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11/03/2011

Higher electricity prices coming, experts say

Electricity professionals attending a Dallas conference today were warned that higher electricity prices are likely in the next couple of years. The predictions were based partly on an expectation of somewhat higher natural gas prices which drive Texas power rates and fears of an increasingly tight supply.

"Just tell them to lock in prices" for one or two years, consultant Brandon Schwertner told his audience of electricity retailers and brokers at the Texas Electricity Professionals Association annual conference here.

Other speakers also warned of higher prices, citing the state's narrowing reserve margin of power supply over anticipated demand.
"We certainly had a very tight summer," said Trip Doggett, who heads the Electricity Reliability Council of Texas, which manages the state's largest power grid.

He said ERCOT is studying ways to encourage more large power users to agree to contracts that allow their power to be interrupted at periods of short supply, as well as options for increasing generating capacity.
-- Jim Fuquay

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Yes, it is bad for everyone to meet high electricity rates. People needs low rates on use of power.

The forecasts were based partially on an anticipations of somewhat higher natural gas costs which generate Arizona power rates and concerns of an extremely limited provide.

Well, the Energy Information Administration just put out it's Short Term Energy Outlook a few days ago. Maybe these folks at the conference like Brandon have some more info, but the EIA expects the electricity prices to rise about 1.2 percent in 2012. That's not much. If you were paying 10 cents per kWh in 2011, a 1.2% increase means only an increase in rate to 10.12 cents. Hardly noticeable in an electricity bill. Of course, that prediction is not region specific, and we did have a tight supply this past summer which caused some short term spikes for some. It wasn't because we had a tight supply of natural gas, but more likely due to the generation capacity. There is a lot of gas, we just need to make sure our reserve capacity stays up.

Tight supply of natural gas? What about the billboards telling us that we have a 100 year supply at least and there's an abundance of natural gas? Now it's in tight supply so energy prices are going up?

Huh?!

What a bunch of horse hooey! They raised the rates twice when gas was $12 to $13.00 and now that natural gas is less than $4.00 they still have to raise the rates?! Where the hell are our refunds from when gas dropped in price and now there is a enough that the gas companies are talking about exporting it?

This at a time of natural gas glut. The only crooks are not in prison or own banks...

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