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Electricity bills for Texans shot up as high as $17,000 per month following a nasty winter storm that caused power outages and wrecked havoc.

 

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I read another article about this - the way the electric company is "helping" their customers is to make payment arrangements. Ya gotta keep making that coin for the investors ya know.

Gads - I am getting so jaundiced.
 

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Electricity bills for Texans shot up as high as $17,000 per month following a nasty winter storm that caused power outages and wrecked havoc.

That article doesn’t make sense. The third sentence says that power outages created a high demand for heat. The power outage didn’t make it cold, and those without power obviously weren’t heating with the power company’s electricity.

I suspect their demand-driven pricing model has a fixed-overhead absorption mechanism, and the customers without power were paying for all of the electricity not being used by all those customers without power.

The brick and mortar gun industry is seeing a similar issue right now. High demand is letting each gun store receive less product than normal, but their fixed overhead remains the same. So, in order to cover operating costs, they have to charge more for each gun or box of ammo they sell. To the consumer, it looks like price-gouging (and it sometimes is), but, in a lot of cases, it is just staying in business.

If the Texas power bills are really shooting up as high as the article says, it is probably caused by a combination of issues. Fixed-overhead absorption drives part of it, compounded by the fact that not all consumers are on the demand-driven pricing program, meaning that a segment of the customers are bearing the brunt of the adjustment. Too, the power company is probably driving to a revenue level calculated for what they think they should be bringing in during this cold snap. Then, they’re sure to be hemorrhaging money conducting repairs right now, and trying to make back as much of that as they can during the quarter.

If any or all of that is correct, then it’s a little of both; price-gouging and staying in business.
 

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The power company will blame it on a computer glitch and issue credits back to a little above normal price range and tout themselves as heroes.
 

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computer glitch
The way Monkey explained it sounds like it is a computer glitch. It sounds like the computer program did not consider the circumstances they are experiencing.
 

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My understanding is that the individual electric providers are not setting the prices.




“See (below) the difference between the price set by the market's supply-and-demand conditions and the price set by the PUCT's “complete authority over ERCOT.” The PUCT used their authority to ensure a $9/kWh price for generation when the market's true supply and demand conditions called for far less. Why? “



 

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The power company will blame it on a computer glitch and issue credits back to a little above normal price range and tout themselves as heroes.
The way Monkey explained it sounds like it is a computer glitch. It sounds like the computer program did not consider the circumstances they are experiencing.
Maybe a willful flaw?

I don’t know anything about the topic, but other posters have mentioned in other threads about a push to put the TX grid onto the National one.

Perhaps, once the glitch is fixed, and the apologies are made, it makes for another convenient reason to support one side’s argument.

I’m coming to suspect, more and more with age, that few mistakes are accidental.

Whoopsie.
 

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Out here you'd look at whose relatives are on the boards of the various power companies and would see a correlation between the politics of the government and the activities of the companies. Hopefully the same is not true in Texas, but living in Corruptifornia has made me constantly suspicious.
 

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Out here you'd look at whose relatives are on the boards of the various power companies and would see a correlation between the politics of the government and the activities of the companies. Hopefully the same is not true in Texas, but living in Corruptifornia has made me constantly suspicious.
Crony capitalism is everywhere, every where
 
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My guess by now they know what they need to survive without power and the smart ones will provide those things.
Reading some of the frozen to death in homes cars its sad and so stupid at the same time. I lived in texas awhile but grew up in Baltimore of parents born during the depression. Grandparents knew how to survive most everything. Anyway just makes me wonder why i see pictures of texas rooms that had fire places blazing away without curtains rugs hung to keep that one area livable. People in cars not keeping tail pipes clear of snow. Is it stupidity or lack of knowledge. Should schools teach survival skills. Should neighbors with know how or generator bring neighbors in ? Should the government mandate camp stoves boxed and can goods propane heaters like heatbuddy and propane cans. Kerosene heaters and fuel? Everyplace i have ever lived i had my back ups in place. Only back up i dont have at this age illness whatever is back up people.
If it was me im Texas no way could i budget higher power bills. So guessing alot of budget folks are going to be making a statement with un paid power bills.
 

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My guess by now they know what they need to survive without power and the smart ones will provide those things.
Reading some of the frozen to death in homes cars its sad and so stupid at the same time. I lived in texas awhile but grew up in Baltimore of parents born during the depression. Grandparents knew how to survive most everything. Anyway just makes me wonder why i see pictures of texas rooms that had fire places blazing away without curtains rugs hung to keep that one area livable. People in cars not keeping tail pipes clear of snow. Is it stupidity or lack of knowledge. Should schools teach survival skills. Should neighbors with know how or generator bring neighbors in ? Should the government mandate camp stoves boxed and can goods propane heaters like heatbuddy and propane cans. Kerosene heaters and fuel? Everyplace i have ever lived i had my back ups in place. Only back up i dont have at this age illness whatever is back up people.
If it was me im Texas no way could i budget higher power bills. So guessing alot of budget folks are going to be making a statement with un paid power bills.
Here’s the thing. Texas does not KNOW how to handle this kind of cold. Houses are built to reflect the heat and keep it as cool as possible. There are no basements. Our plumbing is often in outside walls or in attics. We don’t have winter clothes or boots. (why would you spend money on something you only need once every 100 years) We don’t have snow tires, snow plows, or salt for the roads. This is something that could not be planned for. It’s like planning for a hurricane in Chicago or Kansas.
 

