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July 17, 2013 by joinambitiousenergy 2 Comments Do you know how much you are paying for electricity? Many top electricity providers in Texas will advertise a certain rate, but many times that might not be the actual rate you end up paying.
Many providers only tell you the unbundled rate, which of course makes it difficult to calculate what your bill will be depending on your electricity usage. So, even if your electricity company—TXU, Reliant, Cirro, Stream, etc.—shows a certain rate, that does not mean that it is the actual total bundled rate that you will end up paying. These examples may not apply to all electricity providers in Texas, but it is a general guide in determining if your rate is bundled or unbundled. Depending on what territory you live in, the utility that provides your electricity is either owned or an Investor Owned Utility (IOU). In 2000, after energy trading companies like Enron caused huge spikes in electricity costs by manipulating market rates, the Legislature responded by “freezing” the amount IOUs can charge for Tier 1 and Tier 2 rates to protect low-income ratepayers.
In addition to its low-income protection, the steep Tier 3 and 4 rates were seen as a way to encourage energy conservation. Aside from a very minor rate adjustment by way of SB 695 in 2009, the bottom tiered rates have remained the same since 2001. The burden of paying for increases in the price of electricity over the last decade falls on customers who fall in tiers 3 and 4 of the rate structure. For example, in Southern California Edison’s (SCE’s) service territory, 66 percent of residential sales are in Tiers 1 and 2.
The issue isn’t whether low-income protection and alternative energy are positive policy goals, but whether the customers in tiers 3 and 4 can afford to subsidize the lower ratepayers as the inequity grows.
As a result of rate divergence, there is a shrinking base of Tier 3 and 4 energy consumers caught in the middle of those protected by rate increase and those who can afford to invest in solar. Require the Public Utilities Commission (PUC), when it approves changes to electric service rates charged to residential customers, to determine that the changes are reasonable, including that the changes are necessary in order to ensure that the rates paid by residential customers are fair, equitable, and reflect the costs to serve those customers. The energy crisis is long over, but laws meant to protect residential rate users are now preventing the CPUC from governing the rate structure and making necessary changes for the thousands of middle to low income families struggling to pay high energy costs … without legislative changes, the CPUC has only very limited ability to fix this unfair residential electric rate structure. The bill unanimously passed in the Assembly Utilities and Commerce Committee on April 15, 2013 and was re-referred to Assembly Appropriations Committee on April 24.
For a complete summary of AB 327, including a list of supporters, opponents, and arguments in favor and against, go HERE. Electricity seems to be constantly going up now days, I dont understand how a cheaper natural source has not been derived yet to produce low cost energy for households. Switching over to Ambit Energy in Texas and doing an average rate comparison is very simple. This Reliant bill shows an average rate of 17.6 cents  per kWh on a billing cycle that used 1,108 kWh. This TXU bill shows an average rate of 14.5 cents  per kWh on a billing cycle that used 843 kWh. 15.  This is the serial number of your gas meter at your address and is displayed on your meter. The rate of price increases for electricity and gas is expected to moderate in most states and territories over the next few years after a period of significant rises. Electricity and gas prices for manufacturing businesses and households have increased sharply in recent years and indications are that prices will continue to increase. Responsibility for regulating the electricity and gas supply industries is shared between the Australian and state and territory governments.
Real electricity price increases for manufacturing businesses over the same period have been of a similar magnitude (60%). The increase in real prices after June 2012 of around 14% for household electricity and 13% for household gas is associated with the implementation of a carbon price from July 2013. The pattern of price increases over the 10 years to June 2013 has differed across states and territories.


