When shopping for great electric rates, Texas energy consumers should review their historical electric usage data. This data is important in deciding if a particular retail electric plan is a good fit for their home. Many retail electric plans have pricing components keyed to certain monthly usage levels. In addition, customers considering time-of-use electric rates need to see daily usage totals to help decide if “free days” fit their energy usage style.
Fortunately, Texas retail electric customers have greater access to their energy usage data than ever before. Due to the installation of smart meters, consumers can now obtain detailed information on their home electricity usage. The two primary sources for reviewing this data are through the customer’s current retail electric provider or by using the Smart Meter Texas website.
Electricity Provider Usage Data
Most Texas retail electric providers have a portal where customers can access their usage data through any web-enabled device. These provider portals vary in the amount of usage data they provide. They also vary in the manner they display data and the degree to which customers can customize the display or query specific date ranges.
This is where Smart Meter Texas proves to be a valuable resource for retail electric customers. A consortium of Transmission and Distribution Utilities (TDUs) sponsors the site and it is independent of any retail electric provider. To access electricity usage data, a customer is required to register on the site.
In addition to personal information like name, email, and language preference, the site requires security information to make sure the customer only gains access to their usage data and has authorization to access the data. The security information is essential to maintaining customer privacy and confidentiality.
The three main components required for the security information are 1) the name of the customer’s current retail electric provider; 2) the ESIID for the premise; and 3) the meter number. Residential electric customers should have this information handy before starting the Smart Meter Texas registration process. The good news is that all three of these security items are available on the customer’s most recent electric bill statement.
Smart Meter Usage Data
Smart Meter Texas has a handy list of approved Texas retail electric providers. This makes it simple for customers to specify their current energy provider.
The next item is the Electric Service Identifier ID or ESIID. This is a unique 12 to 22-digit number assigned to a point of delivery. The first two digits of the number are “10” followed by a number that identifies the TDU that delivers electricity to the residence. A summary of the ESIID prefixes are as follows:
Oncor 1044372000 and 1017699000
AEP Texas Central 100327894
AEP Texas North 102040497
Nueces County Electric Co-op 1013830
Sharyland Utilities 1017008
The ESIID is not the same as the retail electric provider account number. The ESIID is assigned to the premise (residence) and stays the same regardless of which retail electric provider the customer chooses.
Finally, the customer needs their meter number. This number can be all numeric or alphanumeric. It appears under the heading of “Meter” or “Meter Number” on the electric bill.
Once the account registration is complete, Texas energy consumers can access detailed views of their electric usage. The site allows users to access 15-minute intervals or daily totals for up to the previous 13-months of historical electric usage. Monthly electricity usage totals are available for 24-months of historical usage. Consumers who know their historical usage levels are in a great position to find low electric rates for their home.