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Here’s the thing. Texas does not KNOW how to handle this kind of cold. Houses are built to reflect the heat and keep it as cool as possible. There are no basements. Our plumbing is often in outside walls or in attics. We don’t have winter clothes or boots. (why would you spend money on something you only need once every 100 years) We don’t have snow tires, snow plows, or salt for the roads. This is something that could not be planned for. It’s like planning for a hurricane in Chicago or Kansas.
This is it, at least for your everyday resident in Texas. Besides being ill-equipped, people simple don't know how to do things involved with cold -- so many don't even realize they should wrap pipes, because they've literally never done that before. Others pose a danger on roadways because they've never driven on this level of ice.

That said, Texas does get snow and ice each year (at least, parts of Texas). At the state level, it was ludicrous for them to have not mandated winterization of essential utilities. A hard freeze was an inevitability, even if the odds on any given year were quite low. I hate to say it, but this is the drawback to demanding fewer regulations -- don't expect privatized companies to pay extra each year to avoid a low risk, especially if they have a method to off-load the losses from that risk.

I suspect these giant bills Texans are getting are going to be investigated for price-gouging, but I don't know what the state or the federal government could technically legally do, since Texas' grid is privatized. They kind of set their own rules.
 

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Here’s the thing. Texas does not KNOW how to handle this kind of cold. Houses are built to reflect the heat and keep it as cool as possible. There are no basements. Our plumbing is often in outside walls or in attics. We don’t have winter clothes or boots. (why would you spend money on something you only need once every 100 years) We don’t have snow tires, snow plows, or salt for the roads. This is something that could not be planned for. It’s like planning for a hurricane in Chicago or Kansas.
Not trying to pick on just you, more of a response to the many similar comments being made.

If your vehicle is not road worthy for cold weather problems then leave it parked. You might not like the result but it is just that simple.

House building and plumbing issues is the same issue the utility companies are dealing with. Pay up front or pay later. I have seen it snow south of Corpus Christi. Southern parts of the state has history showing freezing weather every so often. It’s not a new problem, just not common. Would be interesting to see what the cost is going to be as a result of not being better built. Many home and apartment openers are going to realize they did not save any money after they get the repair bills. Well those that pay for it will. Those that have insurance are just going to cause the rest of the country to deal with higher insurance payments.


Clothing for cold weather is nice. Not dressing for cold weather is a different matter. Several layers of clothes and a raincoat and your going to be pretty comfortable in many situations. Several layers of bedding adds up. As others have pointed out, their are many things that can be prepared for with ease and little cost. For example the same generator, lighting, food, tarps that one would need as a result of common hurricane and tornado problems would be handy in cold weather.

People just need to accept the results of what they have done and get ready for next time, because their will be a next time.
 

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yes indeed it does. i think i'm ready with everything i've got and hardly ever lose power and then only a few hours. when i lived in the condo and the power went out and no generator because the maintenance guy forgot to fill the tanks it wasn't too good for most but i had my place with a wood stove and it was only to drive out there until the power came back on

the house is gone but i have a little camper out there now fully equipped with propane furnace and whatnot but i wouldn't get up through my hill in this snow. better stay put. i don't have enough backup here and i need to fix it. we have only had a couple ice storms since i bought this place but the power stayed on but i remember quebec where people died. ~Georgia
 

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The hurricane prepared people that have generators still have those generators. The people who never buy generators or can't afford them don't have them. It's the same thing everywhere else.

Not everyone has been taught survival by their parents or family. Many people are wrongly thinking the government will/should bail them out and save them. This is not Texas unique.
 

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That article doesn’t make sense. The third sentence says that power outages created a high demand for heat. The power outage didn’t make it cold, and those without power obviously weren’t heating with the power company’s electricity.
Well, it’s a tabloid rag.
You have to wonder why someone would read a sensationalist UK tabloid for Texas news instead of a local paper like the Dallas Morning News or The Houston Chronicle.
 

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newfieannie
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what a good thing this Texas Mack guy is doing. i only just heard about this. seems like he has done this before when they had one of the hurricanes.
 

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I hope all the holier than thou folks never have to experience something traumatic. Not everyone was ready. It happens.
Alice, can you tell me what the temp actually was in Dallas. I saw on the news where a kid froze to death in his bed. Back when I was hauling freight, I slept in my truck more than I did at home. I remember waking up at a Truck Stop In Iowa and it was 18 below zero, I was warm as toast, and my truck was off. I never run the engine for heat. The only time I sleep with the engine running is for the AC in the summer. I used a good sleeping bag I bought a Sears thirty years ago.

I lived in Odessa for twelve years, and the Odessa, Midland area has bitter cold winters. We all had blankets, and propane heaters.
 

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i thought that was a 60 year old. i could be wrong and there was also a kid. i didn't hear that. the one i heard about his wife was in the recliner and she was also in some distress but is recovering. they said they were covered in blankets but maybe they were thin blankets . that wouldn't be adequate for times like that. i could survive without heat . i have but under heavy home made quilts. ~Georgia
 
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