May 11, 2009 admin

TDSP Meter Surcharge Being Felt by Texas Energy Consumers

The TDSP Smart meter surcharge is being felt by Texas residential electric customers as the Oncor utility area has rolled out the meter fee on all residential electric service customers in the Oncor Electric Delivery utility area. The below TXU Energy customer filed a complaint with the Public Utility Commission about the meter fee but is a little confused about TXU Energy’s role in the fee.

TXU Energy back in 2008 actually tried to work to have the PUCT reconsider the meter fee or atleast how the PUCT and ERCOT charged the customer for it. At the time TXU was objecting, the issue raised was how the public would perceive the additional charge. The meter fee would have a large impact on their core business. Most of TXU Energy’s customers are in the Oncor Utility area. A majority of Oncor Electric Delivery’s customers are located in the Dallas Fort Worth area. Most of TXU Energy’s customers are also in the Dallas and Fort Worth Texas areas. The TXU Energy customer quoted below did raise a valid point about TXU Energy’s electric rate being quite high. There are actually much cheaper Texas electric rates out there than what TXU electric company is currently charging and you can check these out on the top left of this page or click below on our Dallas electricity rate comparison link:

Dallas Electricity rate comparison

What many energy consumers are just not aware of is the fact that the advanced meter fee is not a product child of TXU Electric Company. This meter fee also known as a smart meter fee is also not the product brain child of Oncor Electric Delivery even though Oncor will be rolling it out. Oncor is not TXU and TXU is not Oncor. Oncor Electric Delivery maintains and services the pole and wires as well as reads the meters for all retail electric providers and electric service customers and several years prior to deregulation went under the name TU ELectric as did TXU Energy. Oncor and TXU are seperate companies that cannot favor one another although they are owned by the same holding company, Energy Futures Holdings. Recently as of 2009 Oncor was mandated to pass these smart meter TDSP charges onto the retail electric providers like TXU and Reliant Energy. TXU and Reliant are not responsible for these charges but they get blamed for them because they have a large customer base in the areas that have been hit by this meter fee. Oncor Electric Delivery is also known as the Dallas and Fort Worth area TDSP company. TDSP stands for transmission and distribution service provider.

To Whom it May Concern
I am writing this letter to protest the “Monthly TDSP Meter Surcharge” of $2.21 that appeared on my TXU Energy bill (Invoice #054200111455) for May 2009. I believe the charge is for the new type of digital meter that when installed allows the utility company to read the usage amount each month automatically, a huge benefit for the utility company, but not for the customer. The customer can also use the digital meter to determine how much electricity each appliance in his home is using. Big Whoop…I don’t care. This type of meter has not been installed at my apartment complex; however, I am being charged for it. Since when, is it allowed to charge for a utility’s capital expenditures before the benefit has been received by the customer? In the future, are the electric utilities going to be allowed to charge the customer for each individual pole replaced?

According to news reports, Texans pay the highest electric utility rates in the nation. My bill states that I pay13.95 cents per kWh excluding taxes. That’s way too much. It appears that the PUC simply rubber-stamps any rate increase or new “made up” category that utilities such as TXU requests. In the recent past, utilities such as cable companies were not allowed to provide “additional” services, such as high speed internet, to only the affluent sections of a city (this is called “cherry picking”). All sections of the city would receive the new services, and customers would only be charged for new services when new services were available to the customer. I do not have access to the new digital meter technology and therefore, I should not have to pay for it. In addition, the rate charged by a utility should include all capital expenditures it makes to deliver its product.

The “Monthly TDSP Meter Surcharge” is unjust and I refuse to pay it. The PUC is supposed to represent the public, not the electric, telephone, and cable monopolies. Just because Energy Future Holdings paid too much to acquire TXU is not a justification for the PUC to grant special rate increase for bogus surcharges that have never been charged in the past.

What course of action should the PUC take? Eliminate the TDSP Meter Surcharge and reduce the electric utility rates paid by customers, especially residential customers. These charges are unjust and excessive.
Sincerely,
Charles
Dallas Texas 75220

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Comments (18)

  1. George Thomas

    Dear Sir,

    All of a sudden I am experiencing a $3.24 TDSP Meter Surcharge on my account. I do not think I should have to pay this fee since I do not have a “Smart Meter” and more than likely will not have one. This isa charge I did not ask for nor did I authorize anyone to asses it. This is an unfair charge to the consumer and should not be allowed to be assessed by Oncor Electric Delivery.

    Please make every effort to put an end to these outrageous charges.

    Sincerely,
    George Thomas
    Houston, Texas
    77023

  2. Diana Carter

    I have the Smart Meter. But I also pay 15 cents per KW/Hr and I simply don’t understand why I have to pay for something I will not even own. If I move, I will not take it with me.
    I have a friend in Tennessee and she pays 0.08 cents per Kw. Why TN can pay lower electricity rates and Texas pays double? All that money and they couldn’t pay for the damn meters?
    This deregulation is making money and profits for the big guys in the companies, whereas the others like us are left to pay the bills!!!
    It doesn’t sound fair! What can we do?

    • Diana,

      The PUCT is feeling the heat on implementing the government mandated smart meter fee. Unfortunately no matter what electricity company you choose in Texas you will be hit by this smart meter fee. Some Texas electricity providers attempt to hide the fee as they know that their customers will not be too happy to see additional charges on their electric bill. Unfortunately these are new and recent changes that effect everyone. All you can do is talk with your law makers and file a complaint with the Public Utility Commission of Texas to voice your concern. Most people are upset at the smart meter fee because they are paying in advance for something that isn’t even installed at their house. Don’t we pay taxes so that the government has money in reserve to pay for things like this? Why do we have to be the bank and loan money to the Texas electric grid? It doesn’t make sense to me either and seems anti-Texas if you ask me.

