De-regulated Energy can be difficult to understand. If you are seeking answers, below are some Frequently Asked Questions that may help you understand your Energy choices. As always, you can also speak with one of our professional team by clicking on “Contact us” above or dialing 972-671-4000
- What is de-regulation?
- How do I know if I have a choice of provider?
- What is a kilowattHour (kWh)?
- What is a Therm or Thermal unit?
- What is an REP?
- What is a TDSP?
- What are delivery and/or Transmission (TDU) Charges?
- What makes one REP different from another?
- Who do I contact in case of emergency or an outage?
- Who do I call for routine billing and customer service questions?
- Why should I use an energy advisor?
- What is the process for getting service through National1 Energy?
- Why should i sign a letter of appointment that assigns National1 Energy as my exclusive broker?
- How do I find an agent in my area?
- What is Nodal?
De-regulation in power markets is a fancy word for “choice”. In most US energy markets – whether referring to electricity or natural gas – it has been standard practice that only one supplier is available to supply utility service to local areas. As a customer, whether you liked it or not, you were “stuck” with that monopoly provider. De-regulation of a market removes the barriers to competition for service providers and allows more than one licensed provider to operate in approved areas. Approval is typically by legislation that is overseen by a Public Utility Commission. The goal of deregulation is to provide better services, more quickly, and ideally at competitive prices as natural market forces go to work. Innovative companies learn to improve marketshare through better performance while lesser performers are forced to improve performance or perish.
Each US State has its own rules concerning de-regulation. Here are maps showing which States are deregulated for electricity and natural gas. For more detailed information about your market, we receommend you visit the Utility Commission website for your state or search “Deregulation” and your states name in a web browser.
The kilowatt hour, or kilowatt-hour, (symbol kW•h, kW h or kWh) is a unit of energy equal to 1000 watt hours. The kilowatt hour is most commonly known as a billing unit for energy delivered to consumers by electric utilities.
A heater rated at 1000 watts (1 kilowatt), operating for one hour uses one kilowatt hour (equivalent to 3.6 megajoules) of energy. A 100-watt light bulb consumes 0.1 kilowatt hours of energy per hour. IN the US, Electrical energy is sold in kilowatt hours. In most de-regulated markets, the price a consumer pays “per kWh” is the most common point of negotiation and is often referred to as “Energy Charge” or “Usage”.
Natural Gas is usually measured by volume in the United States and is stated in cubic feet. A cubic foot of gas is the amount of gas needed to fill a volume of one cubic foot under set conditions of pressure and temperature. To measure larger amounts of natural gas, a “therm” is used to denote 100 cubic feet, and “mcf” is used to denote 1,000 cubic feet. To provide greater accuracy in comparing fuels, energy content is measured in terms of “British Thermal Units (BTU’s).” A BTU is the amount of heat required to raise one pound of water (approximately a pint), one degree Farenheit at or close to its point of maximum density.
Since (Natural Gas) meters measure volume and not energy content, a therm factor is used by (Natural) gas companies to convert the volume of gas used to its heat equivalent, and thus calculate the actual energy use. The therm factor is usually in the units therms/CCF. It will vary with the mix of hydrocarbons in the natural gas. Natural gas with a higher than average concentration of ethane, propane or butane will have a higher therm factor. Impurities, such as carbon dioxide or nitrogen, lower the therm factor.
The volume of the gas is calculated as if measured at standard temperature and pressure (STP). The heat content of natural gas is solely dependent on the composition of the gas, and is independent of temperature and pressure.
One therm is equal to about 105.5 megajoules, 25,200 kilocalories or 29.3 kilowatt-hours.
A Retail Electric Provider (REP) sells electric energy to retail customers in the areas where the sale of electricity is open to retail competition. A REP buys wholesale electricity, delivery service, and related services, prices electricity for customers, and seeks customers to buy electricity at retail.
A REP has many responsibilities including:
- Buying electricity at wholesale.
- Buying delivery service and paying the charges for transmission and distribution service to the Transmission and Distribution Utilities TDU.
- Serving as the direct contact with the customer for electric service issues.
- Billing the customer and collecting for the REP’s charges.
- Providing a 24-hour toll free telephone number for customer calls.
- Developing electronic interface system to communicate with the Independent System Operator and other Market Participants relating to customer switches and meter information.
- Understanding and following Utility Commission rules, including customer protection rules. PUC Substantive Rules, Subchapter R
The Transmission and Distribution Service Providers or Wires Companies transmit and deliver the electricity or natural gas to your home or business along the poles and wires or pipelines. The company is responsible for maintenance and repair of these poles and wires and regulated by the Public Utility Commission.
The TDSP’s are responsible for carrying the electricity to a transformer via cables where it is converted from low voltage to high voltage for more efficient transmission over long distances. High voltage transmission lines carry the electricity over long distances to substations at or near the point of use. Substations convert the electricity from high voltage to lower voltage electricity which is then moved through distribution lines to consumers by the Transmission and Distribution Providers.
