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Are the Texas Escapees parks affected by variable rates? Or to put it differently, are individual residents direct electricity customers or are the parks resellers?

Edited by jbh
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On 2/25/2021 at 9:44 AM, jbh said:

Are the Texas Escapees parks affected by variable rates?

While I can't say with certainty, I will say that I highly doubt that they are on a variable rate since they quote you a price for Kwh when you arrive. That would not be likely to be the case if they were not on a fixed rate. 

4 minutes ago, rynosback said:

As it is the state electric board that set the fees aloud to be charged by the power companies. 

I have no idea what you mean by this? The people who have seen the outrageous bills that the news media has made sound like typical are only those on a variable rate and most are from 1 particular company, Griddy.

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1 hour ago, Kirk W said:

The people who have seen the outrageous bills that the news media has made sound like typical are only those on a variable rate and most are from 1 particular company, Griddy.

It is amazing, isn't it?  There are relatively few people impacted by these variable rates, yet folks seem to think it is everyone in Texas.  The folks affected have specifically opted into this "market-based" rate structure, and have no doubt saved money up till now. I have a close friend that got bit by this, and I joked with him that he'd probably been saving $10 per month up until this point!

I suspect that some relief will come to these folks and the system will get adjusted to prevent this in the future. Most folks that I know will see electric bills similar to those seen in the hot part of the summer, assuming that they using electric to heat. A great number of folks in Texas heat with natural gas or propane and so this isn't an issue for them.

But that isn't as much fun to report or talk about, is it??

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1 hour ago, mptjelgin said:

The folks affected have specifically opted into this "market-based" rate structure, and have no doubt saved money up till now. I have a close friend that got bit by this, and I joked with him that he'd probably been saving $10 per month up until this point!

I suspect that some relief will come to these folks and the system will get adjusted to prevent this in the future.

I'm curious about what this relief will look like.  Will they have to account for the savings they'd gotten until the big spike?  Especially during the high-electric-use summer months?  If not, they will have gotten the benefit of the lower electricity costs without any of the risk, and that doesn't seem fair.  Well, to those who didn't enter into these risky arrangements, anyway.

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What I've read is that during the worst of the "crisis" the governing agency, ERCOT, pegged the wholesale rate at an exceedingly high level to entice power producers to put power onto the grid.  That very high price is what is being passed along to some individuals.  The problem as I see it is that this rate wasn't market-driven, it was totally arbitrary.  

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1 hour ago, docj said:

The problem as I see it is that this rate wasn't market-driven, it was totally arbitrary.  

Interesting, as there has been nothing of that sort on the news in this area, or it wasn't there many times and I completely missed it. What I did hear was that most of the variable rate companies charge just as the spot market rate fluxuates, even from hour to hour. That brings a much lower rate much of the time with occasional spikes, under normal circumstances. With the problems TX was having, what power was available from the spot market was said to have risen astronomically during the blackout times. 

2 hours ago, Blues said:

I'm curious about what this relief will look like. 

I share that curiosity and have been watching the news reports to see what develops. 

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8 hours ago, Kirk W said:

While interesting reading, the Wall Street Journal is hardly a local news source. After reading it twice, I am wondering if we read the same story?

Is there something wrong with reading national news sources rather than local ones?  

Here's the lead paragraph from that article:

Hours into widespread blackouts in Texas last week, the state’s power regulator took an unusual step: It stopped relying on the deregulated market to set electricity prices and did so itself.

The Texas Public Utility Commission said it raised prices to a market cap of $9,000 per megawatt hour during a six-minute emergency meeting Feb. 15, up from recent prices as low as $1,200 a megawatt hour, because the computer that was supposed to help match supply and demand on the power grid wasn’t working properly, and it needed to intervene to relieve a growing crisis.

The utility regulating agency Ercot raised the wholesale price rather than relying on market forces to set it.  This resulted in a huge increase in the wholesale "spot" price which is the reason some customers are seeing huge spikes in their electric billa.

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What's missing from the market rate electricity scheme is real time notification to customers of the going rate and the option to refuse making that purchase even if it means temporarily disconnecting from the grid.  This would accomplish the goal of lessening the load during times of extreme demand and could be accomplished via networked smart meters programmed with a "do not exceed" price.  Of course, this assumes the business or individual has backup plans for when grid access is interrupted.

There's nothing inherently wrong with market rate energy purchases, as long as you know what you're paying in advance.  We do this every time we put gas in our car's tank.  Not knowing the price until after the purchase is completed is the crazy part.

Edited by Lou Schneider
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Absolutely not as I read many of them on a regular basis, but you challenged my statement that it had not been in local news. There has been much more about the subject locally over the days since you posted that.

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