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Texas may TRIPLE power prices this summer!

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posted on Jun, 1 2012 @ 02:34 PM
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My apologies if this is in the right forum, I wasn't sure where it fit exactly.

Source: Bloomberg



Texas utility commissioners and grid operators are studying whether to triple power prices that already are the highest in the U.S to encourage power-plant construction and avoid blackouts that could be triggered by shortages as early as 2014.


Yes, it does say that blackouts and shortages may not happen until 2014, but this article is discussing the raising of prices for this summer, 2012.



In 2006, the Public Utility Commission of Texas raised its cap on wholesale power prices to $3,000 per megawatt hour. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which doesn’t have oversight of the state’s grid operator, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, caps pricing in other parts of the country at $1,000 per megawatt hour.


The power price of $3k per megawatt hour is already three times higher than what most of the rest of the country pays. However,



Still short of power, state regulators have proposed raising the maximum price Texas generators can charge during periods of heaviest demand to $4,500 per megawatt-hour as of Aug. 1, and tripling peak pricing to $9,000 per megawatt hour by 2015.


This price is looking to be increased to $4.5k in August 2012, and rise all the way $9k by 2015, that's nine times what pretty much everyone else is paying folks.

You may be thinking "well turn the air conditioner off then!" or something like that. Please understand it is actually a hazard for Texans to be without AC during the hottest times. People die every summer in houses without, it is just too hot.

As a Texan in a small house, 1200 square feet, my electric bill is around $250.00 in the summer. If "peak hours" -and who defines when those are, exactly?- triple, my bill could probably easily double! That's more than my mortgage payment is! And let me tell you, I already only use the light in the room I'm in, only run a full washer/dishwasher, have the new LED bulbs, a metal roof, etc. We also have enough money to support ourselves. A doubled or more AC bill will throw us into a precarious area...what will it do to the millions of people here already struggling?!




posted on Jun, 1 2012 @ 02:37 PM
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How in the world is your electric bill $250?
I live in Texas and my bill is never over $80.
Even in the summer.



posted on Jun, 1 2012 @ 02:43 PM
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Originally posted by GmoS719
How in the world is your electric bill $250?
I live in Texas and my bill is never over $80.
Even in the summer.


I don't know, what are you doing exactly? I lived in a 800 square foot apartment between 2000-2006, my bill ranged from $200-$300 in the summer. Third floor though. Moved into a house 1300 square feet 2006-2010, bill went to around $180-$275. Now this house 2010 and on, it's always above $220, I think my highest last year was like $258 and that was in July.

Everyone I know pays the same as I do, what city are you in? If you don't want to say, that's fine. I'm not saying!

My mother's house is 4000+ square feet and they pay like $500+ from June/July or so through August.

In the winter it's about $80 though.

Oh.....do you have those new meters in your area yet?



posted on Jun, 1 2012 @ 02:47 PM
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That's what happens when people build houses from modem materials, I would highly suggest looking into old world building materials mainly adobe. Using adobe building materials in an area like Texas would substantially reduce the need for both heating and cooling in areas such as Texas.



posted on Jun, 1 2012 @ 02:49 PM
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Try and save what money you can and consider going solar, if they are going to triple the bills, just pretend they already have and start saving the extra it would cost.
Then by the time they raise it, the panel prices and efficiencies will have come down and gone up respectively, and you will be offsetting any cost increases by generating your own.
Texas sounds like a great place to be generating your own solar power.



posted on Jun, 1 2012 @ 02:51 PM
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Originally posted by Ameilia

Originally posted by GmoS719
How in the world is your electric bill $250?
I live in Texas and my bill is never over $80.
Even in the summer.


I don't know, what are you doing exactly? I lived in a 800 square foot apartment between 2000-2006, my bill ranged from $200-$300 in the summer. Third floor though. Moved into a house 1300 square feet 2006-2010, bill went to around $180-$275. Now this house 2010 and on, it's always above $220, I think my highest last year was like $258 and that was in July.

Everyone I know pays the same as I do, what city are you in? If you don't want to say, that's fine. I'm not saying!

My mother's house is 4000+ square feet and they pay like $500+ from June/July or so through August.

In the winter it's about $80 though.

Oh.....do you have those new meters in your area yet?


I'm in west texas. I usually only run one A/C during the summer. That might be the reason.
Either way, a hike in prices by that much is going to leave me broke!



posted on Jun, 1 2012 @ 02:53 PM
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reply to post by GmoS719
 



How in the world is your electric bill $250?
I live in Texas and my bill is never over $80.
Even in the summer.


