Understanding Your Electricity Bill: An In-Depth Guide

In today's blog, we're giving you an in-depth, informative guide that teaches you how to read and understand your future electricity bills!

In this article:

Understanding your bill is easier than you think

This is how to read your bill

Calculate your effective rate

It's Not THAT Complicated (With an Ogre on Your Team)

There are two unfortunate realities surrounding electricity bills -- they are often expensive and very confusing to understand. However, there are two solutions we can offer.

1. Become an Energy Ogre member, and then your electricity needs will be put on ogre-pilot!

2. Use this helpful guide to discern the contents of your bill and how they ultimately determine your monthly charges. 

In the next section, we're going to take you step-by-step and show you the essential elements of your bill. Doing so, we hope you'll become more comfortable understanding why your bill is that particular amount.

Knowing how to navigate your bill inside and out will help ensure you aren't be inaccurately charged each month.

How to Read Your Bill

Countless consumers don't know how much they pay each month, and they also have no idea how much they are paying per kilowatt-hour (kWh). In essence, the kWh is the unit of measurement that you are billed for each month, in addition to a few other charges,  determines how much you owe the electricity provider you buy from.

With that said, it's likely the average consumer doesn't understand how to read their electricity bill charges correctly. Use this guide to analyze your bill and its many components better. 

In today's blog, we will be giving you an in-depth, informative guide to read and understand your past and future electricity bill.

Learn how to read and understand your bill in a few easy steps.

1. Account Number: Your account number is typically found on the top left corner of your bill among a few other spots throughout. This number is your customer ID for your provider regarding all billing and customer support.

2. Total Amount Due: Aside from the kWh amount, this is obviously the most important number or aspect of your monthly bill. This figure is the total sum of all fees, and we'll expand on these fees in #5.

3. kWh Usage: Again, this amount and the total amount due are the most important of all figures on your bill. The amount represents the amount of "kilowatt-hours" you used over the past month. That's as much as you need about kWh, but if you want to dive deeper into kWh, be our guest.

4. Service Start/End Dates: This timeframe specifies the exact billing period for which you are about to pay. In the graphic above, you'll notice the provider began that month's bill on 8/6/2020 and ended it on 9/4/2020.

5. & 6. Bill Charge Breakdown: Both items 5 and 6 compile all fees, including electricity price, delivery charges, taxes, PUC assessed charges, etc. For a definition of each of these charges, click here. As you can see, the info surrounding column 5 is the charge description, and the info surrounding column 6 is the corresponding fee.

7. Meter Number: This number is the identification number attached to your home's meter -- think of it as the serial number for the hardware. The meter number has very little relevance to you. Over time, if your meter breaks or has issues, the meter number will change as a new meter is installed.

8. ESID Number: This acronym stands for "electric service identifier" because it uniquely identifies your home address by a particular number. Think of the ESID as your address on the Texas electricity grid. Unlike your meter number, your ESID will most likely remain the same.

9. Contract End Date: This one is pretty self-explanatory. The date listed is the final day of your current contract. This date is critical because it identifies when you need to shop for your next plan -- unless you're with Energy Ogre. Our members can ignore this date because we begin shopping for their next contract 30-45 days before their contract ends.

10. Plan Type: Yet another self-explanatory item, but hey, we're here to help you make sense of things. This tells you which plan you enrolled in. Sometimes the electricity provider will attach your contract length to the back of the plan. For example, the plan will sometimes be listed as "Texas Power Saver 12" or "Green Texas 9." In the example, 12 and 9 signify respective 12 and 9-month plans.

Now Let's Calculate Your Effective Rate

Wait, what the heck is an effective rate? It's simpler than you think—the effective rate is the total price of your bill divided by the kWh you used.

Now, let's show you how to calculate the rate. If you revisit #5 above in the graphic, you'll see the following charges:

  • Energy charge
  • TDU meter charge
  • TDU delivery charge
  • City sales tax
  • TX PUC assessment
  • Gross receipts reimbursement

Most notably, the energy charge is the actual dollar amount you're paying per kWh you consume. But clearly, all of these fees add together to determine your bill amount.

Considering there are other charges that are factored in, it's better to focus on the effective rate rather than the energy charge (or plan rate). This calculation is especially important when comparing your current plan to others on the market.

Yay, math time! The bill balance was $81.88, and the billed kWh usage was 782. Divide the balance by the usage, and you'll get your effective rate.

$81.88 / 782 = 10.4% | Therefore, the energy charge is $0.0537, and the effective rate is $0.104

Let's face it...do you really want to do all this on your own? If not, boy, are you in for a treat. Let us do the math for you, and we'll be done before you can say, "Dang, Energy Ogre is awesome!"

That Wasn't That Hard, Right?

By now, you're either thinking, "That was easy!" or "Geez, my brain hurts." If it's the latter, that's what Energy Ogre is for. And if not, then I'm confident you will be aptly prepared to understand your next electricity bill when it reaches your inbox or mailbox.

As long as you can distinguish where these items are located on your own bill, then you should have the tools necessary to find what you need. Speaking of things you need, have you ever heard of Energy Ogre?

For a low monthly fee that's far less than the money you'll be saving, you always know that you're getting a straightforward electricity plan at a fair price. And we back our service with a 100% satisfaction guarantee. Never wonder "why is my electric bill so high?" again.

Interested in signing up? Press the button below!

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Here are some other articles you may enjoy:

Why Do I Have High Electricity Delivery Charges?

How Do I Sign Up With Energy Ogre?

In a Contract? Energy Ogre Can Still Help.