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Was chatting with my brother in Corpus Christi, and his power has been out since Sunday. Not at any risk from a safety stand point, but pretty frustrating, especially since the power outages were “planned” to protect the grid and infrastructure.
Apparently the mayor’s house was not part of the plan, and has suffered no outages 🤔
No outages at the Mayors house, And you are surprised why?
 

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this was a weather event that just does not happen? and texas population is growing very fast just means we need to start updating things . what made this bad a lot of so called good areas had power and outlying places had no power . i had no power for 3 days but we were prepared with powerplant and supplies had water " we lose power in winter sometimes but we are ok
just curious, a few years back when they had problems with overloading the grid, did the energy co. get fed. relief funds to upgrade their systems?
 

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I live in the Houston area and this place is a mess. I lost power on and off and have busted water pipes in my ceiling. Power is now on but no water. You can't possibly find a plumber and when you do, they can't get supplies to fix it.
Had to bucket water out of the pool to flush the commodes. Drinking water is nowhere to be found. I don't want to get into the politics of this but suffice to say, heads should roll when this settles down. I know this is a rare event down in south Texas but many things are wrong about our grid.
 

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Discussion Starter #44
Just want to expand on this thread slightly. A few minutes ago, I saw a news clip but don't believe I heard everything. It seems that an older military veteran living in the Houston, Texas area, just received an electric bill for close to $17,000.00 for one month of electricity, many of those days he didn't even have electric. Normal bill is $400.00. The commentator said this was perfectly legal to do by the utility company. They are allowed to spike the bills during difficult times. Is this true?? If so, how can it be that way?? So many folks in this area have or are still experiencing power shortages, food/water shortages, heat, medical, housing, issues, etc., and now this bill??? Is this my understanding?? This veteran found out about the inflated bill by checking his bank account. He previously allowed an automatic payment withdrawal by the utility company who apparently helped themselves to more.

I don't want to start another separate thread on this, but how many members have automatic withdrawal for payments, on their monthly obligations, through a savings or checking account?? The only one I have is for my EZ PASS when I travel and it's limited to $25.00 and then when depleted, another $25.00 would be added. I pay no bills and authorize no one to withdraw money from any of my accounts. Call me old fashioned, I don't care, but I pay what is owed, by check when do. I could care less about the 55 cent stamp or going to the post office. I do no more financial business on line then absolutely necessary. If the guy above didn't have that type of account set up, the utility company would have never taken what they did. While typing this and having a news program on tv, just saw an elderly lady who received a $6000.00 bill for electricity, similar to the above. And, they offered a 6 month easy payment plan. Easy for who?? I really feel sad for these folks. Hope issues like this can be resolved amicably, Carmine.
 

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It was all part of the utility deregulation passed in the late 90's. In it the companies were allowed to have contracts that allowed the utility rate to fluctuate with fair market costs. In the case of wild demand the normal rate went up as much as 10,000 times for the cost of a regular KWH.
It is all legal and it is in the contract offered and agreed to by each person that bought power from these companies. Texas let the market dictate the cost. Both cheap and in this case expensive.

Is it right, well history will decide. Now they are screaming for the Feds to step in and pay. But Texas wanted to be " independent" in this. I am not wanting to go political on this. Facts is Facts.

Mikey
 
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When I lived in Austin back 25 years ago, the City of Austin owned the utilities. No competition. Every year the rates went up and then they started adding fees to my bill. By the time I left there, the fees exceeded the utilities supplied. The most difficult to swallow was the "Non-impervious ground cover run off fee".

This was a fee that was to pay the city of Austin every time it rained, for rain water recovery. Which they never did. The city took over head photos of all the building and the pavement around my shop and then accessed me the fee each month, rain of not.......I had to pay it or they cut the power/water off.

I didn't even own the property, made no matter, that was how they collected it......a tax on my utilities?

