Electric bills likely to increase due to winter storm

Local News

RIO GRANDE VALLEY, Texas (KVEO) — Next month you are may be subject to pay a higher electricity bill.

When the winter storm hit the demand was so high for electricity that providers had to go out and buy more at skyrocketing prices. For some, this could raise rates in the future.

“That’ll impact that cost that you pay depending on how they implement it. Maybe it’s a month or it’ll be over a year it will increase their cost, but it won’t be you paying $9,000 dollars a megawatt-hour.”  Says Annette Van Brunt, President/CEO, Van Brunt & Associates

Experts say the majority of customers have a fixed rate and should be ok, but for those who buy electricity at wholesale index pricing, you will pay more.

“If you used power during those days and you were on an index contract, your bill is going to be very high.”  Says Van Brunt

Van Brunt says it’s important to understand your contract. Even if you didn’t use electricity during the outage it’s likely your bills will increase, because of future state mandates.

“Excess capacity in the electric system. It’s likely to mean that firms need to maybe winterize their equipment prior to the next winter storm, and so these are likely cost that’s likely to creep into consumer bills.”  Says Salvador Contreras, Associate Professor of Economics, UTRGV

If you used electricity during the outage you are likely to get a higher bill next month, but experts say it’s because you used more not because the price went up.

“I think the PUC is waiting until the dust settles and I’m not sure yet, I don’t think anyone is on how those costs will be reflected on those customers’ bills.”  Says Van Brunt

Experts also say buyers should be aware as they have received calls from scammers pretending to be from ERCOT.

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