Texas' many retail energy providers are currently mulling whether to pass on the costs of higher wholesale electricity prices to their customers who were supposedly locked into to fixed rates, which the Texas Public Utilities Commission (PUC) says will result in major complaints.
According to NPR, the ordeal is set to begin on Wednesday, August 1, when the peak price for wholesale electricity will rise by 50 percent to $4,500 per megawatt hour, a move the PUC approved in June. This higher price ceiling would result in significantly higher prices when demand jumps typically during hot summer months when air conditioners are run the longest.
"It’s just the wrong time of the year to do this, if it’s a good idea at any time. But we’re about to hit our peak demand where people need a lot of power to stay safe and cool," said Tim Morstad, the associate state director of AARP Texas.
Although many contracts with retail energy providers in Texas stipulate that the fixed price can be broken if a law changes, many still see the contracts as a better option than staying with a utility, and often switch energy providers.