Cooperative News

The truth about transmission costs

How they affect your bill and ways to save

If you look at your electric bill, you’ll notice an itemized line for transmission costs (TCOS or Transmission Cost of Service). These costs are set by the Public Utility Commission of Texas, not PEC — and are based on the cost incurred for accessing the state’s transmission system to deliver power.

Every year, transmission providers look at 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 2-7 p.m. These times are referred to as Four Coincident Peak (4CP) events and they determine PEC’s share of our statewide transmission costs the following year. If PEC members use a high amount of energy 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.

“Each and every PEC member can help keep our transmission costs low by conserving energy during peak times of the summer,” said PEC’s Vice President of Markets David Thompson. “If we all do our part to shift our energy use during Power Rush Hour, we can save as a cooperative.”

For most residential members, the transmission costs make up about 12% of their total electric bill.

Although transmission costs have been historically rising, members can work together to use less energy during peak times. By shifting your energy use outside of peak times of 2-7 p.m., you’ll help us all save.

Follow these tips today to save on transmission costs next year.

  • If you’re home, set your thermostat to 78 degrees or higher.
  • When you leave your home, raise your thermostat an additional 3-5 degrees.
  • Shift use of large appliances.
  • Close shades and drapes during the day.
  • Use ceiling fans to feel cooler, but then turn them off when you leave the room — fans cool people not spaces.

More savings tips at