  3. Diana Carter

    Second time comment. The first one was dismissed as being already written!!!!

    I should not pay for a meter I don’t own. I should not pay 15c/kwh. TN has a rate of 8c/kwh? Why Texas pays double?
    Why they cannot pay for the smart meters when they are robbing our pockets of double pay?
    The governement likes to get involved when is convenient, why it is not defending us, the customers?

  4. Ivan

    The monthly surcharge don’t bother me as much as me paying 110.00 for the new meter. I never asked for the new smart meter so why do I have to pay for it. Did anyone else get charge for the meter? I have reliant energy.

  5. JRE

    Oncor and Reliant are an unholy alliance. They just pass the buck on every issue – customer be damned (literally).

    The really cool part is that Oncor will change your meter – without notice (may result in SLIGHT power interruption in your home). Outstanding! My two computers, big screen TV, Microwave, and other electronic devices are subjected to a power sag followed by a surge. No problem (for Oncor)! They indicated a “door hanger” was left on my door to notify me of the change. How convenient (for them)!

    Extra charges? No problem, we’ll just split your bill on the two meter numbers and tack on a meter charge just for fun! Outstanding (for Oncor)!

    Reliant just collects checks – don’t bother calling their “Customer Service” department – they DON’T CARE! The PUC has their back. Oncor “customer service” – can’t talk to a human being, they want to dodge the issue. The PUC has their back as well!

    Outstanding! Who has the consumer’s back?

    OK. Done with rant. I’ll just get back to building my solar panels and wind turbine!

  6. joa

    You will get a bill that is doubled for just a few days and no one at TXU (outsourced to Manila or South America) will tell you that you used that much energy when you have your meter thrown to OFF. TXU has outsourced all of these jobs and even had a company overseas to build the new digital meters. What has happened to good, ole, Westinghouse? Why didn’t they team up with them to build the meters. The company that built them is Landis+GYR.

    What a mess our country is turning into!

  7. Diana

    Just moved to Texas, can’t wait to move away again.

    The highest electricity cost per kwh that I have ever seen.

    To top it off I also have to pay a set amount for water in the apartment complex. I never, ever had to pay for water when renting an apartment and I have lived in many different states.

    I let my first electric bill surprise me and I will read my meter, daily. I am just glad we have a fire place, it will be used a lot during winter.

  8. Ann Cotton

    All of us live in a state where the consumer does not matter at all. Please notice who appoints the industry’s puppets known as PUC.

    We live in a state owned lock, stock and barrel by industry…preferably the most polluting industries that exist in modern times. If you do not live in a co-op area, you will continue to pay, at the minimum, double the national average for electricity.

  9. Tom

    Oncor recently installed a smart meter on my home and within 2 weeks it stated I had used 5750 KW, My home has never gone over 3600 and that was during the hot summer months.
    I wish a company would come out and say we will lease solar panels to our customers as long as they signup with us.
    I would be happy to pay to get a grid tie system and pay a lease fee as long as txu and oncor doesn’t get anything.
    The PUC isn’t nothing but a front for the electric companies.

  10. harriet irby

    New digital meter installed today I guess. No notice left on door. meter says I am using 24.08 kw per hour on matter what appliances I turn off. In 1 day I have used 461 Kwh in spite of the fact my usage for the entire last payment period was 900kwh.
    Something w3rong dudes!!!!!!

  11. Abilene T

    Thanks to ALL electric companies I have another stomach ulcer and worsening IBS. During the 2009 holidaze I was too busy to notice the upcoming monster that was posted on our electric bill. Our December electric bill was $25.00. January 2010 it was $120.00. I know the bill is low but that is with basically ALL the electricity turned off. We were being charged about 9 cents per kwh I think. Now we are going to have to pay around $12.00/kwh. WTH? AEP is doing the same now and ALL Electric power companies are spreading Unhappiness everywhere. All they have done is make people’s life worse instead of better. They could make it better but they choose NOT to.

  12. Don

    Well, it looks like the public is getting something else shoved up there backsides. I like everyone else did not ask for this new meter nor did I want it. It wont even belong to me.Somebody needs ther ass kicked. Pissed off in Texas

  13. Omar Baumann

    Why are we being charged for Smart Meters. Do you mean to tell me that reading your meter in an office is more expensive than a meter reader.
    That is a bunch of bull and the PUC must be in their back pockets.
    Technology!! More FU nology.

  14. Customers need to file a class action suit involving this. Also Customers, residential can refuse to accept the ‘smart meter’.
    Further, the smart meter can transmit a great deal about you to whoever can tap into the information. Like when you are home or not.
    Yes, they can tell.
    What, and when, you use various devices in your home.
    it is a serious breach of your privacy, and should be refused or protested. Fight this one folks!

  15. Jeff

    LOL.. all the more reason to look for alternative electricity…. Solar.. Thermal whatever.. oil has nothing to do with what you actuallly pay every month. These greedy companies are ALL in the pockets of ALL the politicians in this country especially Texas umm (Joe Barton.. Get with it people!! rid yourselves of these CROOKS! Go solar!

  16. Ed Alder

    Now that Rick Perry is contemplating a run for the whitehouse.We should ask this question.Why am I paying$4.17 for a smart meter ? Isn’t this another individual mandate approved by the PUK or PUC and signed by Rick Perry ? What is the difference between Rick Perry and O’bummer for President ?

  17. Ed Alder

    In my last comment post I forgot to mention the additional taxes that apply to something I am forced to buy and the fees for some something I’ve never heard of.My favorite is ( Gross Receipts Tax Reimbursement .20 cents charge. ) Yeh,figure that one out. I know we don’t have a state income tax but we are slowly becoming the State of Taxes.

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