Higher Energy Prices sought by PUC to Protect against Blackouts
Texas electricity consumers should prepare to pay higher energy prices from this summer if a new policy under consideration is passed.
What the PUC proposes
Plagued by frequent blackouts and energy shortages in the past, especially during the months of summer, Public Utility Commission (PUC) of Texas has hinted at considering price rises to address the growing concern over Texas’s energy reserves. This state agency, which is in charge of overseeing the electricity market of Texas, signaled in April this year that it may opt for new rules to address the power problem. However, the PUC stood by the expected price rise which the new rules may trigger, as the excess money is set to support additional generation construction. This, the PUC believes, will not only solve the existing power problem, but also help secure the framework needed to meet requirements in the future.
Here’s an overview of some of the proposals set to be considered by the PUC:
• Price cap set to increase: By August, the price cap in the wholesale energy market may be increased to $4,500 per MW/hour, which will be far higher than the present cap of $3,000.
• More price cap rise in future: During the forthcoming years, the PUC would consider increasing the cap further, and it may ultimately exceed $10,000. If this happens, the Texas price cap would become more than similar caps existent elsewhere in the US. What’s more, it could bring the state in line with Australia, where an extremely high cap of $12,500 MW/hour exists.
Impact of these proposals
Though PUC can’t help but consider these proposals to address the state’s ongoing generation challenges, there’s already panic amongst household and businesses as Texas electricity price rise will hit both these sectors considerably. So, whether you are a commercial client or a household one, brace yourself to pay much more for meeting your Texas electricity needs.
Some opponents of these proposals say that the changed rules will only help power generators, who will be making truckloads of money by milking the common man. Creating a panic wave amongst Texas electricity consumers is also criticized by some experts monitoring the Texas electricity scene.
Since Texas electricity rates will rise sooner or later, it pays to adhere to simple rules of power conservation and if possible, switch to solar power to meet some of your needs. However, the government should encourage such practices by offering tax rebates and discounts.
As far the PUC is concerned, it will have to take some decisions that won’t go down well with the public, but are in the interest of the state nonetheless. Still, it’s the responsibility of PUC to look for the most cost-effective solution that doesn’t create an unnecessary financial burden on its citizens. In fact, cost of Texas electricity and reliability/feasibility of the new rules in the long run should both be considered before giving the seal of approval to the proposals.
So, only time will tell how Texas electric consumers are affected, depending on what the PUC decides to do about the state’s power scenario.
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