Cities have helped save North Texas electricity customers more than $1 billion as the result of a single regulatory settlement. But pending legislation would make it more difficult for cities to fight unfair rates.
Beginning in 2003 the legislature began diverting money from the System Benefit Fund to support the budget — an accounting move that arguably turned what was a special-purpose fee into a full-fledged tax. It also meant that tens of thousands of low-income Texans ended up paying more for electricity.
Proposed regulatory changes could increase wholesale energy prices during the hottest days of summer. But will the changes bring more generation to Texas?
Lawmakers urge caution as Texas regulators consider actions likely to increase electric utility bills. They note that no study has been conducted as to consumer costs.