Texas electricity reserves drop, rate hikes likely

August 14, 2019   By Arthur Murray

Texas electricity reserves drop, rate hikes likely

(Aug. 18 update) Wholesale electricity prices continue to be volatile in Texas, with another jump in prices as the Texas heat continues. The latest forecasts don’t show cooler days for the Lone Star State until September. Those wholesale electricity price spikes show up now for customers of electricity marketplaces such as Griddy, which ties rate directly to the wholesale price. They could show up later in retail prices.

(DALLAS, TX, Aug. 14) – A heat wave that has blanketed Texas this week caused electricity operating reserves to drop sharply, forcing the Electricity Reliability Council of Texas to issue a call for energy conservation. The alert, the first issued by ERCOT since January 2014, lasted about 2.5 hours. During that time, wholesale electricity prices soared, which could mean rate increases later this year.

ERCOT officials had warned of potential shortages earlier this year. After a milder beginning to the summer, temperatures have been soaring. For example, Houston’s heat index hit 107 degrees Tuesday.

Wholesale electricity prices, which began the day at about $19 per megawatt hour Tuesday morning, jumped to more than $9,000 per megawatt hour. That likely will mean increases for residential, commercial, and industrial electricity in the near future. Residential electricity rates in Dallas today ranged from 7.1 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh) to 14.1 cents/kWh.

How to beat the rate increase

Lock in electricity rates today using the SaveOnEnergy.com® marketplace. You can set your rate for as long as three years. One warning: If you are currently under a contract, you could face an early termination fee.

There’s still plenty of hot weather left this year, which could drive prices higher. Act today to see whether you can lock in a great rate.