Archive for December, 2012

Know more about Renewable Energy Credits

With dwindling traditional energy sources, the stress is on using renewable energy, like wind energy, solar energy, hydropower etc to meet the growing needs of residents. A “Renewable Portfolio Standard” has been passed by the Texas Legislature that requires REPs and electric utilities to produce and sell particular target levels of renewable power eventually. By 2025, 10,000 MW was set as a target to be achieved for the State’s renewable energy capacity.

 

What are the tax credits?

Renewable energy credits are tax credits, which refer to subtractions that are applied to the quantity of cash that a business or individual owes in taxes. A normal tax deduction is applied to a chargeable salary, whereas a tax credit is applied to a tax load directly. By presenting the tax credits for the usage and manufacture of renewable energy, the Texas government offers a financial incentive to encourage the construction, development, and operation of new renewable energy resources. Such credits are also aimed at protecting and enhancing the quality of Texas’s environment through increased usage of renewable resources.

 

Types of tax credits

Tax credits come in two types – production credits and purchase credits. The customers earn purchase credits while purchasing renewable energy. The majority of tax credits are offered either as a percentage of price of purchasing a renewable energy product, or at a flat price.

Companies that generate renewable energy meet the criteria for production credits. A company benefits from a particular credit for each unit of renewable energy that it generates. For instance, a company producing bio-fuels might get a credit for each gallon of biodiesel that it generates, whereas a company producing solar power may get a credit for each kilowatt hour of electrical energy that it generates.

 

Things to know

The Texas government started ‘Renewable Energy Credits Trading Program’ to ensure that the state achieves its renewable energy requirements in the most economical and efficient manner. Empowering customers with access to providers offering energy generated by renewable energy resources, and increasing the cumulative installed renewable capacity of the State were other objectives that led to the launch of RECs.

Though the business of selling RECs has grown rapidly, no national registry exists where details of the RECs issued are listed. Rather, the onus is on a voluntary program, which is similar to a third party audit, which ensures that the renewable energy certificates are accounted for and not counted twice.

 

About Shop Texas Electricity- Shop Texas Electricity helps consumers and businesses compare and shop for their electricity plans in Texas. Learn more about Shop Texas Electricity by visiting us at www.ShopTexasElectricity.com

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Mobile Solutions for managing your energy usage on the go

Did you know that $184 is spent every year on lighting in an average Texas household, while the expenses for cooling homes and using space heaters each year is $789and $206 respectively? Though knowing the amount of electricity you use can let you exercise control over your utility bills, it may be a tough task when you are on the move.

All those Texas electricity users who are looking for a convenient and fast way to manage their energy accounts on the go now have some solutions at hand. With some iPhone and Android apps being made available, which can help you to view and pay your bill, check your electricity usage, and do much more, you can now stay better equipped about the how, what and where of your electricity bills and usage. Some companies even offer mobile websites for their customers, which are easy to log into and check the details of their electricity usage.

 

 IPhone app

Available at itunes (https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/txu-energy/id439791100?mt=8&ls=1), the app for existing TXU Energy electricity accounts let you conduct a lot of tasks like:

  • Getting access to your account from anywhere and at any time
  • Viewing your current bill
  • Paying your bills using your credit/debit card or bank account
  • Checking your payment history and past bills
  • Comparing previous bills
  • Scheduling payments
  • Checking your electricity usage graph
  • Controlling your Brighten iThermostat
  • Managing your electricity usage and costs

 

The Android app

Available at https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=txu.android&feature=search_result#?t=W251bGwsMSwyLDEsInR4dS5hbmRyb2lkIl0, this app also lets you do all that which the iPhone app mentioned above allows.

 

Mobile websites

Quite a few power companies provide mobile-friendly websites that offer mobile solutions and tools to ensure mobile bill pay options, better customer services, and quick information about power outages as well as personal environmental impacts, all of which aim to improve the relationship between these energy companies and their customers.

Thus, apart from never missing a payment date even when you are the go, to getting your monthly bill information, information about energy usage, power outages, carbon footprints, and other account related details, you can access them all with your mobile phones and smartphones without any hassle.

Regarded as progressive solution to both the customers and the enterprise, mobile solutions for Texas electricity consumers are being made available at a fast pace by various companies to retain their existing clientele and woo potential ones. If you haven’t yet checked such solutions, it’s time to make the smart move and start using them.

About Shop Texas Electricity- Shop Texas Electricity helps consumers and businesses compare and shop for their electricity plans in Texas. Learn more about Shop Texas Electricity by visiting us at www.ShopTexasElectricity.com

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Knowing about TDU fees

The Transmission & Distribution Utility (TDU) fees include different charges billed by your local TDSP (Transmission & Distribution Service Provider). Some common elements of TDU fees consist of:

 

  • Advanced Metering Charge: This amount is evaluated to recover a TDU’s charges related to Advanced Metering Systems, to the level that they aren’t recovered in the standard metering charge of a TDU.
  • Metering Charge: This is assessed to recover charges of a TDU for metering its customer’s consumption, to the level that the TDU charge is a separate entity totally for that purpose, which is approved by the PUC (Public Utility Commission).
  • Competition Transition Charge: This is calculated to recover charges of a TDU for non-securitized costs linked with the transition to competition.
  • Nuclear Decommissioning Fee: This charge is evaluated to recover a TDU’s expenses for decommissioning of nuclear generating locations from service, decreasing residual radioactivity to a point that allows release of the property for unrestricted utilization and termination of license.
  • System Benefit Fund: This non-bypassable charge is approved by the PUC to not go beyond 65 cents per megawatt-hour, which in turn funds the one-time bill payment support, low-income discount, commission administrative expenses, customer education, and low-income energy efficiency plans.
  • Distribution System Charge: This amount based on the cost of delivery of electricity to a consumer over wires and poles as well as other TDU facilities, but the amount doesn’t include discretionary charges.
  • Transmission System Charge: This refers to one or more than one TDU surcharge(s) on a consumer’s bill in any group. This consists of charges billed by the TDU as tariff riders.
  • Transition Charge: Once a consumer decides to move over to the competition, this charge is evaluated to recover a TDU’s costs for securitized expenses linked to the transition.

 

As the charges mentioned above are recurring fees, typically every electricity bill will feature them. However, while some of these are flat fees that won’t fluctuate, others may differ in each bill depending on how many kilowatt-hours you utilize in a particular billing cycle. For example, while every bill should show a fixed Advanced Metering Charge, Metering Charge will vary from one bill to another, depending on the kWh you consume in a specific billing cycle.

 

Your TDU fees may also feature some non-recurring fees that are assessed occasionally, such as the Move-In Fees, Disconnect / Reconnect Fees, Forward Switch Fees, Meter Tampering Fees, Meter Re-Read Fees etc.

 

Irrespective of whether they are non-recurring or recurring fees, TDU fees will be evaluated by the TDSP for your region.

 

About Shop Texas Electricity- Shop Texas Electricity helps consumers and businesses compare and shop for their electricity plans in Texas. Learn more about Shop Texas Electricity by visiting us at www.ShopTexasElectricity.com

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