Category Archives: EPA

Happy Thanksgiving!

It’s that time of year again when we should all look back and be thankful for anything and everything we have been blessed with over the past year.  Maybe your year has been blessed with all good things or maybe your year has been blessed with what seem to be all bad things.  Either way if you are reading this note of thanks you are alive and that is truly a blessing.  More importantly if you are living in Texas you are truly blessed and should remember that we have it much better than the rest of the world and most of the US as well.  Especially when it comes to the prices we pay for electricity.  Our electricity rates are the lowest they have been since the 1960s due to a number of factors, predominately low natural gas prices, but don’t expect that to last forever.  Here at the Texas Electricity Alliance we are thankful for all our customers and wish each and every one a very Happy Thanksgiving.


How about some Jobs!

As we continue to read about the depressed job market, we should all focus on the industry we are in, and try and come up with some job creation ideas.  At the Texas Electricity Alliance we would like to see a continued move to the use of Natural Gas as the choice fuel for the US economy.  Over the past 10 years we have discovered huge reserves of Natural Gas helping to move the price down from a high point of $13/MCF to under $4 today.  Traditionally, natural gas has been the equivalent of 1/10 the price of oil but that has been disrupted over the past few years with the discovery of shale gas and natural gas is now the equivalent of 1/20 the price of oil.  More importantly we can now depend on long term availability of this very clean fuel.  Just think of it we could all be running our cars for 1/3 the price of gasoline.  Not to mention we can now use natural gas to help offset the environmental costs of coal as a primary fuel for electricity.

Now how to we use the above facts to create jobs.  One great way would be to pass a natural gas bill that would create tax credits for anyone converting their car or truck to natural gas, especially long haul truckers.  Then to insure they have the fuel available we should create tax credits for any supplier or fueling station to install and maintain natural gas fueling.  We should set a goal to convert 75% of over long haul trucking fleets and 50% of all passenger vehicles by 2016.  That’s not all; we should also consider building out new natural gas electricity plants. These plants should be given the same tax advantages as wind and solar power enjoy today, thereby making the use of natural gas as our primary source for electricity competitive with coal.  At the Texas Electricity Alliance we estimate these simple ideas would create almost 3 million jobs and reduce the unemployment rate by 2% almost immediately and more as we continue to move in the right direction. Our energy future is at stake, our jobs are at stake, our national security is at stake and here is an easy simple solution to get us going in the right direction.

The HIDDEN Texas Electricity TAX . . . Austin?!?

That’s right folks there is a hidden electricity tax in Texas and, believe it or not, it’s in Austin.  Austin Energy is the electrical COOP that serves the city of Austin and its coffers have been raided year after to year to pay for Austin’s pet projects that couldn’t be covered through the governmental tax structure so the city officials just felt like it was OK to take that money away from the city owned electrical utility.

Well the day of reckoning has arrived and all of a sudden Austin Energy needs to make investments to its utility infrastructure and therefore will have to raise electricity rates, a predicted 23% or more, next year.  This is not only a travesty of justice but also a travesty to the idea that the people are in control of the governmental bodies that govern our everyday lives.  Not unlike Rick Perry stealing from the money set aside ($1/month) on every resident of Texas electricity bill each month to be used to help the poorest in our society pay for the basic necessity of electricity.  Yep, that’s right; our boy Rick took about $600 million from that fund this year to help balance the budget!

We need to stop this madness right now.  The people of Austin should rise up and demand that Austin Energy be dissolved.  This would mean that the electrical infrastructure of poles and wires could be sold to ONCOR, Centerpoint or AEP and then apply the electricity deregulation laws, which are already in place around Texas.  So that the people of Austin could enjoy the lower electricity prices of deregulation!

At the Texas Electricity Alliance we are proponents for electricity deregulation for the entire state of Texas.  The abuse that the City of Austin has inflicted by stealing money and creating a hidden tax, from their citizens by way of Austin Energy, must be stopped.

Finally over the Summer Blues!

Seems like we’re finally over the summer blues in Texas and we’ll return to a more normal weather pattern in the coming weeks.  As we enter this time of the year it’s an excellent time to have all your HVAC and electrical systems checked to see how they held up during this summer’s record heat. At the Texas Electricity Alliance we recommend Milestone Electric for our customers in the DFW area for all their electrical contracting and home security installation and monitoring.