A TDU charge is the fee collected on behalf of a TDSP to pay for the delivery of electricity or gas to your location. The charge is added to a customer’s bill to cover the cost of transmitting energy over the transmission grid between the generating facility and the local utility’s distribution facilities. Prior to deregulation of the energy industry, electricity was provided as a single bundled service, and energy billings covered all costs incurred in production and delivery. In deregulated markets, separate companies can offer specific services involved in this process, and one of those services is transmission. Transmission charges may be rolled into other charges even in a deregulated market, but are usually billed separately and will appear as line item charge on a customer’s invoice, and will be paid as part of the total utility bill.
Just like other industries who have high, mid-tier, and lower levels providers (think Hotels or Restaurants or Banks), so too does the utility market have levels of service provider that suit the style and needs of their customers. Some providers are loosely run and focus only on profit, others take pride in customer service, while others strive to only service a particular type of customer as a priority. At National1 Energy, we match each customer with the right provider for their business. We match what’s important to you with the priorities of you supplier. We also only partner with established, financially secure providers to make sure every customer experience is as safe, reliable and worry-free as possible..
Your monthly invoice will have an emergency number listed. In all cases, you should be contacting the Transmission and Distribution Service Provider for your area. See below for numbers in your state:
In case of emergency or outage, please contact your Local Wires Company directly. The Local Wires Companies listed below are responsible for maintaining the poles and wires, and for responding to emergencies and power outages.TIP: Keep the contact number of your local wires company close to your phone, so you can find it easily should you experience a power disruption.
Local Wires Companies:
- Oncor (TXU service area)
(Oncor can link to five different phone numbers with your ESID to speed restoration when you call to report outages. Call 888-313-6862 to set it up.)
- CenterPoint (Reliant service area)
- AEP Central (CPL service area)
- TNMP (First Choice service area)
- AEP North (WTU service area)
Your selected provider will have contact phone numbers listed on your invoice to call in the event of customer service questions, outages or emergencies.
During regular business hours you can also call our team at 972-782-9052 for help with your questions.
On any given business day, all electricity suppliers survey the market for risk factors such as financial market conditions, environmental forecasts, creditworthiness, sales climate and other factors to set a safe and profitable rate for contracts to be offered to the marketplace. These prices are essentially “rack rates” that hedge risk on behalf of the supplier at a safe margin without regard to the size, scope and specific needs of the customers they enroll. At National1 Energy, we don’t allow this “one size fits all” strategy to occur. Instead we gather specific information about the distinct usage of our customers and use this information to tailor a specific electricity package built specifically for the “electricity profile” of their business.
What is an “electricity profile”? Each day, every business uses electricity differently than another. A publicly listed organization with a large corporate office building will use electricity differently than a factory running a 24/7 3-shift schedule, than a franchisee with 25 restaurant locations; so too will an entrepreneur running their own business use power differently than his neighbor. These differences over time create a usage profile of your business that is measured by your electricity meter. That data, when interpreted by our professional team, gives us an ”electricity profile” for your company.
We contract with carefully selected high-profile and financially secure electricity suppliers and negotiate on your behalf to secure custom tailored rates that you simply cannot access directly. We bypass the “Sales” divisions of these organizations and negotiate straight with Senior Pricing personnel working on the trade desks of these suppliers. Our reputation for professionalism, combined with our track record of high volume performance, means we have additional leverage as these suppliers compete for our business, and yours. Your business gets treated and priced for its individual needs backed with the volume purchasing power National1 Energy brings to the table. The result is the most competitive rate your business can secure, without compromise.
Call or email us today and one of our trained specialists will work with you to get started immediately. There’s no cost to switch and most customers find the process simple and the savings fantastic!
Phone number 972-782-9052
A Letter of Appointment confirms a mutual commitment between you and National1 Energy to work toward your best rate together. The Appointment Letter gives National1 Energy the implicit authority to act on your behalf with Energy Suppliers.
As your Assigned Agent, we can then approach multiple suppliers on your behalf in an environment where these suppliers are made aware they are in aggressive, formal competition with others for your account, rather than just dealing with you as a stand-alone business calling in off the street for a rate. Our job is to negotiate rates, and we do it well.
The Letter of Appointment also ensures our time and resources are committed to customers who want to get their best results. The letter can be withdrawn at the discretion of both parties at any time and only applies to the suppliers with whom National1 Energy transacts. The Letter can be modified to only apply to certain providers for the comfort of the customer as needed. You decide and control the assignment at your discretion.
Click on the contact us button on our home page and follow the directions to find the closest office in your state. We look forward to serving you!
All Retail Electricity Providers in Texas are responsible for collecting Nodal charges for every customer under the new system. Commercial consumers of electricity in Texas have a choice to include those Nodal charges in their “per kWh” rate or choose to have those costs shown as a pass-through charge item on their monthly invoices.