If you live in the Oncor area, which is largely the D/FW area, you may have already began seeing a new charge on your electricity bill. Oncor Electric Utility, the company that operates the electric lines and equipment that move electricity from the power plants to your home, is owned by the same parent company that owns TXU.
The new pass-through fee will allow Oncor to recover the cost of investments in new projects and infrastructure including a project to build large transmission lines to help transmit electricity from West Texas, where the bulk of the state’s wind energy capacity sets, to North Texas Power consumers.
You will see the new charge appear on your light bill regardless of who your retail electric provider is. The exact amount of the fee will depend on the amount of electricity you use but for the average retail customer it will amount to about $5 per month.
The fee is subject to review by the Texas PUC; but only after the fact. The PUC reviews such charges only two times per year and will disapprove the charge if they don’t feel it’s justified. However, that doesn’t seem likely to happen in this case.
This is the largest such cost recovery fee in quite some time. Ironically, according to an Oncor spokesperson, part of the reason the charge will be so large is because cooler temperatures caused North Texans to use less power this summer. This resulted in less revenue for Oncor.
Fortunately, most Texans have the right to compare electric providers to find the cheapest rate. Although this won’t get you out of paying the Oncor pass-through fee, you could easily save more than enough to offset the new charge by switching providers at a low rate.
See Also: Texas Electricity Rates Going Up – Again