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How to Read Your Spark Energy Residential Electric Bill in Texas (ERCOT)

If you’re a residential Spark Energy customer in Texas, you’ll get a single bill for your electricity directly from us, Spark Energy.
But what do all those charges, fees, and line items on your bill mean? It can seem complicated, but we’ve put together a list of terms and definitions below that should make reading and understanding your Spark Energy bill a little easier.

  1. Account balance The total amount due on your account, including the current charges and any previous unpaid balances that have carried over.
  2. Advanced Metering Charge (Advanced Meter) A PUC authorized charge assessed to recover a TDU’s charges for advanced metering systems, to the extent they are not recovered in a TDU’s standard metering charge. These “smart meters” help your utility communicate with the electric grid, pinpoint service outages without you having to call your utility, and can help you better understand how you use electricity in your home.
  3. Amount Due After Date Due This is the amount you owe for electric service for the current billing cycle, plus a late payment penalty assessed in accordance with Public Utility Commission rules if you fail to pay your bill by the due date. If checked, this will also include amounts you chose to voluntarily donate to the bill payment assistance program.
  4. Amount Due  This is the amount you owe for electric service for the current billing cycle plus any outstanding balance on your account.
  5. AutoPay If your account is enrolled for automatic payment, your billing statement will inform you.
  6. Balance Forward The amount of your previous bill plus any outstanding balance on your account.
  7. Base Charge A charge that is assessed during each billing cycle without regard to your demand or energy consumption. If you fail to use a certain amount of kilowatt-hours during a billing cycle for some plans, the monthly charge you’re assessed is listed here. If you’re not sure if this charge applies to you, check your contract, or give us a call.
  8. Bill Payment Assistance Program This program lets you donate money to help those who have indicated to Spark Energy that they are unable to pay a bill or need assistance with bill payment. The amount you select to donate will be a one-time charge on your next bill only.
  9. Contract Number This is the number that we’ve assigned to your contract. If you have any questions about your contract, plan, or bill, just have this number handy when you call and we’ll be able to quickly look up all your information.
  10. Current Meter Read This is the number of kilowatt-hours recorded on your electric meter when it was read for your current bill.
  11. Competition Transition Charge A charge assessed to recover a TDU’s charges for Non-securitized costs associated with the transition to competition.
  12. Date Due  The date the bill is due.
  13. Disconnect Notice Fee This is a fee assessed for the administrative issuance of an electric service disconnection notice. The fee is charged regardless of whether your electric service is actually disconnected.
  14. Energy Charge A charge based on the electric energy (kWh) consumed during the current billing cycle.
  15. Energy Efficiency Cost Recovery Factor -A charge assessed to recover a TDU’s costs for energy efficiency programs, to the extent that the TDU charge is a separate charge exclusively for that purpose that is approved by the Public Utility Commission.
  16. ESIID This is a number that identifies the location of your meter, similar to a street address, and will remain the same if your meter gets upgraded or replaced.
  17. Invoice # This number identifies each individual bill that we send to our customers. In case of billing questions, having this number handy will help us quickly find an answer.
  18. kWh this is identified in the Usage Details section of your invoice listed under “Units”. It is the standard unit for measuring electricity energy consumption, equal to 1,000 watt-hours.
  19. Late Payment Penalty  A charge assessed for late payment in accordance with Public Utility Commission rules.
  20. Local Distribution Company The contact information for your TDU (transmission and distribution utility), or the local company that delivers the electricity to your home or business. Contact them for questions regarding your electric service and to report power outages or equipment that needs servicing or repairs, such as poles, wires, and transformers.
  21. Mailing Date The date that the billing statement is mailed to you.
  22. Meter Number The serial number of the meter installed at your home is listed here. This number will change if your meter gets upgraded or replaced.
