Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Texas: Electric customers could pay dearly for blackouts
wfaa.com ^ | 2/3/2011 | JASON WHITELY

Posted on 02/12/2011 11:49:58 AM PST by dragnet2

DALLAS — Customers who are not locked into a contract with their retail electric provider could end up with much higher bills after rolling blackouts in many parts of the state on Wednesday.

"The people on variable rate plans are probably going to see the worst of it," said Tom Smith, state director of the watchdog group Public Citizen, Inc. "Their bills are going to go up to reflect the very high prices that were paid on Wednesday morning."

Electricity gets bought and sold daily.

Retail providers like TXU buy extra wholesale electricity from power plants scattered around Texas.

On most days, Smith said, providers pay about $45 per megawatt hour. The Electric Reliability Counci of Texas said a single megawatt can power 200 homes during extreme temperatures.

But during the rolling blackouts on Wednesday morning, the price of wholesale electricity skyrocketed. Power plants charged providers the maximum: $3,000 a megawatt hour.

That's 66 times higher than usual.

Customers without contracts are billed based on the fluctuating market prices. That means next month's bill could be big.

Does that mean $50 to $100 more? Smith said it's hard to tell.

"How much will depend on how cold the rest of February is."

It will also hinge on whether the state faces more rolling blackouts.

Customers who are locked into a contract will see a much smaller increase in their next contract, though it will likely be unidentifiable, experts said.

(Excerpt) Read more at wfaa.com ...


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: texas
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-74 next last
That's 66 times higher than usual.

Good grief!

1 posted on 02/12/2011 11:50:11 AM PST by dragnet2
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: thackney

Thought you might be interested!


2 posted on 02/12/2011 11:51:25 AM PST by dragnet2 (Diversion and evasion are tools of deceit)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: dragnet2

I avoid variable plans like the plague.


3 posted on 02/12/2011 11:52:59 AM PST by Tolsti2
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: dragnet2
My power's out all morning that day and I get charged extra for it?

Who's in charge over there - Obama?

4 posted on 02/12/2011 11:54:07 AM PST by grobdriver (Proud Member, Party Of No! No Socialism - No Fascism - Nobama - No Way!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: dragnet2
That is what we get for building government sponsored windmills instead of reliable nukes...
5 posted on 02/12/2011 11:54:33 AM PST by El Laton Caliente (NRA Life Member & www.Gunsnet.net Moderator)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: dragnet2

The Texas Utility Commission should have been fired the day after the black-outs for not doing their job. The power plants that froze up because of lax winterizing should have to pay for the outrageous rate hike. The customers should not have to pay for the negligence of these money grubbers when all the consumers did was try to keep their elderly and children warm.


6 posted on 02/12/2011 11:55:24 AM PST by kittymyrib
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Tolsti2

Or those plans like in CA where you give them permission to control your thermostat during times of high usage for a few cents off...No way.....The AHs will turn around and charge more anyway...


7 posted on 02/12/2011 11:55:30 AM PST by dragnet2 (Diversion and evasion are tools of deceit)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: dragnet2

Maybe Texans will wake up and stop electing open-border RINO scum like Kay Bailey, Cornyn and Rick Perry. They are all LBJ Republicans. Scum.


8 posted on 02/12/2011 11:56:04 AM PST by Frantzie (HD TV - Total Brain-washing now in High Def. 3-D Coming soon)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Frantzie

Good luck...Half the population in CA seems to be drooling in cups...The other half seem to work in government in one form or another and are on the government payroll...Of course this goes for about half the U.S. population now...


9 posted on 02/12/2011 11:59:15 AM PST by dragnet2 (Diversion and evasion are tools of deceit)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: kittymyrib

Amen. FIRE THEM ALL!


10 posted on 02/12/2011 12:06:14 PM PST by tennmountainman
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: dragnet2

What we need is for Obama to shut down the coal industry and force us all to drive electric cars and that way, no house will have electricity. heh


11 posted on 02/12/2011 12:07:35 PM PST by GeronL (http://www.stink-eye.net/forum/index.php for FR backup site!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: dragnet2

It’s a scam whether you are locked into those contracts or not. I have been on them and every time I do my prices do not go lower as was told to me by the rep. They suddenly go higher with them giving excuses.


