A Consumer’s Guide to Supply Side Transmission Charges in PJM

A Consumer’s Guide to Supply Side Transmission Charges in PJM


Have you ever wondered what makes up your fixed all-in supply rate? It's not just about the electrons you use. Your bill also includes various additional costs that help ensure electricity is delivered to you reliably and safely. These charges support activities such as enhancing grid stability, advancing clean energy initiatives, and maintaining and expanding transmission infrastructure. Let’s explore two key components of your energy bill to better understand the full scope of what you're paying for.

In this blog, we'll dissect two vital components of the PJM Interconnection—a regional entity that manages energy distribution across 13 states: the Network Integration Transmission Service (NITS) and the Regional Transmission Expansion Plan (RTEP). While these terms may sound unfamiliar, they are fundamental to both the reliability of your electricity and the amount you pay for it. We will cover what NITS and RTEP are and their impact on your electricity costs.

PJM Transmission Zones

Source: PJM Interconnection

What is PJM Network Integrated Transmission Service (NITS)?

The PJM NITS ensures the smooth operation and reliability of the vast electric grid across multiple states. Here's what it does for you:

  • Cost Recovery: NITS acts as a financial tool that helps recover the costs associated with the use, maintenance, and enhancement of the transmission system.
  • Fee Structure: Electricity providers, known as Load-Serving Entities (LSEs), pay fees based on their usage of the transmission network. These fees are then used to ensure the transmission system can handle both current and future demands.
  • Direct Impact: This means that the more electricity your area consumes, especially during peak times, the higher the NITS fees could be. This directly affects how much you pay for your electricity.

By understanding the role of NITS, you can better anticipate changes in your electricity bills and consider ways to reduce your peak time usage, potentially lowering your costs.

What is the PJM Regional Transmission Expansion Plan (RTEP)?

The RTEP is PJM's proactive strategy to ensure the future reliability and efficiency of the electricity transmission network. Here’s how it directly affects you:

  • Future-Proofing the Grid: RTEP focuses on identifying and implementing necessary upgrades and additions to the transmission system. This includes integrating new power sources and updating aging infrastructure, which are imperative for maintaining system reliability as demand grows.
  • Planning and Projects: The plan involves detailed project proposals for constructing new transmission lines and upgrading existing ones. These projects are designed to handle expected increases in electricity demand and to meet stricter environmental and regulatory standards.
  • Impact on Costs: Although RTEP is essential for long-term reliability, the capital expenditures for these projects can lead to fluctuations in the charges you see on your electricity bill. These costs are typically passed through to consumers but are intended to prevent more significant expenses and disruptions that could occur without these investments.

By understanding RTEP, you can better appreciate the necessity of these investments in infrastructure, even though they might lead to variable costs in the short term. These efforts not only ensure a stable supply of electricity but also support the integration of renewable energy sources, aligning with broader environmental goals.

We've explored how PJM's NITS and RTEP impact your electricity costs and reliability. NITS manages operational expenses, while RTEP focuses on future infrastructure needs. Understanding these services helps you anticipate and manage cost changes, keeping you informed about your energy expenses.

For additional information please contact us to schedule a quick call.