Weather and Your Texas Electricity Service: Part 1

By Bouncey, August 25, 2009, Energy Efficiency, News

How Weather Effects Your Texas Electricity Bill Everyone in the state of Texas is familiar, even if they
don’t understand why, of the fact that their electricity bills might rise and
fall from month to month depending on the time of the year. For Texans, this
fact is specifically true in the summertime. But what might be curious to
people is how this happens, even if a customer has a fixed rate plan and
fastidiously keeps their thermostat at the same setting, month in and month out
throughout the course of the year. So if this is the case, why does your
electricity bill fluctuate? Well, there are many different reasons, but
unquestionably, a huge factor that affects your electricity bill is the
weather.

For Texans, lets start with what we’re most familiar with,
which is the summertime. As I’ve said, everyone knows that our bills go up in
the summer, and we know basically that this is because the summers in Texas get
hotter. But why does this affect your electric bill? Well, to understand why
this is, you need to wrap you head around the basic understanding of
temperature and your electricity bill. For Texans, even if you keep your
thermostat at 72 all year round, when it’s 100 degrees outside, suddenly your
generators have to work to move the temperature down 28 degrees, when they
might perhaps only have to work to move it 4 degrees from 68 to 72 in
mid-October.  That means that in the
summer, the generators are working four times as hard to keep your apartment at
a constant temperature. So the general rule is that the harder a generator has
to work, the higher the cost of your electricity bill. Seems fairly simple,
right?

Summer Weather and Your Texas Electricity Bill

The same principle about electricity bills and the cost of
cooling your place has other affects on the cost of your summer electricity as
well. We’ve already discussed the effort it takes to keep the electricity in your home at a constant rate, and how that relates to the cost/amount of electricity you use. Well, that general idea also applies for the actual creation of electricity as well. If it takes more energy to keep your home cool in the summer, well, that extra electricity has to come from somewhere. This means that the actual generators that create the
electricity for your home have to work harder (or more generators will have to
be utilized) to make up for this increased need for energy. So not only are you
using more electricity to get the same results, but the costs to generate the
electricity for the local Transmission Distribution Service Provider (companies
like ONCOR and Centerpoint) increase as well. Naturally, that increase in costs
will be passed onto the Retail Electricity Provider who sells the electricity
to the customer. And that increase will in a measure be passed onto the
customer.

But lets reference this with a recent real world example
that happened recently in the Texas electricity market. Recently, an
electricity generator in Texas went offline for an extended period of time.
Well, this put an extreme amount of strain on the other generators to keep up
with the demand for all of the electricity customers in the state of Texas.
They generators have to be run constantly. Imagine driving your car at 80 miles
per hour for 24 hours straight. Eventually, something is going to happen, be it
you’ll run out of gas, the car will overheat, or something inside will break.
Now consider that this came at a time of peak summer heat and in the midst of
an extremely brutal Texas drought, which has also been working overtime to make
sure that Texas isn’t getting any kind of reprieve from the heat. So all things
considered, you’re talking about a lot of factors that have been putting
extreme stress on all of the generators in Texas, and one finally broke and
went offline. So that’s one less generator to keep up with the same demand. So
the weather and oppressive heat were a double-edged sword in this instance. The
excessive drought and heat caused the generators to work overtime to keep up
with the increased demand for customers to keep their homes and business cool.
These two factors combined to essentially cause a generator to go offline. So
before when the demand was at its peak, now there’s even one less generator
helping to produce electricity and keep things cool. Ironically, this caused
the price of electricity to go up even higher, which was a cost difference that
had to be paid out by both the Retail Electricity Providers (REPs) like Bounce
Energy
, Reliant, TXU, etc. These companies who sell electricity to customers
have to pay higher prices for them, and that cost is then passed onto the
customers themselves.  And all of this
can be tied in directly to the oppressive summer weather in the state of Texas.

Check back tomorrow for Part 2 of this series.

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Bouncey Bunny is the official "spokesbunny" for Bounce Energy, a Texas-based energy company. Bounce is committed to delivering value to our customers through excellent customer service, innovative plans and products, and competitive pricing.

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