12 posted on 02/12/2011 12:08:09 PM PST by freekitty (Give me back my conservative vote; then find me a real conservative to vote for)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: GeronL

“If I’m elected, the price of energy will skyrocket.”

A campaign promise The One has kept.


13 posted on 02/12/2011 12:10:15 PM PST by 17th Miss Regt
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: dragnet2

Here in PA I kind of liked the way it was when the electric co generated their own electricity, it was consistent for an extended period, and they were a monopoly that had to prove they needed a rate increase. But then politicos got together with the lobbyists and helped us out with residential electric deregulation, which effectively became a license to raise rates at will. My rates are up almost 35-40% in the last year. Who is benefiting?


14 posted on 02/12/2011 12:11:26 PM PST by apoliticalone (America for Americans, not government for corporatists)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: dragnet2

Here is one area that I think should be price controlled by one State agency. All electricity created should be considered a necessity for life. All power plants should be under control of the States for construction and type of energy to create this power. Everything should be taken out of control of the Federal Government.The sale of power should be allowed to cross State lines which could be subject to competition. This damn Federal control is destroying America.


15 posted on 02/12/2011 12:11:52 PM PST by Logical me
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Logical me

Looks like I got it wrong. Sorry.


16 posted on 02/12/2011 12:15:28 PM PST by Logical me
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: Frantzie

Maybe Texans will wake up and stop electing open-border RINO scum like Kay Bailey, Cornyn and Rick Perry. They are all LBJ Republicans. Scum.


Rick Perry is the biggest scuz of all of them....one minute he is pushing Open Borders/North American Union....the next minute he pushes the 10th Amendment. He cant keep the lights on, but can keep the borders open


17 posted on 02/12/2011 12:16:53 PM PST by UCFRoadWarrior (Newt Gingrich and Chris Matthews: Seperated at Birth??)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: UCFRoadWarrior

Texas has the most deregulated, free market electric power grid in the nation.


18 posted on 02/12/2011 12:17:46 PM PST by SeeSac
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: GeronL
Electric cars...lol

That way they can *easily* restrict travel in the U.S....

19 posted on 02/12/2011 12:18:28 PM PST by dragnet2 (Diversion and evasion are tools of deceit)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: Logical me
The sale of power should be allowed to cross State lines which could be subject to competition. This damn Federal control is destroying America.

It is allowed.

20 posted on 02/12/2011 12:19:22 PM PST by SeeSac
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: apoliticalone

I do not know the situation in PA so I cannot comment on the specific causes of your rate increases. In the long run, market control of energy production under reasonable (cost benefit considerations) environmental constraints will result in lower rates and improved service. The problem with deregulation is that politicians have put onerous constraints on the industry. In Texas, environmentalists and politicians persuaded the utility commission to cancel plans to build coal fired plants and substitute wind power with far flung transmission lines. Political control is the cause of the blackouts, not market forces.


21 posted on 02/12/2011 12:19:45 PM PST by businessprofessor
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: dragnet2
I am one of those in Texas with a variable rate.

I'm sure I'll take a bit of a hit on the rate for this past month. But with gas heat our electric usage is nothing compared to August.

My variable rate is tied to the price of gas. In general, the amount of shale gas coming onto the market has saved me a lot over the last few years.

I'll accept the hit this month.

22 posted on 02/12/2011 12:22:04 PM PST by thackney (life is fragile, handle with prayer (biblein90days.org))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: kittymyrib
The Texas Utility Commission should have been fired the day after the black-outs for not doing their job. The power plants that froze up because of lax winterizing should have to pay for the outrageous rate hike. The customers should not have to pay for the negligence of these money grubbers when all the consumers did was try to keep their elderly and children warm.

Texas has a free market utility system. Customers pay lower rates because they don't award idle plants. No idle plants, no backups. You are posting from emotion rather than from facts.

23 posted on 02/12/2011 12:22:17 PM PST by SeeSac
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: SeeSac
"Power plants charged providers the maximum: $3,000 a megawatt hour."

Who sets this maximum?

24 posted on 02/12/2011 12:23:35 PM PST by James C. Bennett (An Australian.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: thackney
My variable rate is tied to the price of gas. In general, the amount of shale gas coming onto the market has saved me a lot over the last few years. I'll accept the hit this month.

Finally some one that posts the truth!