Better knock on wood my friend! Obama and the EPA are bringing hell down on companies that use coal, (Cap and Trade) and it is going to be very expensive, very soon! He said it, not me! For those of you who can't view it, he comes right out and says, "If someone wants to build a coal powered plant, they can, but it will bankrupt them!".



edit on 1-6-2012 by seeker1963 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 1 2012 @ 02:53 PM
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Hmmmm. . . . . . .



ETA; great minds. . . . .
edit on 1-6-2012 by beezzer because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 1 2012 @ 02:53 PM
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Originally posted by mileysubet
That's what happens when people build houses from modem materials, I would highly suggest looking into old world building materials mainly adobe. Using adobe building materials in an area like Texas would substantially reduce the need for both heating and cooling in areas such as Texas.


I'm looking into better insulation for my house, I heard about adobe, but you also have to factor in tornadoes which would probably just blow over an adobe house.



posted on Jun, 1 2012 @ 03:00 PM
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reply to post by beezzer
 



ETA; great minds. . . .
hahaha, that is too funny!



posted on Jun, 1 2012 @ 03:01 PM
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Originally posted by GmoS719

Originally posted by mileysubet
That's what happens when people build houses from modem materials, I would highly suggest looking into old world building materials mainly adobe. Using adobe building materials in an area like Texas would substantially reduce the need for both heating and cooling in areas such as Texas.


I'm looking into better insulation for my house, I heard about adobe, but you also have to factor in tornadoes which would probably just blow over an adobe house.

Very true about the tornados issue, I will have to do a bit more research and see if there are ways to re-enforce adobe for tornado prone areas.

As far as insulation, a few friends of mine have used the expanding foam insulation in those homes, they say it is incredible for both heat and sound. I am not sure if it can be used on already constructed homes but, it may be worth checking out.



posted on Jun, 1 2012 @ 03:01 PM
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Originally posted by GmoS719

Originally posted by Ameilia

Originally posted by GmoS719
How in the world is your electric bill $250?
I live in Texas and my bill is never over $80.
Even in the summer.


I don't know, what are you doing exactly? I lived in a 800 square foot apartment between 2000-2006, my bill ranged from $200-$300 in the summer. Third floor though. Moved into a house 1300 square feet 2006-2010, bill went to around $180-$275. Now this house 2010 and on, it's always above $220, I think my highest last year was like $258 and that was in July.

Everyone I know pays the same as I do, what city are you in? If you don't want to say, that's fine. I'm not saying!

My mother's house is 4000+ square feet and they pay like $500+ from June/July or so through August.

In the winter it's about $80 though.

Oh.....do you have those new meters in your area yet?


I'm in west texas. I usually only run one A/C during the summer. That might be the reason.
Either way, a hike in prices by that much is going to leave me broke!


Well, I live in Northeast Texas, and each example I gave above regarding an apartment and two house over 12 years, those are all located in the northeast, and those are the only years I have lived on my own. (Haha, I'm dating myself!). I'm not counting any time I lived with my parents and wasn't responsible for the bills. So perhaps your cheaper bill is due to living further west, I'm not sure.

In my apartment, I did not have the new meter. But, being on the 3rd floor, you're going to pay more than anyone on the 2nd or 1st, because heat rises. And I did know that, but I also knew on the 3rd floor I had a lesser chance of being robbed. Both houses I am talking about have the newer and more accurate meters which will eventually reach everyone. That could also account for some of the difference.

You also mention running just one AC. I only have, or have had, one AC unit, central air. I'm not sure if your place is large enough that you have two, I know some people who have a two story house have a unit for each floor, or if you are talking about window units. We own a window unit, but that's for back up, not for general use. It's not even installed.



posted on Jun, 1 2012 @ 03:03 PM
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Of course, power prices depend on where you are in Texas. If you are in areas such as DFW, Austin, or Houston, I'm sure the prices are through the roof. When I lived in DFW, my power prices, particularly in the summer, were outrageous. Nothing ever less than $500 per month, and that's using every single trick in the book, including some wind mills to add free wattage, the new pigtail lightbulbs, and keeping the AC above 75 degrees at all times.

However, out here, we are part of a rural co-operative out of New Mexico, and our prices are incredibly cheap ($150 per month at the height of summer in an all-electric house, 1800 sq. ft.). Lubbock Power and Light (100 miles away) had decided not to raise their prices this summer.

I imagine it is the larger metropolitan areas with the larger power companies that are getting greedy and deciding to stick it to people (as if they haven't already been). Texas has its own power grid, and unfortunately, they have decided to make it harder for people already struggling.



posted on Jun, 1 2012 @ 03:09 PM
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reply to post by mileysubet
 


We have some neighbors who live about 3 miles from us. Their house is quite old (built around 1910). The original construction was super-thick adobe (the walls are approximately a foot thick). I asked them about how efficient it was keeping things warm or cool. They said that the adobe actually traps a great deal of heat when it heats up outside, and it takes quite a bit to get it to cool down.

