Your Most Frequently Asked Questions: Part 1

By Adam P. Newton, September 27, 2012, FAQs, News

Your most frequently asked questions to Bounce EnergyBounce Energy realizes that, since most of the Texas energy market is deregulated, you as the customer have the power to choose what company you want as your Retail Electricity Provider (REP). We are very thankful that you chose to purchase your electricity from us. So, we want to honor that choice by providing excellent customer service as efficiently and helpfully as possible. This is the first in our new FAQ Series where we address some of the Frequently Asked Questions that our Customer Service Representatives answer on a regular basis over the phone and e-mail.

What are these TDU Fees that I see on my bill? I didn’t see them on my last bill with Bounce (or my previous energy company).

The Transmission and Distribution Utility (TDU) Fees consist of the various charges assessed by your local Transmission and Distribution Service Provider (TDSP, also known as the utility company) to transmit and deliver your electricity to your service address. The five TDSPs for the deregulated parts of the Texas energy grid are Oncor, CenterPoint, Texas-New Mexico Power, AEP North, or AEP Central.

All REPs like Bounce Energy charge these TDU Fees, as they are assessed by the TDSP, but we do not all pass them through to customers in them the same way. Some bundle the TDU Fees into the rate per kilowatt-hour (kWh) you are charged for your usage, while others have the TDU Fees listed separately (or un-bundled) from the rate per kWh you are charged. Currently, Bounce has the TDU Fees un-bundled from the energy rate in order to provide a more transparent electricity bill – this change in billing practices occurred in Fall 2011.

If you are a current customer with Bounce Energy and you now see “bigger” TDU Fees than what you saw in past bills, technically, your TDU Fees have not increased. The new billing format un-bundles the portion of the fixed TDU Fees and the TDU Fees that are based upon your kilowatt-hour (kWh) usage from the price that Bounce charges you per kWh for the cost of your electricity. The TDU fees are itemized in the gray box on the right hand side of page 2 of your invoice.

In the past, you would have seen a small fixed TDU Fee between $3-4 (approximately) and a larger rate per kWh charged by Bounce. Now, Bounce Energy charges you separately for your kWh usage costs, while passing through the TDU charges assessed by the TDSP for your area. You are only now seeing these changes because the fixed-rate plan you were on where the TDU Fees were bundled has now expired, and the new fixed-rate plan you’re on has the TDU Fees un-bundled.

If you are a new customer with Bounce Energy and you’ve never seen TDU Fees before, please be advised that all energy companies charge customers these fees, but your old company could have passed them through to you in a different way. With Bounce, the energy rate you are charged per kWh for your usage is separate from the TDU Fees that the TDSP for your area charges you to transmit and deliver electricity to your service address.

In either case, the TDU fees are determined and assessed by the TDSP for your area, and Bounce passes them through to customers without mark-up. I would encourage you to view the Electricity Facts Label (EFL) for your plan that was active when you signed up or renewed with Bounce to view the rate/fee breakdown between Bounce and your TDSP / utility company in more detail. You can also visit this link for a more detailed explanation of the TDU Fees on your bill.

For a full list of fees and definitions, you can visit the following sites:
http://www.puc.state.tx.us/consumer/electricity/bill_e.aspx
http://www.puc.state.tx.us/consumer/facts/factsheets/elecfacts/ChargesElectBill.pdf
http://www.puc.state.tx.us/agency/rulesnlaws/subrules/electric/25.475/25.475.pdf

Why haven’t I received the Visa Gift Card that I earned for making 12 consecutive on-time bill payments?

When you choose the Visa Gift Card as your reward for making 12 consecutive on-time bill payments with Bounce, this reward is verified electronically by Mpell Solutions (our third-party rewards vendor). This company contacts you via the e-mail address you submitted when you made your reward selection in your MyAccount Rewards. This confirmation e-mail should come from either bounceenergy@mpell.com or support@mpellincentives.com, and you will need to reply to that e-mail with your service address. You should enter both e-mail addresses as approved senders in your e-mail client to avoid this e-mail being caught in spam filters. After you receive the verification e-mail, you will be allowed 65 days to respond before the offer will be void.

If it has been more than 65 days since you initially selected the Visa Gift Card reward and you still have not received the verification e-mail, please call Mpell Solutions at 1-800-450-1575 to request that your verification e-mail be re-sent to you. You can also send an e-mail to support@mpellincentives.com to ask about the status of your Visa Gift Card reward.

If neither of those methods provides a way for you to redeem your Visa Gift Card reward, please contact Bounce Energy Customer Service at 1-888-452-6862 or customercare@bounceenergy.com so that we can contact Mpell Solutions on your behalf in case they are unable to process the re-sending of your verification e-mail.

I made a payment online through my bank a few days ago. Why hasn’t Bounce applied that payment to my balance?

Bounce does accept payments that you made through your Bank’s online Bill-Pay service. To pay your bill with Bounce using this bank service, log into your online account for your bank. Typically, you can search for companies in your bank’s online bill-pay system under “Add New Payee.” You then need to select Bounce Energy and confirm the 77210 zip code. Please allow for 3-5 business days for Bounce to receive and process your payment via electronic ACH transfer.

However, if you entered Bounce Energy manually (not via a drop-down menu) as a “New Payee” in your online bank bill-pay service, your bank will process this payment as a paper check that is mailed to Bounce Energy. Bounce Energy does not receive these payments electronically. As a result, it can take 7-10 business days for Bounce Energy to receive your payment, and we process your payment the same day that it is received.

Also, not all banks have entered into an agreement with Bounce Energy to process your payment via electronic ACH transfer. If your bank does not allow you to make such payments to Bounce, you will need to contact your bank and request that Bounce be added as a vendor that receives electronic ACH transfers.

Please be advised that your payment by bank bill pay is not processed on the date your bank deducts the payment from your account, but on the date when Bounce Energy receives your payment.

As always, if you have questions, please call Customer Service at 1-888-452-6862 to speak with a representative for assistance. You can also send an e-mail to customercare@bounceenergy.com and receive a reply within 1-2 business days. Finally, you can also visit BounceEnergy.com to speak with a live chat representative. For more details on these and other Frequently Asked Questions, please visit our Ask Bouncey FAQ and Knowledge Center.

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About 

Born and raised in Southeast Texas, Adam P. Newton never acquired the charming accent that most life-long Texans possess in spades, but he’s OK with that. Adam currently creates and curates online content for Direct Energy. Before his career in content marketing, Adam spent several years toiling as a music journalist.

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