Texas electric rates for commercial and industrial consumers are at their lowest levels of the year. In fact, business electric rates in Texas are now the lowest that they have been since November 2013.

A large factor driving the low Texas electric rates is the relatively mild summer Texas has been enjoying. It has pushed down electric demand, and accordingly, it has pushed down electricity prices. For example, in 2013, Texas saw a peak electric demand during June of over 64,000 MW.  This June, peak demand didn't even crack 60,000 MW.

July was much of the same story, with no exceptional spikes or volatility in electric prices. The lack of volatility has translated into lower retail electric rates for Texas consumers, especially commercial and industrial consumers.

The summer of 2014 started with the prospects of higher rates – from both a higher $7,000/MWh price cap in the wholesale electric market, and a new "Operating Reserves Demand Curve," or price adder, meant to reflect the true cost of electricity when the grid is strained.

But because the weather has been so cool, and power demand has been so low, neither of these two factors have come into play – yet.

However, the low electric rates now available to Texas consumers may be short-lived.  Texas soon may see its first sustained 100-degree weather next week, and that will send electricity demand spiking from greater air conditioning use.

To calm demand increases' impact on electricity prices, retail electric providers are launching demand response programs. However, since the programs have yet to be called into play during a heat wave, their ultimate impact on prices is unknown.

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