

    Source: Powertochoose.org (Public Utility Commission of Texas)

    Affiliated Retail Electric Provider: A Retail Electric Provider (REP) that is owned, and now independently operated, by the original electric utility for that area.

    Aggregator: A company that is registered with the Public Utility Commission that joins two or more customers to purchase electricity from retail electric providers in mass.

    Broker: A company that facilitates the sale and/ or purchase of electricity between businesses and Retail Electric Providers. Competitive Retail Electric Provider A certified Retail Electric Provider by the PUC that competes for your business by offering lower prices, renewable energy options, added customer service benefits or other incentives.

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

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

    Electric Service Provider: A company that provides electricity service to customers.

    Electricity: 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 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.

    Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT): The corporation comprised and governed by a board of directors from investor and municipally own 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.

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

    Generation: 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.

    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 electricity providers charge you on your bill for each billing period.

    Local Wires Company (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.

    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.

    Price to Beat: Set by the Public Utility Commission of Texas, Residential and small commercial customers of the Affiliate Retail Electric Provider receive a standard rate offering for their electricity. This is designed to give customers a discount and foster competition amongst Retail Electric Providers to offer lower rates.

    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.

    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.

    Renewable (Green) Energy: Electricity that is made from fuel resources from the environment, such as wind, water, or solar.

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

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

    Texas Electric Choice: The public education program managed by the Public Utility Commission to inform Texans about their options in a competitive retail electric market.

    Transmission and Distribution (Wire Company): 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.

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

    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.

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