Electric bills going up? What are you really paying for?

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Electric Bills Going Up?  What are you really paying for?

Hidden costs and fees you probably never noticed...until now!

I strongly believe that a fully informed consumer is a smart and practical consumer!  So let’s get to fully informing you of your energy charges!

This is a copy of my actual energy bill for my home.  I blotted out my account number and personal information to protect my privacy.  I am sure you don’t mind, do you?

First things first, let’s talk about what you are being charged for energy.  My rate plan is $0.090200 per kilowatt hour.  Multiply that by 2,103 and you get my charges of $189.69.  Then you add up my Oncor (delivery) charges and taxes and my total monthly bill is $220.25.  Not too bad for 2103 kWh of usage.

BUT do you see the little paragraph under the monthly usage graph?  The one in little teeny tiny print that requires a magnifying glass or microscope to read?  Have you ever noticed it before I pointed it out to you?

That paragraph states the average price you paid for electric service for the month.  

Did you notice that rate is NOT the same rate at which you were billed for energy use?

Your average price per month is the rate you really paid once they figured in delivery charges, taxes and fees.  Let’s use visuals to help explain.

Power Plant Image

Lignite-fired Power Plant Timisoara by Danny Rimpl CC 2.0

 These are the little unseen busy people, kind of like minions in my own mind, who are busy at work making sure we get the electricity we need to our homes and businesses.  You never really see them but you do know they exist!  Kind of like Santa Claus – if they didn’t show up, there’s no electricity and if they did – then all the lights turn on!

Happy Energy guy

Happy and Smiling Energy Guy

photo credit: Portlands Energy Centre via photopin (license)

They are the ones who charge you delivery fees and other charges on your bill.  On my bill they charged me the ONCOR charges since the name of the company who runs these power plants is called ONCOR.  They are also the people who fix power outages, blown transformers, downed power lines, etc.

These guys are NOT the guys charging you the kilowatt per hour charges.  The billing company who sends you the monthly bill is the one who bills you your rate.  They are the guys you called when you set up new service or transferred service to your home or business.  They usually sit in offices, call centers and buildings and never get out and handle the actual electricity.  They just handle the billing for it.  They look like this:

Your energy provider - Minions in a call center

One Eyed Minion by Sonny Abesamis CC 2.0

So let’s recap real quick – the guys who make sure you get electricity to your home or business are not the same guys who bill you for your energy usage.  Are we clear on this so far?

Have you ever heard of www.powertochoose.com?  If you live in a de-regulated area then you’ve most likely heard of them.  This website was designed to show you that you have the power to choose who you use to handle your billing and charges.  And if you go to this website and check rates, they are pretty competitive and pretty much all the same across the board.

*Disclaimer – this is NOT necessarily always true for those of you who use BOTH electricity and gas services.*

BUT you need to know just a little bit more about how you are being billed!

Your bill has kilowatt hour usage and so if the billing company says it charges you $0.08001 cents per kWh then you will be billed that rate.  Let’s say you use 1100 kWh this month.  Multiply that by $0.08001 and you get $88.01 in charges.

But what did they charge you for delivery and miscellaneous fees?  These have legitimate names like Base Charges, Gross Receipts Reimbursements but these are nothing more than “handling fees.”  That means they can charge you fees that they determine to be reasonable to connect your service, bill you, print and send correspondence to you, etc.  These fees typically help cover overhead for their call centers and advertising and cover other such operating costs.

I can hear inside your head right now, “They can actually charge me for those?”  Yes – they can because they didn’t violate the agreement you had when you said you wanted to be charge $0.08001 per kWh for energy.  And that’s exactly what they charged you for your energy usage.

Are your fees reasonable?

So….when you actually choose a provider for billing, be sure and ask what kinds of charges you will have tacked on along with the energy rate.  A friend of mine shared a copy of her bill with me and she had over $127.00 in fees on top of her outrageous energy charges!

Do you have a copy of your bill in front of you yet? Get it out and compare right now!

So let’s talk about how to save on energy billing.  Well….I am a new consultant for Ambit Energy and a loyal customer since 2008.  I actually joined in 2006 but I switched back to an old provider once and then switched back after I got tired of paying too much in fees.

I can only tell you about my own experience and it’s been with TXU and Ambit in the last 10 years because I haven’t used any other providers.  I am more than happy with Ambit and I don’t foresee switching back to TXU in the future, EVER.  I am going to stay put and enjoy my massive savings with Ambit Energy!

I will tell you right now that Ambit energy is not as competitive in rates if you use less than 1000 kWh per month.  This may be the case if you live in a small apartment or if you use both gas and electricity.  So be sure and check your rates carefully.

Ambit Energy charges a minimal fee for ONCOR delivery, as you can see in my bill, and this month was the highest charges for the whole year.  I’ve talked with many TXU customers who were billed over $400.00 this month and they nearly fell over in shock when I told them how little I was billed!

The best part of using Ambit is the fact that I can EARN FREE ENERGY by signing up 15 friends and family.  That’s right…no more electric bills!  I only started referring customers this past September and we are halfway to our free energy.

Compare rates and sign up to earn free energy

I believe it’s an all around WIN-WIN.  I save money on energy, just take a look at my bill for proof, then I help other people save money on their energy bills.  Once I help 15 people, I get free energy.

Earn free energy, bonuses & monthly residual income in your spare time and

I also became a consultant and that means I get a bonus when I sign up new customers or consultants.  I also earn monthly residual income after I sign up 20 customers.

Click here to see your rates for your area or to learn more about how you can become a consultant and earn monthly income!

 Now through 11/4/15 the one-time Consultant fee of $429 is being waived for new consultants!  Consider yourself lucky because I had to pay it to join last Septemeber!  

 It all started over a Turkey sandwichClick here to learn more about Ambit Energy.  See how it all got started and where it’s all headed in the future!

I hope you learned something new and will make a fully informed decision when it comes to billing providers in your future.  I am an Ambit Independent Energy Consultant and I am paid a commission fee when you sign up for new service, transfer service or join the Ambit Consultant team through my link.  I was not paid and I am not endorsed by Ambit Energy and it’s affiliates and entities to write this post or the contents, graphics or links provided.

This post contains affiliates links to various advertisers.  I may/will receive compensation from purchases made through my links or clicks to the ads.  The opinions and recommendations to these products are my own.  To see my full disclosure policy click here.

Still have questions?  Please give me call about your new energy service at 254-721-4211.  I am more than happy to assist you in any way that I can!