We are proud to be their partner and we all use their services.  They have a service called the Family Protection Plan for only $99/year that provides you with a complete yearly review of your electrical infrastructure in your home.  It also provides benefits all year long and you’ll never have to pay a service call or overtime call for emergency services ever again.  Not to mention they can recommend the Texas Electricity Alliance as your partner to help you save money on your electricity bills every month of the year.  Take advantage of signing up with Milestone today.  And remember, with the Texas Electricity Alliance, Together We Save!

Chaos in the CO-OP’s

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.

We’ve about beat the HEAT… Just hold on till the WEEKEND!!!

As you prepare for a Labor Day celebration you can take some solace in the fact that the temperatures are predicted to go down by 10 degrees. Obviously, Texas is a big state and some areas may not get as much relief as others but it’s good to say good-bye to August and welcome to September.  Although September tends to be one of the hottest months in Texas, I believe we have had our share of 100 degree heat and look forward to a mild and cooler September and hopefully some rain as well.

The Texas Electricity Alliance wishes everyone a happy holiday weekend and remember that this is a time to share and celebrate our “labors” of everyday life. As those with jobs we asked you to all look out for each other and let’s help those who are out of a job, or who haven’t found one, to get one.  The best network we all have is the one closest to us, so let’s try and help each other out.  Join us today and never worry about your electricity “choice” again, because as we like to say, Together We Save.

Hurricane Aftermath: Get the POWER Back On!

Our thoughts and prayers go out to all our friends on the East Coast after the visit by Irene over the weekend.  Although it appears that they were all spared the brunt of a brutal storm there were at one time over 4 million people without power to their homes or businesses.  While we are happy for the fact that very few lives were lost and that most people can return to their homes today, the aftermath of the storm has yet to be resolved and that may take some time.

We all seem to take electricity, and more importantly the electricity GRID, for granted.  We just expect it to always work and be there for us. However, as we saw in Texas after hurricanes Ike and Rita, which both followed the disastrous hurricane Katrina, we learned that it can take up a month to restore electricity to all residents.  Although these are unusual and catastrophic storms which we expect to be destructive we are still using the same electricity GRID technology that has been around since the 40’s and 50’s.  It is imperative that America realizes our dependence and reliance on electricity and the electricity GRID and start to make the proper investments to avoid the 50% prices increases that are already expected for electricity in the next 5-8 years.

The Texas Electricity Alliance is not only an advocate for our customers, but is also an industry advocate to provide for and protect the public interest when it comes to electricity.  We will continue to focus on gaining a better understanding, and make recommendations for the improvement and upgrade, of the entire American electrical GRID.  By making these investments we will create numerous jobs and help insure the prosperity of America.  Join us today, because Together We Save.

The Recession is over, are you ready for prices to go up?!

Yes we can officially declare the worst recession in the US outside of the great depression is finally over. We can now go back to living our lives like there is a tomorrow and that the US will be leading the world to a better 21st century.

We know the recession is over because house prices dropped in Texas by almost 5% last year. Now I know if you’re in another part of the country 5% sounds like nothing when we are talking about the drop in housing prices in the recession, but in Texas that’s still 5% and we don’t like our homes to lose any value or anything else we own for that matter. With that being the case and our ability to weather most any economic storm due to our oil and gas state revenues, when Texas hits the bottom we’re the last chip to fall. Therefore, the recession is now over and we can all breathe a sigh of relief.

Unfortunately, for most of us, now with the recession over we will start to see an increase in almost everything we use especially electricity. Electricity on average is now at the lowest price point in relative dollars since 1960. That probably seems incredible to most of you but you just don’t realize how much more electricity we use now than in 1960. The biggest contributor to that usage is centralized air conditioning but there are many other culprits as well including all those computers, smart phones, flat screen TV’s, outside lighting, and so many other conveniences of today. The electricity grids we have built to date are almost all operating at close to capacity and with the advent of deregulation there is no “big daddy government funding” to provide for the necessary upgrades required for the next 30 years of growth.

Texas is projected to grow tremendously over the next 25 years and there is almost no way the electricity grid can keep up. Additionally, natural gas is at 10 year low prices and although we have discovered huge reserves of new gas it will not remain at these artificially low levels. Not to mention that with a reviving economy we will see demand for natural gas double over the next 10-15 years, since it is now the cheapest and cleanest burning fuel on the planet. Furthermore, with the implementation of EPA requirements for coal burning power plants, it’s very conceivable that our cheapest way to actually generate electricity may become even more expensive than wind power and solar energy.