  23. Meter Charge A charge assessed to recover a TDU’s charges for metering a customer’s consumption, to the extent that the TDU charge is a separate charge exclusively for that purpose that is approved by the Public Utility Commission.
  24. Miscellaneous Gross Receipts Tax Reimbursement A fee assessed to recover the miscellaneous gross receipts tax imposed on retail electric providers operating in an incorporated city or town having a population of more than 1,000 people.
  25. Minimum Usage Fee A monthly fee that applies only when the customer’s usage is below stated kWh in a billing cycle.
  26. Monthly Service Fee A charge assessed during each billing cycle that Is not based on your demand or energy consumption. This fee is explained in the Pricing section of your agreement.
  27. Notification Area Here’s where you’ll find important messages about your Spark Energy service, including changes in your plan and reminders that your contract is about to expire (when you have 60 days left) or that your contract has already expired.
  28. Previous Amount Due The amount due from your previous billing statement.
  29. Previous Meter Read Like the mileage on your car’s odometer, this is the number of kilowatt-hours recorded on your electric meter when it was read for your previous bill.
  30. PUC Assessment  A fee assessed to recover the statutory fee for administering the Public Utility Regulatory Act.
  31. PUC Certificate Number Spark Energy’s certificate number issued by the Public Utility Commission (PUC) of Texas.
  32. Questions concerning your bill Contact Spark Energy for questions about your contract, plan, or billing.
  33. Residential Usage Credit  A monthly credit that applies only when the customer’s usage is above stated kWh in a billing cycle.
  34. Sales Tax A sales tax collected by authorized taxing authorities such as the state, city, or special purpose districts. Sales tax is a tax that all consumers pay on goods and services in the state of Texas. This is no different than the tax you would pay if you bought a soda at a convenience store or a pair of shoes at the mall.
  35. System Benefit Fund A non-by-passable charge set by the PUC that pays for energy efficiency and customer education programs.
  36. TDU Delivery Charges The total amounts assessed by a TDU for the delivery of electricity to a customer over poles and wires and other TDU facilities not including discretionary charges.
  37. The average price you paid for electric service this month  The amount you paid per kilowatt-hour after adding in the Energy Charge, Advanced Metering Charge, Base Charge, TDU Delivery Charges, and Public Utility Commission Assessment Tax.
  38. Transmission Distribution Surcharges One or more TDU surcharge(s) on a customer’s bill in any combination. Surcharges include charges billed as tariff riders by the TDU.
  39. Total Payments Received The last payment amount made to your Spark Energy account, as of the date the current bill was created.
  40. Total Current Charges The amount you owe for electric service for the current billing cycle.
  41. Total Charges The total amount owed for the current billing cycle, including electricity use, fees, and taxes.
  42. Usage This is the measurement of electricity that is consumed by your service address during the specific billing period. It identifies the total number of kilowatt-hours used from your previous reading to your current reading. This amount of electricity used is what you’re charged for on your current bill.

We hope this list has helped answer any questions you may have about how to read your Spark Energy bill. If you still have questions about what something on your bill means, please contact customer service toll-free at 888.772.7566 or email us at customercare@sparkenergy.com.

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*Certain Terms and Conditions apply. This offer is available to first-time customers only. Customers must sign up for a fixed-rate energy plan. The plan may include a monthly service fee depending on the product. Use promo code which is showing above to qualify. Rate expires at the end of the term. Canceling or changing supply service prior to the end of the fixed-rate term may subject the customer to an early termination fee based on the product details. To be eligible to receive Spark Energy rewards, customers must enroll in a fixed term plan and maintain an active Spark Energy account in good standing (no past-due balance owed) for 45 days after the beginning of service. May not be redeemed for cash. This offer is subject to change or cancellation without notice prior to customer acceptance. This offer is nontransferable and cannot be combined with any other offers. This offer applies to services areas where Spark Energy LLC is active. The offer expires on 12/31/2021. See the Terms of Service and Electricity Facts Label (applicable only for TX) at www. SparkEnergy.com for more details.
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