25 posted on 02/12/2011 12:23:39 PM PST by SeeSac
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: James C. Bennett
Who sets this maximum?

The free market.

26 posted on 02/12/2011 12:24:31 PM PST by SeeSac
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

To: thackney
I'll accept the hit

I would guess, you have no choice in the matter.

27 posted on 02/12/2011 12:25:18 PM PST by dragnet2 (Diversion and evasion are tools of deceit)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: dragnet2

I should have said, I won’t grumble about it, at least not out loud.

I gambled a while ago and talked my wife into accepting the risk. It has been good for us, even if we pay double rates this month.


28 posted on 02/12/2011 12:28:02 PM PST by thackney (life is fragile, handle with prayer (biblein90days.org))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 27 | View Replies]

To: dragnet2

The jug eared Kenyan has been denying Texas permits for coal burning power plants. This falls under sabotage by a traitor.


29 posted on 02/12/2011 12:30:02 PM PST by dennisw (- - - -He who does not economize will have to agonize - - - - - Confucius)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: grobdriver

Stop drilling for oil and natural gas, close coal mines and coal generating plants, mothball nuclear plant construction projects, build windmills which freeze and solar generated electricity panels which go to sleep at the most critical time....this seems to be the so-called “green” plan and what does it get us....big, no that should be enormous, energy bills. How’s that “hope and change” working out? It is like being in a nightmare dream and not being able to wake up.


30 posted on 02/12/2011 12:31:51 PM PST by jennings2004 (Sarah Palin: "The bright light at the end of a very dark tunnel!")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: dragnet2
I know this winter has been very cold but I don't recall electric power blackouts due to excessive demand in previous winters. And it's hard to believe there's more load on the power grid on a cold day, when a most folks heat with natural gas or propane, than on a hot summer day when everyone is running A/C. Something's not adding up.

I've read that the blackouts were due to wind power plants not producing much electrical power during the freeze. If this winter was a harbinger of a new little ice age, we'd better get cracking on new nuke plants pronto!

31 posted on 02/12/2011 12:32:35 PM PST by Menehune56 ("Let them hate so long as they fear" (Oderint Dum Metuant), Lucius Accius, (170 BC - 86 BC))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: dennisw
China is expanding by leaps and bounds....Here in the U.S. were having trouble keeping the power on....

None of this is a mistake....Like our lawless borders, and destruction of our economy... it's all by design

32 posted on 02/12/2011 12:33:48 PM PST by dragnet2 (Diversion and evasion are tools of deceit)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 29 | View Replies]

To: Menehune56
I know this winter has been very cold but I don't recall electric power blackouts due to excessive demand in previous winters. And it's hard to believe there's more load on the power grid on a cold day, when a most folks heat with natural gas or propane, than on a hot summer day when everyone is running A/C. Something's not adding up.

1. Some plants were not properly winterized leading to shutdowns.
2. More plants have maintenance outages in the winter.
3. NG plants did not get their supplies due to diverting to higher usage residential customers trying to keep their houses warm.
Reduced electrical output meant less power to NG pumping reducing NG supplies.

33 posted on 02/12/2011 12:35:47 PM PST by SeeSac
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 31 | View Replies]

To: dragnet2
I would guess, you have no choice in the matter.

You guess wrong.

34 posted on 02/12/2011 12:37:11 PM PST by SeeSac
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 27 | View Replies]

To: Menehune56

Recent Blackouts in Texas were caused by multiple plants knocked offline due to the cold, combined with multiple plants down for scheduled maintenance, due to the typically low peak demand.

But a heck of a lot of space heaters get pulled out and plugged in when a place like Houston gets to the mid 20’s.


35 posted on 02/12/2011 12:37:44 PM PST by thackney (life is fragile, handle with prayer (biblein90days.org))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 31 | View Replies]

To: SeeSac
3. NG plants did not get their supplies due to diverting to higher usage residential customers trying to keep their houses warm.

Do you have a link to any information on that? I didn't see those.

Reduced electrical output meant less power to NG pumping reducing NG supplies.

Nearly all of out Natural Gas supply is Natural Gas powered. Only a few location use electric drive compression.

