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Understanding your bill: transmission cost of service

Oct 10, 2017

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You know you pay for the energy you use, but what are all those other items on your bill? Our Understanding Your Bill series helps break it down.

Transmission cost of service (TCOS)

This line item reflects the per-megawatt cost incurred for using the state's transmission system to deliver power. It usually fluctuates from year to year based on two factors: rising statewide transmission costs and PEC's share of those costs based on energy demand during our Four Coincidental Peak events.

Transmission costs on the rise

Transmission costs are not set by PEC. They are set by the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT) based on the rates charged by the state's transmission service providers. Essentially, these rates cover the cost of building, maintaining and operating our statewide transmission infrastructure.

Electric transmission costs have risen more than 100 percent in the past six years. They will cost PEC and our members an estimated $70.3 million — about 11 percent of PEC's annual revenue — in 2017 alone.

Four Coincidental Peak (4CP)

PEC's transmission costs are partly based on how much electricity our members use during four 15-minute peak events: periods of high use during June, July, August and September, usually occurring between 2 and 6 p.m. These are referred to as 4CP events, and they determine PEC's share of our statewide transmission costs the following year. So if our members' energy use is high during the 4CP events, PEC will be charged more in transmission costs the next year — and as that cost is passed directly through to members, you'll see a higher transmission cost on your bill at that time.

Want a lower TCOS? You've got the power

We call it Power Rush Hour: When we all work together to reduce our energy use during peak times, we can help PEC have a lower share of statewide transmission costs. Shift use of large appliances like dishwashers, washing machines and your HVAC system outside of the peak hours of 2–6 p.m. in the summer months, and learn more Power Rush Hour peak reduction tips here.

Transmission cost of service highlighted on a PEC bill

Want to learn more about your bill? View our articles on franchise fees and the service availability charge, and stay tuned for more in the weeks to come.

News Archive

Use the links below to browse PEC news items by year.