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:
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.
Dallas Texas 75220