The Electric Reliability Council of Texas has been ordered to make some changes to the state's power grid, and this will lead to Texans to foot even higher utility bills. According to Fox 4, these changes wereordered after last year's winter storm that caused severe power outages across Texas.
ERCOT has the capacity for reserve generating, but someone must pay for the standby power, and that falls to the consumers. Fox 4 says the estimate is $685 million or $25 for each customer in the areas covered by ERCO.
AARP Texas says that there needs to be a better system for the public to receive the information and weigh in before these increases are put in place. The increase in fuel costs is also a major factor this year. Electric prices ended up being 65% higher last year and continue to rise this year. As Texas battles with increasing temperatures, ERCOT says they may need to start pulling reserve power by 3 p.m. on Thursday and keep pulling until some time after 9 p.m.
ERCOT is expected to reach an all-time system high of 77,895 megawatts by 5 p.m. on Thursday. That's a little above what ERCOT forcasted for all-time summer peak. The Houston Chronicle reports that ERCOT has already spent half a billion dollars through May buying reserve power. These new conservative operating measures could cost $1.5 billion. ERCOT has said that demand could set a new record, but did not expect any emergency conditions. Demand continues to rise in part to record temperatures and increasing population growth.