Have you received your energy bill yet? Texans can add another shocker to the cost of living.
The Texas Standard reports, “Residents are seeing a spike in the cost of their home electricity bills this summer—reaching rates as much as 70% higher than this time last year.”
According to NBCDFW, Texans experienced an average increase of 10.5 cents per kilowatt-hour in June 2022 compared to June 2021. That adds about $80 to your monthly electric bill.
Why is there such a huge electric bill hike in Texas?
The war in Ukraine and the increased demand for natural gas top the list of reasons for your energy bill hike, per Mitchell Ferman, an energy expert.
He explained to the Texas Standard, “Texas is a gas state. Texas produces a lot of natural gas. And as a result, that gas is being exported. The demand made home electric bills rise because most power plants in Texas that make electricity run on natural gas.”
Perhaps it seems the simple solution is to produce more gas.
Ferman points to oilfield labor shortages, which present more problems. Also, supply chain challenges make it difficult for companies to get needed equipment to produce natural gas.
Another issue is the supply reserve approach that the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) now uses, which makes electricity production more expensive. According to Ferman, “ERCOT’s new approach to operating the grid means asking power plants to be online and available in case they’re needed… But before the 2021 [devastating] winter storm, power plants ramped up or went offline based on market demand.”
Plus, according to the Texas Tribune, everybody is paying surcharges for that storm.
What you can do in the meantime
The Comprehensive Energy Assistance Program (CEAP) helps low-income Texas residents meet their energy needs. If you or someone you know might qualify for the program, look into it.
In the meantime, conserve as much energy in your home as possible. If you have yet to receive your electric bill, brace yourself for the average $80 increase.
What do you think it will take for energy prices to stop climbing?