They likened it to living in an adobe oven the Native Americans used to bake things in. I was surprised, I figured it would really keep the temperatures constant, but they disagree.

The house I live in was built in the early 70s, and built very well by people who understand the crazy west Texas weather. Our power bills are less than our adobe neighbors. Go figure.



posted on Jun, 1 2012 @ 03:12 PM
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It is the age old practice of power companies asking their customers to pay for their investments. Since they are in it to make a profit they should take that risk on their own. If there is a business we need to socialize more than healthcare, it would be the utility business.

Yet I own utilities. If you can't beat them, join them.



posted on Jun, 1 2012 @ 03:18 PM
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Originally posted by Ameilia

Originally posted by GmoS719

Originally posted by Ameilia

Originally posted by GmoS719
How in the world is your electric bill $250?
I live in Texas and my bill is never over $80.
Even in the summer.


I don't know, what are you doing exactly? I lived in a 800 square foot apartment between 2000-2006, my bill ranged from $200-$300 in the summer. Third floor though. Moved into a house 1300 square feet 2006-2010, bill went to around $180-$275. Now this house 2010 and on, it's always above $220, I think my highest last year was like $258 and that was in July.

Everyone I know pays the same as I do, what city are you in? If you don't want to say, that's fine. I'm not saying!

My mother's house is 4000+ square feet and they pay like $500+ from June/July or so through August.

In the winter it's about $80 though.

Oh.....do you have those new meters in your area yet?


I'm in west texas. I usually only run one A/C during the summer. That might be the reason.
Either way, a hike in prices by that much is going to leave me broke!


Well, I live in Northeast Texas, and each example I gave above regarding an apartment and two house over 12 years, those are all located in the northeast, and those are the only years I have lived on my own. (Haha, I'm dating myself!). I'm not counting any time I lived with my parents and wasn't responsible for the bills. So perhaps your cheaper bill is due to living further west, I'm not sure.

In my apartment, I did not have the new meter. But, being on the 3rd floor, you're going to pay more than anyone on the 2nd or 1st, because heat rises. And I did know that, but I also knew on the 3rd floor I had a lesser chance of being robbed. Both houses I am talking about have the newer and more accurate meters which will eventually reach everyone. That could also account for some of the difference.

You also mention running just one AC. I only have, or have had, one AC unit, central air. I'm not sure if your place is large enough that you have two, I know some people who have a two story house have a unit for each floor, or if you are talking about window units. We own a window unit, but that's for back up, not for general use. It's not even installed.


I'm talking about a window unit. Central air is expensive. Now I understand.



posted on Jun, 1 2012 @ 03:41 PM
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Originally posted by mileysubet
That's what happens when people build houses from modem materials, I would highly suggest looking into old world building materials mainly adobe. Using adobe building materials in an area like Texas would substantially reduce the need for both heating and cooling in areas such as Texas.


I'm sorry, but you don't really know the landscape of Texas or the conditions around this huge state.



posted on Jun, 1 2012 @ 06:38 PM
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Originally posted by Aliensun

Originally posted by mileysubet
That's what happens when people build houses from modem materials, I would highly suggest looking into old world building materials mainly adobe. Using adobe building materials in an area like Texas would substantially reduce the need for both heating and cooling in areas such as Texas.


I'm sorry, but you don't really know the landscape of Texas or the conditions around this huge state.


I don't? I live just north of the state of Texas, and also have 4 family members in Texas, 3 of them have Adobe built homes. Don't presume to tell me what I do or do not know. My siblings searched for a economical soulution for building a home, it came to a choice of either straw or adobe, they chose adobe due to the ease of access to building materials, they would have had to ship straw into the area and the shipping charges would have made the straw less economical than adobe.

Not only is adobe more economical than most other building materails, but the fact that the onwer does most of the work (in most cases, but some are done by contractors), the owner and family has a huge amount of pride in their house being that they built most of it by hand.

I have visited them during various times of the year including the hottest period of summer. The three with Adobe houses rarely use AC or heat to control the temperature of their homes. Now I am not familiar with the orientation of the home that the poster with the neighbor that says their adobe home is not comfortable, but when my siblings built their home every attention to detail was spent to ensure the proper orientation and proper wall thickness of their homes where best suited for the local climate. Down to details of landscaping and window placement to allow for proper warming and cooling according to the season.

The three Adobe houses of my siblings are probably the most comfortable houses I have had the pleasure to spend my time in. The interior temperature rarely deviates from the 70-78 degree range during either winter or summer conditions. The houses are nearly sound proof as well, with walls that average around 15 inches thick (depending on exposure to the sun) this is expected.



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