Written on: June 24, 2015
Nearly 90 percent of TCAP’s 169 political subdivisions will receive the checks. Individual disbursements will vary by city, depending upon electric usage and other factors.
“Our coalition is operated by cities and for cities — that’s how we’re able to distribute these rebates,” said Jay Doegey, TCAP’s executive director. “Surplus funds, beyond those needed for reserves, flow back to our members. This is an important benefit of TCAP membership, and one you won’t see offered by for-profit electric companies. TCAP contracts also deliver long-term savings to cities and rock-solid protections against electric market volatility that otherwise wreaks havoc on city budgets.”
TCAP is a non-profit coalition of cities that have joined together to purchase power in bulk for their own governmental use. Backed by the power of its numbers, TCAP negotiates competitively priced energy contracts that also include important member protections. City officials oversee the non-profit coalition.
The reimbursements announced this week are not the first — since 2011, TCAP members have received more than $8 million in refund checks. TCAP members around the Houston area, in South Texas and around the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex were awarded the most recent disbursements. The checks varied in size from a few hundred dollars to tens of thousands of dollars.
For instance, the City of Arlington will receive more than $52,000 in June and has received nearly $500,000 since 2011. Corpus Christi received more than $77,000 this month and approximately $890,000 since 2011. McAllen received more than $30,000 in June and more than $335,000 since 2011. Smaller communities have received smaller checks, such as the more than $9,000 disbursed to the City of Whitney since 2011, the more than $68,000 distributed to Hurst during that time, and the more than $54,000 distributed to the City of Midlothian since 2011.
TCAP, thanks to its unique contract, received refunds from its supplier for technical services procured by the state’s grid operator that cost less than anticipated. The coalition holds back a certain amount to meet contractually required reserves, and then refunds the rest back to members. This is in contrast to for-profit retail electric providers, who typically retain this excess margin.
TCAP member cities in West Texas did not receive refunds in June for reasons relating to power transmission and distribution constraints in the West Zone of the ERCOT grid. However, TCAP member cities in West Texas typically enjoy the lowest energy charges among TCAP members.
TCAP also provides members a number of other important services, including access to professional energy consultants and advocacy before the Texas Legislature and state regulators. Because high energy costs can impact municipal budgets and the ability to fund essential services, TCAP, as part of its mission, actively promotes affordable energy policies. High energy prices also place a burden on local businesses and home consumers.
For more information about TCAP, or to learn how your city can become a member, go to tcaptx.com.