The fallout from winter storm Uri, the February extreme weather event, continues to shape the Texas electricity market, even as we move into the hot summer months. Uri caused approximately 700 deaths, an estimated $18 billion in property insurance claims, and perhaps as much as $129 billion in total economic damage. While the unprecedented weather event is behind us, legislation that aims to address aspects of the Texas energy market is on the forefront, with pending changes that could affect Texas dealers in both the immediate future as well as the long-term.
The Texas legislature finalized several bills related to the Texas energy market of which dealers will want to be made aware. HB 4492 and SB 1580 were sent to Governor Abbott, and he signed both, and they went into effect immediately. The changes made by the bills are projected to increase monthly electricity costs by spreading the costs of the storm to ratepayers over a few decades. The funds will be used to pay for a plan assisting the state’s utilities and Retail Electric Providers (REPs) and provide relief to commercial customers served by REPs during Uri.
Senate bills 2 and 3 were also signed into law by the governor. They focus on the makeup of ERCOT’s board, require electricity and natural gas companies to weatherize energy infrastructure to prevent future disruptions, and call for the creation of a statewide emergency alert system.
As part of the TADA energy procurement program, APPI recently helped several dealers exposed to variable energy prices during Uri by identifying options, negotiating more favorable contract and payment terms, and providing an up-to-date and independent analysis of the dealer’s energy buying strategy. It is important to note that the above information is believed accurate as of publication. The situation remains fluid. As enacted legislation increases in relevancy and impact, and new state agency initiatives are implemented by the Public Utility Commission and ERCOT, APPI will continue updating TADA members. As always, APPI Energy is committed to keeping TADA members informed of energy changes in Texas affecting dealers.