Apr 07

University of Houston Works To Keep The Lights On In Texas

The University of Houston has teamed up with Direct Energy and Center Point Energy to ensure that power outages will not happen in the future. When the state was near a total power grid collapse during the latest ice storm, many power companies wanted to find new ways to conserve power and make power production more efficient.

With this new partnership, the companies are working with UH scientists to see how predictions can be made to figure out when the power outages will occur and how they can be prevented. This means that the companies, in tandem with UH, can figure out what a strain can be put on the power grids before they actually collapse. With this information, power companies can prepare for future storms and determine what must be done to prevent power outage issues. With this information, the state’s power grid becomes safer and more secure.



Jul 24

A Propsed Tweak For Texas Electricity Grid Pricing

An energy market consultant testified at a Texas Public Utility Commission that a tweak to the state’s electric grid software could help system stability.  The change would invoke so called scarcity pricing sooner in the day as the available supply in the grid starts to shrink relative to the demand.   This change would allow producers to demand higher prices for the electricity they sell in the open market.

Not surprisingly, the retail electric providers (who would be paying the higher rates) were not crazy about the idea.

According to the Dallas Morning News:

“But there was opposition from the electrical retailers, the public face of the industry.

Raising rates earlier in the day could be disastrous for retailers, testified Sandy Morris, senior manager of government affairs for Direct Energy. Some of that cost would be passed on to consumers, but Morris said that on hot days retailers could face large losses.”

Full Story: “Texas Public Utility Commission ponders stopgap measure for electrical grid

Jun 25

Texas Electricity Usage Peaks for 2013

According to the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, the state set a high for peak electricity demand for the year on Monday.  Electricity demand exceeded 60,000 megawatts on Monday as the grid inched toward the total system capacity of 64,000 megawatts.

Most of the state is experiencing temperatures from the 90’s to, in some cases, over 100.  This is the season of concern for the state’s grid planners.  As summer sets in A/C’s are running all across the state taxing the states limited supply of electric power.

With summer yet to officially begin, this peak will surely be broken again in the weeks to come.  ERCOT could possible call for emergency conservation measures from the state’s power consumers this summer if demand gets too high.


Jan 24

Potential TXU Class Action Lawsuit Alleges Customers Were Over Charged

DALLAS–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Watts Guerra Craft believes that TXU and/or its affiliates may have knowingly overcharged certain residential electricity customers at commercial rates. TXU’s rate-overcharging practices may have affected thousands of unsuspecting Texas residential electricity consumers.

TXU was sued in a class action lawsuit brought in Travis County by owners or management companies of multi-family or housing dwellings/complexes located in TXU service areas, who were charged under a residential or “Business Classic” rate and were assessed sales taxes on electricity provided by TXU for any billing period after July 1, 2002. Thomas Crowson v. TXU Energy Retail Company LLC f/k/a TXU Energy Retail Company, LP, No. D-1-GN-07-003901, in the 126th District Court, Travis County, Texas. TXU later entered into a Stipulation and Agreement of Compromise and Settlement that settled that action.

Currently, Watts Guerra Craft believes that TXU may be subject to an additional lawsuit with regard to rate overcharges, as a different group of potential plaintiffs, residential customers, may have been overcharged in a different area of Texas.


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