Electric Bill FAQ
Will my electric bill cost more?
Nueces Electric Cooperative is unique because we are the only electric cooperative in Texas to voluntarily deregulate. This means that rather than providing distribution services AND selling energy to members at a fixed or variable rate like other co-ops, we opened the NEC territory to competitive power providers in 2005. Since then, members have had the option to choose their retail electric provider from a small list of providers who wish to be considered by NEC members. Nueces Electric Cooperative maintains the distribution lines that serve the homes and businesses within our service territory.
Our rates for these services are based on our tariffs, not on the fluctuating price of electricity on the wholesale market. Your distribution/delivery rates will not go up because of the storm market price spike. However, both rates and usage can cause your bill to be higher. NEC also has components of its rates based on your kilowatt-hour usage and, for some members, their power demand level. Due to the extra electricity used during this event (especially heating systems) you will likely see an increase in your bill due to large increases in usage. When temperatures go down in winter, heating needs go up, which increases energy use in homes and other spaces. Even if a thermostat is kept at the same temperature inside, the heat pump or furnace has to work harder when it gets colder outside - increasing energy use and energy bills as a result. Space heating and water heating are the two biggest drivers of energy use in most households, accounting for over 50% of a home's energy use during the winter months. NEC’s meter data suggest usage for some members has doubled over the previous month. Depending on your chosen power provider, you may see increases in your power provider’s pricing and in turn have a higher electric bill. Power providers have ways to mitigate the impacts of market price spikes and if they manage this well, it does not always mean consumer prices will rise significantly. Please reach out to your retail electric provider for questions regarding your rates and storm impacts on your upcoming electricity bills.
How do I understand my electric bill?
How do I monitor my usage?
Step 1: Open your SmartHub app, if you do not have the app click here to access SmartHub through our website. If you have not set this up before, click on the link for new users. If you don’t remember your login information, there is a link to find that as well.
Step 2: Click on “My Usage” then on “Usage Explorer” and it should open to a graph that looks similar to the one below:
Step 3: You can now view your usage for a period of time, select specific months for more information, as well as use other features available.
Why do I see Kilowatt hour usage (power use) in SmartHub when my electricity was out?
NEC’s system retrieves information from your meter at regular intervals, and those daily readings can be seen in SmartHub under the My Usage tab. During a power interruption, those readings may not be available, and the system estimates your daily usage, which can produce imprecise results in SmartHub. The system we use provides daily readings in SmartHub and is separate from NEC’s billing system, and may be different than the actual usage you will see on your bill. The billing system registers only the total actual Kilowatt hour used at your meter at the end of your billing cycle, which is consistent with actual Kilowatt hour used at your meter.
What if I cannot afford to pay my electric bill?
We will work with you. Contact NEC member services at 361-387-2581 to review payment assistance resources and discuss payment options.