36 posted on 02/12/2011 12:42:59 PM PST by thackney (life is fragile, handle with prayer (biblein90days.org))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 33 | View Replies]

To: SeeSac

You would think that the power execs would be a little bit smarter on how they handle this. Charging folks $3000 per hour might be allowed, but if the result of doing so is that the commission reduces the maximum to $100 or $200 per KWH, aren’t you cutting off your nose to spite your face?

But I guess top management at these power companies is just like top management everywhere, including government. Not the brightest bulbs.


37 posted on 02/12/2011 12:45:55 PM PST by Brilliant
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 26 | View Replies]

To: dragnet2

I thought this scam was ended with Enron?


38 posted on 02/12/2011 1:00:24 PM PST by fortheDeclaration (When the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn (Pr.29:2))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SeeSac
Texas has the most deregulated, free market electric power grid in the nation.
And they were the only state without electricity when needed most. Also, unless things have changed, not all of Texas is deregulated.
39 posted on 02/12/2011 1:18:05 PM PST by lewislynn ( What does the global warming movement and the Fairtax movement have in commom? Misinformation)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: Brilliant
You would think that the power execs would be a little bit smarter on how they handle this. Charging folks $3000 per hour might be allowed, but if the result of doing so is that the commission reduces the maximum to $100 or $200 per KWH, aren’t you cutting off your nose to spite your face?

Only, they aren't charging folks $3000 per (kw) hour.

40 posted on 02/12/2011 1:19:18 PM PST by SeeSac
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 37 | View Replies]

To: SeeSac
Who sets this maximum?
The free market.
LOL!
41 posted on 02/12/2011 1:20:13 PM PST by lewislynn ( What does the global warming movement and the Fairtax movement have in commom? Misinformation)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 26 | View Replies]

To: thackney

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-bloggers/2672097/posts


42 posted on 02/12/2011 1:21:30 PM PST by SeeSac
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 36 | View Replies]

To: dragnet2

It is called SUPPLY and DEMAND! You demand more than the company can supply so they must buy more power on the Free Market.

Wish you had all those canceled coal plants now don’t you instead of froze up wind generators standing like monuments to Green stupidity!


43 posted on 02/12/2011 1:24:15 PM PST by Ruy Dias de Bivar (I visited GEN TOMMY FRANKS Military Museum in HOBART, OKLAHOMA! Well worth it!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: thackney

http://www.dallasnews.com/news/state/headlines/20110206-freeze-knocked-out-coal-plants-and-natural-gas-supplies-leading-to-blackouts.ece


44 posted on 02/12/2011 1:24:35 PM PST by SeeSac
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 36 | View Replies]

To: SeeSac

Yes, I see, it says megawatt hour. So that means they are charging $3 per KWH?


45 posted on 02/12/2011 1:27:29 PM PST by Brilliant
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 40 | View Replies]

To: Ruy Dias de Bivar
Wish you had all those canceled coal plants now don’t you instead of froze up wind generators standing like monuments to Green stupidity!

Reports say the wind generators didn't freeze and held up quite well.

46 posted on 02/12/2011 1:33:05 PM PST by SeeSac
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 43 | View Replies]

To: Brilliant
Yes, I see, it says megawatt hour. So that means they are charging $3 per KWH?

That is the wholesale rate for short-term peak demand. That cost is passed to the consumers in various rate plans. During that peak time only a small portion is bought at that rate meaning the average price only goes up a small amount. That and the freeze only lasted a couple of days and the customer would only see a small increase in his monthly bill. But it gets big headlines ...

47 posted on 02/12/2011 1:39:37 PM PST by SeeSac
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 45 | View Replies]

To: SeeSac

***Reports say the wind generators didn’t freeze and held up quite well.***

Last week it was said they quit because of not enough wind. One thing about these, even when not turning they eat up outside power to keep bearings warm and windings dry.


48 posted on 02/12/2011 1:40:54 PM PST by Ruy Dias de Bivar (I visited GEN TOMMY FRANKS Military Museum in HOBART, OKLAHOMA! Well worth it!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 46 | View Replies]

To: 17th Miss Regt
WORTH REPEATING

“If I’m elected, the price of energy will skyrocket.”

A campaign promise The One has kept.

49 posted on 02/12/2011 1:44:51 PM PST by TribalPrincess2U (They don't need to do another 911. They have BHO.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: SeeSac

I see. So it’s propaganda.


50 posted on 02/12/2011 1:46:47 PM PST by Brilliant
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 47 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-74 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson