There is no denying that the cost of electricity is on the rise. In 2022 Texans are paying 50-70% more than they were paying last year. But why? Why has the cost of electricity gone up so much? Many factors contribute to an increase in energy costs. Historically, Texans have paid less than other states to keep the lights on. This is because Texas is the top natural gas-producing state in the United States.

Contributing Factor #1 for Paying More for Electricity

Unfortunately, natural gas costs have shot up more than 200% since Russia invaded Ukraine in late February 2022 (Russia is a top gas-producing country). Texas has stepped up our game. Texas is exporting more natural gas than before to Europe, allowing countries to wean themselves off Russian gas. With Texas exporting more natural gas, there is less available for Texans to use. The increase in demand and the limited availability equals an increase in cost.

Contributing Factor #2 for Why your electric bill is on the rise

July 2022 was the hottest July in recorded history for Texas. The weather affects the cost of electricity, and in this case is why you are paying more for electricity. Extreme heat, like extreme cold, puts higher demands on the power grid. Even without the spike in the actual cost of electricity, Texans usually end up seeing higher bills because they consume more energy. It takes more electricity for you to maintain 72 degrees when it is 102 outside than when it is 80 outside. To help curve your overall electricity usage, you can make small changes that have the potential to make a huge difference in what you are paying. Instead of trying to maintain 72 degrees, increase your thermostat by 2 or 3 degrees and take some of the pressure off your AC Unit and off the Texas Power Grid to save some money.

Contributing Factor #3 for higher energy cost

We are sure you can still remember February 2021 when winter storm Uri caused havoc in Texas. You may have not known it, but Uri is still changing how Texans receive power and what we are paying to keep the power on. An example of this is the Public Utilities Council changing focus from providing cheap electricity to focusing on the reliability of the Texas Power grid.

Conservative operations add costs,” said Cathy Webking, a longtime Texas energy lawyer.

ERCOT’s new approach to operating the grid means asking power plants to be online and available in case they’re needed. That means paying generators a prescribed price to run no matter what happens. Winter storm Uri may be behind us, but we are still paying for what happened and probably will continue to pay into the foreseeable future.

To make this statement more true, Texans will soon be seeing an additional charge on their energy bill that will repay ERCOT some of the money. You will see this line item on your statement from Pogo as ERCOT Winter Storm Uri Charge.

Heads Up for what They Predict is to Come

I wish we could say that the Texas weather is done with its shenanigans. Unfortunately, they are predicting that this winter season (January-February 2023), is going to be another cold one and we should be prepared for snow. In addition to the snowsuit and extra wood for the fire place, you may also want to prepare by getting familiar with some energy saving tips and tricks to keep your electric usage under wraps so you can stay within budget.

Limit how many loads of laundry you do during high usage days and times. Put another blanket on the bed so you can turn the heater down. Only run the dishwasher when it is full. Close that space under the front door by installing some self-adhesive door weather stripping (you can pick some up for under $20) and stop leaving the TV on all night. Reducing your usage reduces the strain on the Texas Power Grid- and that benefits us all. If we are all having to pay more for electricity we can reduce the financial strain by using less power.

We understand your frustration with the rising electricity costs. We don’t like it either. That is why we reduce our rates when we get a reduced rate. The price of electricity is crazy, so we promise to work with you as much as we can.

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