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What is the Demand or TDSP charge shown on my bill?

The grid must keep a certain amount of electricity in the power lines at all times so there will be sufficient power for even a large industrial customer to begin to turn on all their lights,

The grid charges the cost of this power back to each utility company who has billing customers in that part of the grid.  This extra cost is a pass-through-cost that is charged to each customer over and above the actual kWh usage that customer had during that month.  This is shown as KW usage on each customers bill.  Each customer is charged the same percentage of the kWh used so it makes it fair to each customer.  

The companies who use more kWh in a month, even though the percentage charged to them is the same, their dollar cost is higher.  The small business that used less kWh during the month is paying the same percentage but their dollar cost is smaller.  Since the percentage charged to each customer is the same for that month, it makes the cost fair regardless of the amount of money each customer paid.

We certainly would not be happy if the grid announced that there would be no power in the lines from 12:00 PM to 6:00 AM daily.  If the grid said because the power usage during that time is so small and most homes and businesses are not active during that time they would not require electricity to be generated.  We all want our climate control systems to work and what ever lighting we want on to be on.  Therefore we must pay for sufficient power being in the lines whether we are actually using it or not.  

There is a charge for kWh and a charge of KW on my bill.   What is the difference?

The kWh charge is the actual amount of electricity the customer used during the month.  The KW charge is a percentage of the kWh used and each customer was charged the same percentage to pay the cost for the electricity that had to be generated and maintained in the lines so sufficient power would be there for each customer when it was needed.  This is a pass-though cost, the grid charges to each utility company who has customers in that part of the grid.  The utility company then recovers this cost by charging each customer the same percentage that month on each bill.  The utility company does not make or lose any money on the KW charge they pass along to each of their customers each month.  The KW hour charge is to pay for the generation of electricity as well as the cost of the Grid to manage the system.

Will I get two bills for the same month when I switch to a new provider?

The answer is a customer cannot be charged twice for the same electricity used is a specific period of time by two different companies.  It is possible a customer could receive two bills in the same month, but each bill will only be for the electricity used for a part of the month that the customer was using power from each utility company.   

example: 

Lets look at a customer whose meter is read on the 20th of each month.  This customer switches to a new provider on the 5th of the month.  Their meter will be read this time on the 5th of the month and the grid will send that reading to their previous provider.  Their previous provider will generate a bill for the power used from the 20th of the previous month to the 5th of the current month, which would be for 15 days in a 30-day month. 

On the 20th of the month, the regular meter reading cycle, the meter will be read as usual.  The grid will now send this reading to the new provider.  The new provider will generate a bill for the remaining 15 days of that month.  In this instance, the customer could receive two bills during the month, however each bill will only be a partial bill.  The following month they will receive a full months bill from their new provider.  

No customer will ever, or can ever be charged twice for the same electricity during the same month.  The grid had taken steps to insure that cannot happen.  When a customer chooses another provider, the switch will not take place until after their meter is read and that reading is sent to the grid.  The grid will then send that meter reading to the previous provider so they can generate a bill to the customer for the kWh used during that time.

The customer will be switched to the new provider as soon as the meter reading reached the grid control office.  The next regular meter reading will then be sent by the grid to the new provider so they can generate a bill to the customer. 

Some brokers tell us they charge us a fee for their services and you say PowerPartners never charges a fee.  How can you do that if other broker have to charge a fee.

Every utility company pays a commission to the broker for getting them a new customer.  This is just like an insurance company pays a commission to an agent for sending them a new customer.  This commission is already calculated into the price of the kWh rate the electric company charges new customers that day.  

Each deregulated state allows brokers to charge the customer an additional amount.  We have found that most brokers take advantage of this opportunity.  When a broker hires outside sales people, they have to pay them more because their cost of obtaining a new customer is so much greater.  They charge the customer a fee to offset those additional costs.

PowerPartners elected to keep our costs to a minimum so we could keep from charging our customers a fee.  We do that by working entirely by mail, phone and fax.  We feel we probably end up clearing more on each sale than some of the other brokers who chose to operate differently.  We are very pleased with this arrangement and we know our clients are happy with the savings PowerPartners has given them.   

What if I decide I want to switch back to my old electric company will they take me back?  Will they charge me more than their other customers or will they charge me a penalty?

First of all it is important to understand, your new provider has made a commitment to the grid to buy at the current price the entire amount of power you are going to use over the term of your agreement which could be from 12 to 36 months.  Because of that, if you terminate your agreement early, they have the right to charge you a penalty.  That penalty may be more than it is worth to you to cancel your contract early.

The answer to the question above is yes your previous provider will be thrilled to have you back as a customer, and no they will not charge you a penalty to go back to them.  They cannot charge any customer a larger kWh rate than they are advertising or that the grid will permit.  Since they are the incumbent in the area, they probably will not be as competitive as other electric companies who are servicing customers in the same area.    

After I switch to a new provider and there is a power outage, I have been told the local electric company will repair my service after they take care of their own customers.  Is that true?

No that is not true.  The poles and wires division of the company is paid each month by every single customer in their area.  In fact, the poles and wires division doesn't care who your service provider is.  You are paying them a fee each month to maintain the poles, wires and transformers that service your area.

The poles and wires division of the company does not have access to know who your provider is and they could care less since there is a charge on your monthly bill that pays them.  Their loyalty is to you just as much as to the next customer because you are all paying them the exact same amount each and every month to maintain your service.

How can I be sure if I switch to a new provider, they will not go out of business and leave me without electricity? 

The state has carefully checked out each provider that has made application with the state to insure that each of them are financially sound.  Should something happen however that is unforeseen that causes a provider to go out of business, the state has taken steps to insure that no customer will be left without power.

If a provider should go out of business, the grid will automatically switch each of their customers back to each customers previous power company.  Each power company is required to accept each customer at the then current price they are offering.  The customers power will not flicker and the customer will not know they have even been switched back until they receive either a notice from the grid or their bill from their previous power company.

At that time the customer can either elect to stay with their previous power company or they can choose another provider.  If they choose to switch to a new provider, they may receive two partial bills for the amount of electricity used during the switch over month.  One bill from their old supplier for the days they supplied the electricity and a bill from the new supplier for the number of days that month they supplied the power to the customer.

The grid has taken steps to make sure the only reason a customer would ever go without power is if they did not pay their bill during the time allotted or there was a power outage for one reason or another.  

 

 

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