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Many of the terms found on Electricity Facts Labels and in Terms of Service documents are in a language all their own. This list of terms, some of which are adapted from definitions provided by the Public Utility of Commission of Texas, can help you better understand industry terms as you shop for electric plans.
Also referred as the Minimum Usage Charge, Customer Charge, or Monthly Service Fee, the "Base Charge" is a fee assessed by your Retail Electric Provider (REP) when your monthly electricity usage falls short of a minimum kWh requirement. Per-billing-cycle usage requirements are stated in Electricity Facts Labels (EFLs) for all electric plans.
Note: When labeled as the Monthly Service Fee, Customer Charge, or Base Charge, this fee may be charged regardless of monthly usage. Also, do NOT confuse this with the Energy Charge on an EFL, which can often be called the "Base Energy Charge."
A low-income assistance program that helps pay the electricity bills of individuals in need. It is often supported by voluntary customer contributions.