Energy bills can also include components for Australian and state and territory government-based environmental programs such as those aimed at increasing renewable electricity generation.
Retailers compete for customers on price and other services in all jurisdictions except Tasmania. In recent years, much of the increase in prices has been attributed to the need to invest in the network component because of previous underinvestment in maintaining the network or to increase capacity. In the case of electricity, the rate of price increase is expected to moderate in the next few years. Smaller electricity price increases are largely the result of recent changes to the regulation of transmission and distribution networks and competition in electricity wholesale markets due to low demand growth. In the case of gas, prices for households and businesses are expected to increase significantly in eastern Australia, as the development of new gas export terminals leads to a tightening of supply. Australian Government intervention to directly affect retail price outcomes is largely confined to the impact of the carbon price as well as other renewable energy and energy efficiency measures.
Australian Government action can also be directed at gaining intergovernmental cooperation to change regulatory outcomes and influence government-owned energy suppliers.
Australian Energy Regulator, State of the energy market 2012, Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, Canberra, 2012. Productivity Commission (PC), Electricity networks regulatory frameworks, Inquiry report no.
With the exception of the Commonwealth Coat of Arms, and to the extent that copyright subsists in a third party, this publication, its logo and front page design are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Australia licence. For example, if TXU shows a rate of 7 cents per kwhr, but the Oncor delivery charge is listed on the bill as $60, that is a unbundled rate. To find out if you are being given a bundled or unbundled rate, you can simply look at your bill. The tiers are determined by the amount of electricity a consumer uses relative to the “Baseline,” which represents the amount estimated to be necessary to support a small family. Creating even higher rates in Tier 4 was a way to encourage larger residential consumers to invest in more costly rooftop solar technology.
SB 695 allowed limited annual increases to the Tier 1 and 2 rates to account for inflation, but did not make up for the inequity created as a result of the rate freeze from 2000-2009. These tiers consist of middle-class and large families who use more energy than the minimum estimate established by the state.
As a result, the remaining revenue requirement is borne by the remaining 34 percent of their sales. And every time a Tier 4 ratepayer switches to solar, the pool of large low-income and middle-class ratepayers left to subsidize the bottom two tiers gets smaller. With rates set to rise this summer, middle-class families that comprise most of the Tier 3 and 4 customers are going to feel the pain.
The only thing IOUs can do to cover the increasing energy costs is to raise rates on a relatively small part of their customer base. Our environment is being ravaged by one group who our government supports with cakewalk legislation, no enforcement of regulations or federal environmental law, stipends and subsidies, while it villifies and destroys another group on the other hand, blasting them with fees, fines, lawsuits etc.
Comparing energy rates, whether it’s electricity or natural gas, is not as simple as just looking at a number. But you do need to know what you are looking at first. The Reliant bill below shows 1,825 kWh of electricity used in a 30-day billing cycle. The underlying cause of these increases is different for electricity and gas and the contribution of each factor is also different for each state and territory.
For gas, prices for manufacturing businesses have risen to a lesser extent (29%) (Figure 1). In real terms, the rate of increase for electricity has been 30% in Perth, 41% in Adelaide, 73% in Brisbane and 107% in Sydney. The share of each component can vary significantly across jurisdictions and for different types of customers.


All states and territories except Victoria and South Australia regulate electricity or gas retail prices in some way. Overall, household electricity prices are expected to increase at an average of 3% over the next year, with outcomes varying across jurisdictions from a high of 16% in the Northern Territory to a 1% fall in prices in South Australia.
These may be offset in some jurisdictions by removing state and territory government interventions that have kept electricity prices lower. Changes to energy prices from amending these measures (which would require legislative action) should flow through, to some extent, to end users. One current policy debate is about the merits of a gas reservation policy to address price issues that are associated with LNG exports on the east coast. However, it remains to be seen whether they will be effective in containing price increases in the medium term. In Texas residential rates are either “bundled” or “unbundled.” The company that owns the delivery equipment, such as Oncor in North Texas, charges a fee, which will appear on your bill. If you use 2,000 kwhr during a given billing cycle, your bill would be $200 before taxes (2,000 kwhrs X 0.07 + $60). Generally in Texas, if the delivery charge (often listed as “Oncor Charges” or “TDU Charges”) is more than $8-$10, then the rate is probably unbundled. So, the rate they advertise will include the delivery charge, so there are no surprises when you receive your bill. Education Journalist occasionally diving into energy policy, with the aspiration of becoming the coolest high school teacher or college professor your kids ever had.
This identification number is assigned to the gas meter at your property, and is unique to your address.
Intergovernmental agreements and action by state and territory governments are the most important policy levers to curb future price increases. Its key role is in coordinating and incentivising action by state and territory governments. For those cities connected to natural gas networks, household gas price increases over the 10 years to June 2013 have ranged from 40% in Sydney to 78% in Perth.
However the cost of transporting energy and wholesale costs typically accounts for around three-quarters of the final energy bill.
Retail prices incorporate the costs of maintaining and upgrading supply networks, which are largely set by a single Commonwealth regulator under nationally agreed rules. It’s pretty simple, but you do have to know what to look for if you want to do a true apples-to-apples rate comparison.
Ambit Energy Texas average rates for this zip code were 9.4 cents per kWh (based on 1,000 kWh used).
If it is a bundled rate, which includes the delivery charge, of 9 cents per kwhr, your bill would be $180 before taxes. While major electricity and gas wholesale markets are connected across some state and territory boundaries, state and local factors can be an important determinant of wholesale price outcomes. This is the rate Ambit quotes and displays on the website to make sure it includes the energy charge and the deliver (Oncor) charge.
No matter the industry, whether it's oil or wind power, and especially government monopolized, they are all out to screw you for the highest dollar. Anyone who says differently is naive and should get out in the real world, pay some bills, live a bit.



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