why is Texas power often failing or skyrocketing in price?

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why is Texas power often failing or skyrocketing in price?

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7 Answers

Anonymous 0 Comments

All other continental U.S. states’ electrical grids are interconnected, so in times of high demand or power plant outages, power can be supplied from elsewhere. Texas alone is not connected to national grid, meaning that Texas cannot import power when needed. That means either outages or raising rates to match supply and demand for power.

Anonymous 0 Comments

The Texas power grid is unique in that it is not connected to the wider power grid in the US, or at least has limited connectivity to it.

Since Texas isn’t well connected to the outside grid they aren’t able to import power from other States when they need it.

This comes from a misplaced deeply rooted hatred of the Federal government and associated bureaucracy. When the Texas power grid was built they had an insistence on doing things themselves and controlling their own power grid and associated regulations.

As a result many US wide rules meant to protect power grid customers don’t apply to Texans.

Variable rate plans are common in Texas. You don’t pay a fixed rate per Kilowatt but rather your rate varies based on the market rate which varies with supply and demand.

Normally this means you pay less for power, and so long as you shift high demand activities like charging your car off peak hours, you can save a lot of money. However during peak periods like now where the need for AC is driving up costs across the State the market rate can suddenly sky rocket leaving people with crazy bills.

This last came up in the news in February 2021 when a freak winter storm caused power failures all over the state and caused market rates to sky rocket. Since most of the power grid was down, the handful of remaining power stations couldn’t supply everyone and the market rate per kilowatt skyrocketed. Those few that had power ended up with massive bills that month.

Anonymous 0 Comments

You’re getting your news from a website on which the majority of users are emotionally invested in Texas doing poorly as they perceive the people in charge of Texas to be their political enemies.

Because you get your news from such a site, routine power outages and other issues that commonly happen all over the world, but are never more than local news, are being posted on that site as though these local events are of international importance.

This causes an effect where the only articles you see about issues with electrical grids concern the electrical grid in Texas. That, in turn, causes you to incorrectly assume that, because Texas is the only state you see having power outages, that the outages in Texas are either more frequent or severe than they are elsewhere. In reality, you’re just seeing articles that have been chosen and upvoted by people who want Texas to fail. You do not see all of the other articles concerning power issues elsewhere because those articles either do not get posted or do not get upvoted.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Texas is on its own power grid, while other places are all interconnected to an extent. This is why so many people died in Texas last winter (the winter before?) when they actually got severe winter weather. Their grid went down for a long time and they had no real backup. People were without electricity and heat.

Anonymous 0 Comments

It’s an intentional market design choice. 

One difficult thing about electricity is that you need some power plants just to run during periods of unusually high demand. Since they might only run some tens of hours each year, paying for them it’s hard. 

People have come up with three general ideas for how to deal with this: 

* The traditional approach, where utilities convince regulations plants are needed, and then the costs are baked into people’s bills. 

* “Capacity markets,” where the grid operator gets enough plants under contract to meet expected needs with some extra 

* Texas style, where prices are allowed to go sky-high when electricity gets scarce, in theory motivating private investment.

So it’s on purpose as a way of sending market signals to build more power plants.  Increased demand and extreme weather is making this need more acute, so thus higher prices more often.

Anonymous 0 Comments

This is a complex question. The short answer is, that Texas decided to keep their state electrical grid separate from the rest of the United States national grid. Why did Texas politicians do this? Because they were told to do so by their political donors, most of whom are energy companies. The reason for this policy is money. More money paid out by consumers to energy companies for inferior service, and a belief among energy companies and politicians that government regulation is bad for business.

Essentially, Texas has created a private, captive market of consumers that energy companies can exploit with high prices, and deliver inferior service for that price. The price fluctuates wildly because energy companies demand more profits, and customers essentially have no other choices outside of Texas.

If you are unlucky enough to live in Texas, I’d recommend overthrowing your state government, abolishing ERCOT, and reconnecting Texas to the national grid. Texas politicians, especially the right-wing ones, are enabling your abuse and exploitation, and you should be shooting mad about it.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Because it’s ERCOT and they’re untouchable. I hate the blackouts, I remember freezing in my house, I remember still getting an insanely high Bill. Tiny credit from CPS of $8 probably they’re way off waiving responsibility for this system.