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How to Read Your Bill from Spark Energy After Switching Electricity and Natural Gas

Switching electricity companies and natural gas suppliers is easy, thanks to energy deregulation. But sometimes the bills you get after you switch look a little different. To cut down on any confusion here’s some information about how to read your electricity or natural gas bill after you switch to Spark Energy.

A word about energy deregulation

If you live in an area with energy deregulation, you may be able to shop for electricity and/or natural gas services then switch to another third-party energy retailer. Switching to another energy retailer is not mandatory in certain states, you may be able to remain with your local utility. How energy deregulation works depends on where you live.

The most important thing to remember about switching is that energy supply is different from energy transmission and delivery. That’s why your energy bill is made up of two separate charges, one for supply and one for the local utility transmission and delivery.

What Spark Energy Does:

  • We buy electricity/natural gas from the power generation and natural gas production companies and sell it to you directly.

What Your Local Utility Does:

  • They deliver electricity or natural gas to your home or business
  • They respond to things like power outages or gas leaks
  • They are responsible for building, maintaining, and repairing all of the power infrastructure, including things like power lines and poles, and natural gas lines
  • They read your electricity and natural gas meters

The kind of bill you get depends on energy deregulation in your area

When you switch to Spark Energy, your bill will look different. You’ll either get two separate bills — one from us and one from your utility company — or you’ll continue to get just one bill either from your energy supplier with the utility charges or from the utility company that has our energy supply charges listed as a line item. To find more about your bill, we are explaining some of the sections that you will need to review when shopping for energy rates.

Separate billing (2 bills)

Here’s a breakdown of the different sections of your Spark Energy bill.

Account Number (top right-hand corner)
This is your account number with Spark Energy. Underneath it, we list the date we generated the statement and the date you need to pay it to avoid late charges.

Account Summary
This is where you can see your amount due for the current bill. We also list the activity from your last bill, including the previous amount due, the payment we received, any late payment penalties, and the current charges.

A note on current charges — Your current charges are what you pay for electricity or natural gas supply from Spark Energy. Your utility company will send you a second bill for all of the charges related to delivering that electricity or natural gas to your home or business. All utility charges related to transmission and delivery are based on how much electricity or natural gas you used.

Current Charges
This section lists all of the information related to your amount due. You’ll see your energy charge along with monthly fees and adjustments from Spark Energy. You’ll also see charges, taxes, and other fees that are required by state law. These might include a utility surcharge, advanced metering charge, state sales tax, gross receipts reimbursement, and PUC assessment.

Definition of Terms
Except for Texas customers, this is a glossary of terms that show up on your Spark Energy invoice.  If you still have a question about one or more of these terms, contact our customer support experts at 877-547-7275 or email customercare@sparkenergy.com. Texas customers can visit Spark Energy for the definition of billing terms and components.

Important Messages
Any additional messages that you need to know will show up here, including things like special promotions and other related communications.

Invoice Stub
Your invoice stub lists all the relevant payment information for your account. If you’re paying by mail, you’ll need to detach this portion of the invoice and send it with your check.

Monthly Billing History
This is a chart that shows your billing activity over the previous 12 months.

Plan Information
All the information about your Spark Energy plan is here, including the plan name, your electricity or natural gas rate, your plan’s expiration date, and other information as appropriate, such as promo codes, Autopay status, and budget billing amounts.

Service For
This section lists all of your information as a Spark Energy customer. It also has things like the invoice number, your utility company’s ESI ID or utility account number, and the PUC (Public Utility Commission) license number for Spark Energy.

Usage Detail
This is a snapshot of the information used to create your invoice. Here you’ll find information about your meter, billing period, previous and current meter readings, and electricity or natural gas usage.

Ways to Pay
Most Spark Energy invoices will have information about the different ways you can pay your bill, including online, by mail, over the phone, or at authorized payment centers.

Summary Billing
This section lists all the meter locations that are on your account and breaks out electricity and natural gas usage for each individual meter.

Combined billing (1 bill)

In some areas, deregulated utilities will provide a single bill that will include your Spark Energy supply charges as a line item, in addition to all of their normal transmission and distribution charges.

In other areas, our energy supplier may send you one bill, which includes the energy supplier charges, utility delivery, and transmission charges, and any applicable taxes government policy pass-through fees or costs.

Sometimes a single bill can be confusing, especially in cases where the utility refers to both supply and distribution charges as “energy charges” or something similar. There are several charges that are included in your bill.  Your payment is not only for the energy you use, it also includes charges for helping the utility maintain the grid, utility administration, governmental policy decisions, various taxes, fees, and delivery charges.

You are not paying twice for electricity or natural gas. On your monthly bills, you are paying once for energy supply from Spark Energy and once for transmission and distribution from the utility.

With that in mind, there are three basic categories of charges on most utility bills: supply, delivery, and taxes and fees.

The supply charge is the amount you pay Spark Energy for the electricity or natural gas you use. It will usually be broken out in terms of your rate and the amount of energy you used.

Transmission and Distribution
These are all the utility charges related to delivering electricity or natural gas to your home or business. These are not Spark Energy charges, though they are based on how much energy you used.

Taxes and Fees
You will find taxes applicable to your state and utility. In certain states, fees related to Spark Energy (such as monthly fees) will be listed under ‘supply charges’.

For more information
If you have any questions about how to read your bill, whether you have separate or combined billing, contact customer support experts at 877-547-7275 or email customercare@sparkenergy.com.

For explicit ERCOT bill definition please visit https://www.sparkenergy.com/howtoreadtxbill/

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