For public utility companies and electrical cooperatives the cost of doing business is likely to increase substantially in the next few years. It’s not that they have to spend any more to maintain the power infrastructures they manage to deliver electricity to their customers with, but more about the actual availability and cost of electricity. Almost all electrical utilities and CO-OPs will need to increase the price the end-user pays simply because they are going to have to be paying more for the electricity they need to supply their customers. Electricity is actually almost always in short supply since there is no good way to actually “store” electricity for future use, it’s all basically real-time. The electricity is generated by a power plant and immediately put into the electrical GRID system. The electrical GRID is not a very intelligent network and therefore you can’t really do much to channel electricity to exact places on the GRID, you basically just fill it up and then the end users suck it out. The transportation companies in the middle just maintain the infrastructure to monitor and manage the use of the electricity.
The projected population growth in Texas is fairly substantial and in order to meet future electricity demands we will need to invest heavily into new power plants in order to meet demand. This causes a big problem for electric utilities and electrical CO-OPs but not the same problems. Electrical utilities have to go the Public Utility Commission and be granted rate increases to pass on to their customers in order to have enough money to build more generation facilities. While CO-OPs do not own any facilities and are subject to market forces which may not be in the best interest of their members. Either way all these issues would be solved if we were to truly deregulate electricity and allow the existing transportation companies like ONCOR and Centerpoint to buy the assets of the CO-OPs and deliver that electricity and give those consumers a choice of who they actually buy it from.
At the Texas Electricity Alliance we are proponents for our customers to insure they are always getting the best electricity rates in the market, year after year.