Wednesday, March 10, 2021
As of today, SBEC is still awaiting the delivery of our February wholesale power bill from our QSE, Garland Power and Light. Again, a QSE is a Qualified Scheduling Entity…they schedule our load into the ERCOT market, facilitate the market transactions of our wholesale power contracts and finalize the wholesale billing of the electricity that we deliver to our membership. The finalization or totaling of the wholesale power bill was delayed due to activity at the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT) which oversees the activities of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT). The PUCT ordered an adjustment of certain payments made to generators and then rescinded the order. We are, now, expecting delivery of our wholesale power bill by the 15th of March.
This issue is very much on the mind of your elected officials. We have met with and will continue to meet with legislators at the state and federal level to discuss the events of the ERCOT grid during Winter Storm Uri and the financial impact it will have on SBEC members and all electricity consumers in the ERCOT grid territory. Yesterday, in Austin, Governor Greg Abbott issued an emergency order to the Texas Senate and House members to consider legislation relating to the correction of any billing errors by ERCOT within the wholesale power market. Likewise, the Texas Senate issued a letter of direction to the PUCT Chairman, Arthur C. D’Andrea to exercise his authority over ERCOT to correct market billing errors related to last month’s winter storm. As stated in previous postings, it is imperative that the state legislators hear from their constituents and their concerns over this matter. Please reach out to your elected representatives.
When our wholesale power bill arrives, SBEC will have to pay the bill regardless of any relief that may or may not come from the state or elsewhere. Once our board members and staff have had an opportunity to view the bill, discuss the financial impact to our cooperative and devise a plan to handle the increase to our wholesale power cost recovery, we will notify the SBEC membership. As stated in the past, we will not pass this increase on to the membership at one time. This will be recouped over a longer period of time as to lessen the impact on the SBEC membership. Any rate increases, down the road, will be seen in the G&T Rate portion of your monthly billing…once we fully know the financial impact of the ERCOT market transactions during this event.
I realize this may be unsettling to many, as we have heard from you personally and read the social media posts. Please know that your cooperative and other cooperatives across the state are all in this together and are working to find solutions to lessen the financial impacts to our membership. I have committed to and will continue to give weekly updates to you as we navigate these unchartered waters.