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Members of the Texas Public Utility Commission met in Austin on May 17 to discuss potentially hiking electricity prices for the state, the Fort Worth Star Telegram reports.
According to the media outlet, the three commissioners agree that rates will need to increase in an effort to encourage companies to build more power generation plants in the state. The officials said more generation will be needed to supply electricity as demand grows during the summer months.
"If we don't get investment in our generation market, we are in a world of hurt," Commission Chairwoman Donna Nelson said at a meeting last month.
The higher prices could lead to an anomaly in the way Texas' electricity rates are figured. Although the state is deregulated, and residents have the freedom to shop for their own electricity rates, contracts with retail energy suppliers could be broken under the current circumstances – a problem commissioners are worried about.
The Texas PUC has the authority to set the rules, and alongside the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, can control wholesale electricity prices when demand rises high and electricity supply tightens.
Despite Texas being an energy-deregulated state, customers could still face fluctuating energy prices in the coming year.