Earlier this year, a winter storm hit East Texas and now Texas Gas Service (TGS) wants to charge El Paso and West Texas residents for this event. Gas customers will see an increase in their bills from the February 2021 Winter Storm Uri.
The City reported that TGS and 11 other gas utilities filed a joint application with the Railroad Commission of Texas which allows TGS to recover costs from Winter Storm Uri. The average monthly bill will increase approximately $4.33 per month or $52 per year for the next ten years.
“As a result of an unprecedented increase in demand for natural gas during the storm, and the subsequent spike in natural gas prices, Texas gas utilities supplying consumers and businesses experienced significant cost impacts. In response, the Texas Legislature passed legislation (HB 1520) to allow gas utilities to recover costs associated with the storm by way of adding extra charges on customers’ bills,” city officials shared.
“At the direction of City Council, the City of El Paso has intervened in the proceeding and will represent the interests of the City and residents. As an intervenor, the City has filed testimony asserting that El Paso-based customers are effectively subsidizing costs incurred by gas utilities in other parts of Texas more severely impacted by Winter Storm Uri.” City of El Paso News Release
Residents are encouraged to contact TGS and the Railroad Commission. A hearing is scheduled with the Railroad Commission of Texas on November 2-3, 2021. El Paso residents are encouraged to ask questions and voice their objections and concerns regarding the potential price hike.
Comments from the public should be sent to the following section in Austin.
Hearings Division (Docket OS-7061) | Attn: Sharon Koren
Railroad Commission of Texas
1701 N. Congress
Austin, Texas 78701
According to David Garrett of Resolve Utility Consulting, Oklahoma City Oklahoma, “TGS customers across the State of Texas are being asked to pay over $500 million for TGS’ claimed costs of $256 million.”
“West Texas customers, which include El Paso customers, are being asked to pay more than double the gas costs incurred to provide them service during that storm.”
Residents complained about the poor service of TGS during the storm that impacted a lot of East Texas residents.
“More than two out of three Texans – 69% – lost electricity at some point during Winter Storm Uri last month for an average of 42 hours, while almost half – 49% – lost access to running water for an average of more than two days, according to a report released today by the Hobby School of Public Affairs at the University of Houston. Nearly one-third of people reported water damage in their home.”
Does the additional charge for El Paso residents sound fair to you?