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Customer Choice
Shopping For A Provider

Only non-residential customers with at least a 5 MW load will have the ability to choose a Competitive Service Provider (CSP) individually. All other smaller non-residential customers will need to aggregate their load to meet the minimum 5 MW threshold to maintain the ability to choose a CSP.

As you begin to shop for a new electric provider or aggregator, you'll hear some new terms and concepts that are used in when participating in Customer Choice. Being familiar with these terms and concepts will aid you in your selection of a provider. Particularly when discussing and reviewing offers from providers.

Terms & Definitions

The arrival of competition to Virginia's electric utility industry brings with it a new vocabulary.

Aggregator: A person, local government or organization licensed by the SCC that brings together a group of customers and negotiates the price and other details for electric supply service on their behalf.

Competitive Service Provider (CSP): A person or company licensed by the SCC to sell competitive energy services in Virginia.

Competitive Transition Charge: This charge, which may be as low as zero and may vary annually, applies to customers who choose a CSP, and is associated with the transition to competition in the electric industry. This charge is sometimes referred to as a transition charge or wires charge.

Default service: The required provision of electricity supply service by a supplier designated by the SCC, to customers who are unable to shop for a CSP, choose not to shop or sign up with a CSP who at some point fails to perform. Such customers will be served under capped rates until this service is established.

Distribution service: The delivery of electricity to your home or business over AEP Virginia's distribution lines; this service must be purchased from AEP at regulated rates.

Electricity supply service: Consists of generation service and fuel, or when provided together, generation service, fuel and the OATT portion of transmission service. This service may be purchases from a CSP. In exercising the choice to purchase from a CSP, you will be subject to any Commission-approved Competitive Transition Charge in addition to the CSP's charges for electricity supply service.

Local Distribution Company (LDC): The regulated public utility that owns, maintains and operates the distribution lines and other equipment necessary to deliver electricity you; LDCs are regulated by the SCC.

Local utility tax (local consumers tax): A tax, imposed on electricity consumers by most localities of the Commonwealth based on kilowatthours (kWh) used by the consumer.

Price to compare: the price for an electric provider to beat for you to save money. You should use this amount to compare offers from competing providers. The price to compare appears on the monthly bill you receive from AEP Virginia. Your specific price to compare may vary from month to month, depending on how much electricity you use and when you use it. For AEP Virginia customers, the price to compare includes combined costs for generation and transmission services. Not all companies state price to compare in this same manner. Please check to make sure you are comparing similar charges.

State and local consumption tax (VA Electric Consumption Tax): A tax on electricity consumers in the Commonwealth based on kWh used by the consumer and delivered by AEP Virginia.

Transmission service: Consists of transmission service provided under the applicable Open Access Transmission Tariff (OATT) and retail transmission service.

Unbundled service: The separation of generation, open-access transmission, retail transmission and distribution services and possibly other related services into service offerings with separate prices for each.

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