What is the Transmission and Distribution Service Provider (TDSP) Meter Surcharge?
The TDSP Meter Surcharge is a monthly fee based on your business kW demand. This fee is assessed by your local TDSP (Oncor or CenterPoint), in order to provide electric customers with technologically-advanced electric meters. It is a Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT) approved fee that is passed on to you through your retail electric provider (REP). You may also hear this fee referred to as part of the Advanced Meter System Program or the "smart meter" fee. "Smart meters" are being installed in the Oncor and CenterPoint service territories beginning in 2009.
Who can I talk to if I have additional questions?
If you have additional questions about the TDSP Meter Surcharge or Advanced Meter System "smart meter" program, please contact your TDSP (Oncor or CenterPoint). You can Oncor at 1-800-518-2380 or CenterPoint at 1-800-332-7143.
Are other electric companies charging this fee?
Yes. The fee is actually charged by your TDSP, but may be passed on to you through the retail electric providers that service these territories.
What is this fee for?
The TDSP meter surcharge is a monthly charge that will provide electricity customers with technologically advanced electric meters that will be installed over a period of up to 4 to 5 years depending on your TDSP. These new "smart meters" can help you manage your energy use, conserve energy, and save money by providing you detailed information on your energy consumption. The "smart meters" can also help minimize the duration of power outages because your outages will automatically be reported.
Is this a one-time billing charge?
No, this is not a one-time billing charge. The Public Utility Commission has approved a surcharge based on your business' kW demand which will be added to your bill each month as a monthly surcharge.
When will the charge become effective?
Beginning with bills starting 12/29/08 for the former SESCO (Oncor) territory, and 2/16/09 for the remaining Oncor territory, and with bills starting 2/2/09 for the CenterPoint territory, the PUCT-approved pass-through fee will be added to your bill as a monthly surcharge line item. This charge will appear for the next 11 years for Oncor, and 12 years for CenterPoint. If you look on your bill where it lists TDSP charges, you will see a charge listed as "TDSP Meter Surcharge".
Has my rate changed because of it?
The average rate quoted to you on your Electricity Facts Label has changed because this monthly charge has been rolled into the rate.
I'm on a price-protected plan, so I thought my rate could not change?
With a price-protected plan, the only circumstance in which your price will change is with a change in law or regulatory charges. This means that if the law requires Texas REPs to pass on a charge, or your TDSP needs the REPs in their service area to pass on a fee to you, this charge can show up in your rate. The TDSP meter surcharge is an example of an approved regulatory charge that your local TDSP is passing on to you through your retail electric provider.
How will the AMS Technology (or "smart meters") benefit me?
With the "smart meters", your local poles and wires company can have an ongoing picture of the electric system, which will help them identify trouble spots, which helps to minimize the duration of power outages. Regardless of the location of your meter, all power outages are automatically reported to the TDSP. Also, these new meters will be able to provide detailed information on your energy consumption. You will be able to use that information to better manage your usage to save money and help the environment.
When will we have this AMS Technology (or "smart meters")?
The AMS program will provide electric customers with new, technologically-advanced electric meters over a period of 4 to 5 years.
Will someone still come and read my meter once my "smart meter" is installed?
Although the advanced AMS technology allows for remote meter readings, your TDSP will read installed AMS meters for 2-3 months after they are installed to ensure that the readings that are recorded remotely are the same as those recorded on site. After your TDSP is satisfied that the meters are recording correctly, the meter will no longer be read by a meter person.
What if I don't want a "smart meter"?
Electricity customers in your TDSP?s service area will be receiving a "smart meter" over the next 4 to 5 years. If you have questions about the "smart meters", implementation of the Advanced Meter System program, or the pass-through fee, please contact your TDSP (CenterPoint or Oncor). You can reach Oncor at 1-800-518-2380 or CenterPoint at 1-800-332-7143.
Why am I charged the fee if I don't even have the technology yet?
The monthly charge helps to cover the cost of the advanced meter, communications and support systems, low-income assistance and customer education programs associated with the initiative. If you have other questions about this pass-through fee, or about the "smart meters" and Advanced Meter System program, please contact your TDSP (CenterPoint or Oncor). You can reach Oncor at 1-800-518-2380 or CenterPoint at 1-800-332-7143.
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