What is an Electricity Facts Label?

When choosing a Retail Energy Provider (REP), you will find that each REP offers several different plans. These plans differ based on contract length, green energy, promotions, and price. To find out exactly what each plan offers, you need to look at the Electricity Facts Label, or EFL. The EFL is more or less the “fine print” of your energy plan. In looking for the best Dallas electricity prices, be sure to read the EFL to ensure that the plan will meet your needs. The EFL gives you the power to choose a plan perfectly suited to your home or business.

Every REP is required to have an EFL on their plans. They lay out in plain terms how much you will pay per kilowatt hour (kWh), what fees are associated with the plan, how long the contract lasts, and whether there is a penalty for breaking the contract. Contract lengths can be month to month, which is a variable rate plan, or they can run between 3 and 36 months, typically. Variable rate plans can have rate changes every month, based on supply and demand of electricity. This means that if the supply is high, you will likely pay a slightly lower rate than the previous month, but if the supply is low or interrupted by something (weather, power generation facility issues, etc), the price could increase from the previous month. Fixed rate plans lock in your rate for the duration of your contract. Regardless of how the market conditions change, your rate will remain where it is, for better or worse.

Additional fees, such as the cost of transmitting electricity will be included in the EFL. Each Transmission and Distribution Service Provider (TDSP) assesses a cost per kilowatt hour for getting the electricity to you. This rate is usually lower as you use more electricity over the course of a month. Think of it as like buying in bulk; you get a discount on the larger volume. TDSPs each manage a particular region, so where you live will determine who your TDSP is, unlike REPs, which you can choose one of several in an area. This transmission charges are broken down by energy use per kWh, delivery per kWh, and delivery per month. It’s also possible that you’ll see a “Base Charge” if you use less than 2000 kWh per month, but this is included in the average transmission costs.

Other fees that could be assessed include late fees, disconnection/reconnection fees, and third party payment fees, if you use a check cashing store or bill payment center. The EFL will also tell you your contract length and explains how even in a fixed rate plan, your rate can change due to changes in TDSP charges or legislation. You will also see a section telling you how much, if any, of your electricity is generated from renewable sources like wind or solar power. Finally, all contact information for the REP will be listed, should you have any questions or concerns about the plans. Reading your EFL carefully will ensure you choose the best plan with the cheapest electricity rates and aren’t surprised by fees that may appear.