A report released this month, The Story of ERCOT, details the history of Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT). The report comes at an interesting time for ERCOT, which is under fire following the recent statewide, rolling blackouts.
The Texas Public Utility Commission (PUC) and key state legislative committees are continuing their inquiries into the causes and handling of the forced outages, and ERCOT will likely be faced with hard questions.
ERCOT manages the flow of electric power to 22 million Texas customers – representing 85 percent of the state’s electric load and 75 percent of the Texas land area, making it one of the most powerful institutions in the state. The new report examines the history and operations of the organization and has documented inefficiencies and poor management.
Key findings from the report include:
- The ERCOT organization has a history of mismanaging major projects. A management scandal in 2004 led to several convictions.
- Although consumers directly or indirectly finance all ERCOT operations and residential consumers account for most energy consumption in Texas, consumer representatives remain a minority on the board
- ERCOT still remains exempt from the Texas Public Information Act, and the organization’s current disclosure policies provide less transparency than that which is required of state agencies.
Click here to read The Story of ERCOT in its entirety.
The 110-page report was commissioned by the Steering Committee of Cities Served by Oncor and the Texas Coalition for Affordable Power, which represent more than 160 cities and political subdivisions in Texas.
Is a policy analyst for TCAP, a coalition of cities and other political subdivisions that purchase electricity in the deregulated market for their own governmental use. 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.