Where Do They Get These Numbers? Understanding Your Energy Bill

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Where Do They Get These Numbers?

Understanding Your Energy Bill

Monitoring the cost of energy isn’t something most of us wake up in morning and add to our to-do list, but all it takes is one obscene energy bill to kick you out of apathy. If you’re not paying attention, you will end up using more energy than you realize and find yourself paying an arm and a leg. The trick is to understand how to read your energy bill, and where those numbers came from. In fact, understanding your electric bill can actually help you lower your household energy consumption. It sounds like an easy thing to do. But if your natural gas comes from a third part supplier like Vista Energy Marketing, it can get a little confusing, and may look like an energy scam if you’re not sure what you’re looking at.
What’s Different About The New Energy Bill?

To understand the difference between your old energy bill with a utility company, and your new energy bill with a third part suppler, you might want to start with understanding what a third party supplier is, and how it functions in the energy distribution system.

One of the biggest misconceptions about third party natural gas suppliers is that their clients no longer receive electricity or natural gas from the state utility. Even if you join Vista Energy Marketing, the state utility is still in charge of the transmission and the power distribution infrastructure. While utility companies’ rates are variable depending on the market, third party suppliers offer fixed rates regardless. The idea here is to make your energy consumption easy to budget for, and can potentially save you a lot of money when the price of energy goes up. So understanding how the natural gas industry works, and keeping track of the current market trends can help you determine if a third party supplier is the best choice for you and your home.

Are You Paying Extra?

Now let’s talk about reading your energy bill.

If your supplier is Vista Energy Marketing, then your bill will continue to come from PG&E. However, you will notice that Vista Energy Marketing will appear as the third party supplier on the final page of your bill. That’s where the confusion starts. Rest assured, you are NOT being billed twice for electricity. You are billed for your usage of natural gas through Vista Energy, and you are charged a gas transportation fee, which PG&E will charge you regardless of who you buy your energy from. Traditionally speaking, the transportation fee makes up a huge portion of your monthly energy bill.

When your bill came directly from PG&E, the transmission costs were simply bundled with all of the other fees into one charge. However, once you signed up with Vista Energy Marketing, the cost of energy from us and the transportation charges from PG&E are mentioned separately on your bill. In other words, the cost is broken down for you.

How Is Your Electric Bill Calculated?

Your new electric bill from Vista Energy is estimated. The accuracy of the energy bill is heavily reliant on two main factors. First is the regular reading from your gas meter provided to the supplier. Second is the meter readers that are designed to ease the process of calculating your energy bill. An energy bill can be broken down into several components:

  • Wholesale energy, supply costs and profit margin
  • Charges for Distribution
  • Charges for Transmission
  • VAT
  • Environmental Charges
  • Miscellaneous Costs

So for your next bill, take a look at some of these specific figures, especially your usage, and you’ll be well on your way to conserving energy, and minimizing your energy bill.