Industry History

The generation of electrical power was deregulated in Texas in 1995, enabling a greater variety of efficient power source options, such as natural gas, water, wind, solar, nuclear power and coal. Prior to energy deregulation, one electric company handled the three basic components of your electrical service:

� Generation - the production of electricity
� Transmission & Distribution - the delivery of electricity across poles and wires to residential and commercial buildings
� Retail Sales - the sale of electricity to end users, including customer service and billing functions

The transmission and distribution of electricity across poles and wires is regulated by the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT) to ensure the safety and reliability of electric service. Transmission and distribution services are provided by local wires companies that are responsible for the maintenance of poles and wires, as well as for responding to power outages and emergencies.

The Texas Electric Choice Act of 1999 (also called Senate Bill 7), deregulated the retail sale of electricity and opened the Texas energy market for competition beginning in January 2002. Retail sales of electricity are provided by companies known as Retail Electric Providers (REPs), which are certified to do business by the Public Utility Commission. REPs purchase energy from generation sources and then sell the energy directly to consumers and businesses.REPs provide customer service and billing functions, and they compete for consumer business through lower rate offers.

There are two types of REPs - Affiliate Retail Electric Providers (AREPs) and Competitive Retail Electric Providers (CREPs).

� AREPs were part of the original electric company that generated and sold electricity in your area. Nowadays, AREPs only sell electricity and provide customer service.

� CREPs are certified by the PUC and sell electricity to homes and businesses and provide functions like customer service and billing. Customers who choose to switch from an AREP to a CREP have the possibility of saving money with more competitive pricing.

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  • Terms & Definitions

    ESI ID
    Electric Service Identifier; In the Oncor electric delivery area, it is a 17 digit number and it starts with 1044372000xxxxxxx. The ESI ID is a unique number for the property address. Found on a customer�s electric bill.

    Electric Meter
    Device attached to the outside of the house that measures your electricity usage. This is how the Utility companies measure your consumption. Most meters are analog(spin dials) and now there are new digital meters being installed.

    Meter #
    8 digit number located on electric meter. Brands include: General Electric, Westinghouse, Landis and Gyr, etc.

    Heating, Ventilating, and Air Conditioning. The proper terminology for a central (i.e. ducted) heating/cooling system.

    Condensing Unit
    Also referred to as �Condensor�, or �Compressor�. This is the outside unit responsible for the cooling portion of the system.

    Air Handler/Furnace
    This is the inside unit responsible for producing air that is generated throughout the duct system, and is responsible for generating heat when needed.

    Department of Energy.

    Duct Blaster
    Device used to measure the amount of duct system air loss in CFM units.

    Cubic Feet per Minute. Measurement unit of air loss.

    Blower Door
    Device used to measure the amount of air loss in the building structure.

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