The bottom line is that although we may now be in a recovery the price of our basic commodities will start to increase and as they do we will see the impact and one of those areas will be electricity. So if you think your electricity bill is high in the summer in Texas today, just wait a few years. It’s projected that electricity prices could easily double by 2020 and although that seems a ways out they will be steadily increasing from this point on. At the Texas Electricity Alliance we are working to make sure our customers are prepared for this and we are constantly working with them to improve their efficiency with their electricity usage and making sure they always have the best prices in the market.

Tired of All the Talk About Electricity? – Join the Club!

High Electricity BillsSeems like everyone in Texas is talking about electricity and how much we can all save, but I just got my bill and it’s SKY HIGH! And we’re willing to bet yours was too! However, this should come as no surprise since it’s the middle of July in Texas. It’s HOT and we have already surpassed our average number of days of 100 degree heat. You can expect very high electricity bills through the Texas summer no matter who you are paying your electricity bill to this summer, it’s HIGH. Furthermore, over the next 5-7 years electricity prices are expected to double due to:

  1. The expanding population of Texas, which puts added pressure to generate and deliver electricity over our statewide electrical GRID
  2. EPA enforcement of clean air act laws will require coal fired plants, which produce almost 50% of Texas electricity, to install clean coal technology thereby doubling the cost of electricity production from these plants
  3. Increase in the price of natural gas will occur over the next 5-7 years, due to many factors, but mainly because it is the most environmental friendly hydrocarbon. And the discovery of record supplies in the United States over the past 10 years, have led us to recommend and adopt its use in everything from trucks, buses, cars and for electricity generation

The above factors will affect all Texas electricity consumers, whether they are served by a local electrical co-op or in a deregulated area of the state, because we all pull from the same electricity GRID.

History shows us that the deregulation of electricity does not lower prices at the consumer level, especially when wholesale prices and demand are both going up, as compared with prices at the consumer level for traditional state regulated utilities or electrical co-ops. In fact, California had to eliminate electricity deregulation during a period of rising demand and wholesale prices. Although electrical co-op prices are today higher, in almost all cases, than low-cost electricity in the deregulated market, this does not accurately reflect the future. In fact, in 5 years it’s likely that a consumer in a deregulated market area of Texas may be paying twice as much for their electricity.

The only way to WIN as a consumer in the deregulated electricity market is to combine your purchasing power with that of your neighbors. “Get Your Power Back” and negotiate your rates as a group – Join the Club!

This will result in giving you back the TRUST, SECURITY and CONVENIENCE of an electrical co-op or state-regulated utility, while guaranteeing you are always getting the best rates in the market. ALLSMART Energy is developing these consumer buying clubs beginning with the Texas Electricity Alliance and expanding into other deregulated states and countries in 2012.

Come join us today and never worry about electricity again!

Together We Save. Together We Share.

T. Boone Pickens: Genius or Geriatric

T. Boone Pickens | Green Electricity Is T. Boone Pickens a Genius or is he just another Geriatric billionaire speaking his mind? Maybe neither, maybe a little of both but its high-time that either way America should start listening. Boone may have a couple billion, but he still never leaves a room and doesn’t turn out the lights or turn off the TV. I’d even take a side bet that he turns up the AC when he’s not home. He earned his money working hard and gained a lot of life lessons along the way to being one of the most respected and recognized oil men in America, if not the world; or at least any part of it that has oil or natural gas or wind that could be used to generate electricity. He has been promoting natural gas and wind energy as part of the Pickens Plan for quite some time now and maybe just maybe people are now waking up and smelling the coffee that he’s been brewing. Boone say we should convert the majority of our long-haul truck transportation network to run on natural gas and not diesel, thereby lowering American energy imports of oil and increasing the use of American produced natural gas; not to mention the 1000’s and 1000’s of jobs that conversion would create. He has also worked diligently to get people to understand the value and future potential of wind power as another way to reduce our dependence on foreign oil and create jobs in America. Wow, let me see if I got this right: we can reduce our consumption of foreign oil, increase our use of domestic natural gas and wind and we can create 1000’s if not 100’s of thousands of jobs while increasing the financial and domestic security of the United States of America. I say that the next President of the United States, and the current one as well, should make Boone the Energy Czar for America and not only that, but put him in charge of the EPA. You think that second part sounds a little crazy, but let me tell you that his environmental record is astounding and he is one of the best business men and stewards of our earth that we could find in our country and we all need to start listening to him before it’s too late. He won’t be around forever and I just pray there is someone in the next generation that will grow up as well  and as vocal to start fighting to save this country. Give ’em hell Boone and start advertising more, people need to hear your message.