Utility Commission Approves Energy Price Hike
The Public Utility Commission of Texas voted today to increase the wholesale price cap for a megawatt of power, meaning Texans may soon pay more for their electricity.
The wholesale price of electricity had been capped at $3,000 per megawatt hour. Under the new rule, that will rise to $4,500. It’s meant to make the business of selling power in Texas more profitable. Supporters say that’s necessary to encourage investment in new power plants. The final vote at the PUC was two in favor with one abstention.
PUC Chair Donna Nelson voted in favor of the increase.
“We don’t require the building of generation in Texas,” Nelson said. “We set up the market forces so that generators want to come to Texas.”
But critics point out that the hike will likely hit consumers in their pocketbooks. Estimates of that increase have varied widely – from a 2 percent hike per household to an increase amounting to $200 for every person in Texas.
The move has also come under fire from those who argue that the Texas energy crunch could be answered by greater conservation.