Mikey
 

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Perhaps I'm not seeing the whole picture but it seems to me raising rates like such as has been mentioned would be along the same lines as raising the price of groceries, gas, other items during a natural disaster emergency. That has always to me been referred to as "undue profiteering" which should be and has been in the past an illegal activity. Don't understand just how this can even be allowed to be an issue. The people of Texas do not deserve to be treated as such and it is shameful for the utility companies to be able to do this. Elected officials of Texas should have NEVER allowed for such a process by a utility to be conduct business in this manner.

If there are things I'm not seeing here please someone inform me as to what I am not understanding.
 

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The elected officials allowed it as a way to increase interest in the development of energy sources aside from fossil fuels. This was all part of the give and take when
the Texas legislature discussed and approved of the legislation that was passed. Never did they expect the storm of the century to hit THE REPUBLIC OF TEXAS.

There was no oversite of the companies to invest in protecting the manufacture and delivery of the new energy sources from winter. But it will change.

Mikey
 

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There is more to the story about the extremely high electric bills. The only company I know of for sure that has them is one called Griddy. (There may be more but I haven't heard anything about them) They had a deal where for a monthly fee you paid whatever the current hour by hour cost of a KWH. So you could save all the time and also adjust your cost by doing some things when the cost was lower at night. I think it worked pretty good until the big freeze. The grid here ask the feds if they could increase the output of the gas plants above the mandated "green" level and were refused by you know who's administration. They were told to buy it from other states who were allowed to charge 1000 times the going rate. So Griddy customers got automatically hit with that rate. Customers at a fixed rate will see no change in their bills now but may later. Gritty told their customers to change providers before the storm hit but that usually takes a week so there wasn't time.

We are locked in with the city and can't use anyone else because years ago we voted to let them be the only provider to help keep our city taxes low. Our lights never even blinked but we did loose water for a while late last week and now have to boil for a few days.

I AM NOT COMPLAINING!!! We had it good!
 

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[/QUOTE]
Never did they expect the storm of the century to hit THE REPUBLIC OF TEXAS.
Mikey, I wouldn't call it the storm of the century. Heck we got less than 10'' of snow, waking up Monday morning and no power just didn't make sense. People up north get feet of snow and no real problems. I can't believe Texas failed us so easily.
 

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Mikey, I wouldn't call it the storm of the century. Heck we got less than 10'' of snow, waking up Monday morning and no power just didn't make sense. People up north get feet of snow and no real problems. I can't believe Texas failed us so easily.
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10" But isn't that area normally no snow? Plus very low temps. I know if so calif had snow and freezing temps it would be a disaster
 

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Discussion Starter #52
I did a little more reading on this, and if I'm wrong, feel free to correct me. From what I learned, there are 3 electrical grid patterns in the USA; East, West and Texas. The east and west can help each other during catastrophic times, but Texas can't get involved with them. They opted out and can't buy or receive help from them. If this is true, what could possibly be the reasoning behind it?? Money?? Lower rates until a disaster happens?? I really don't know why they wouldn't want to belong or be a part of this. I know nothing about electricity, big business or anything associated with it. Sitting about 1900 miles away, in a warm house with running water, my heart still goes out to those who have been displaced, affected, but I think someone possibly made a big mistake. Just my humble opinion, Carmine
 

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The depth of the temps and the length of time they stayed below the norm is why I refer to it as the storm of the century. This just doesn't happen often.
Heck while I lived in Austin for 29 years and saw 5 inches of snow way back in the early 80's. The temp stayed below freezing for 48 hours and then it was right back up to mid 60's. Every now and then a dusting and a few days of cold but not many days WAY BELOW freezing. There just had not been any need to plan for this kind of event. The new wind and solar electric just was not made for that event unless, as we do up here, insulate and protect.

On the flip side we up here mostly don't have AC in our homes.....but boy you better have HEAT and insulated pipes at a depth of 6-8 feet. We had below zero temps for about 10 days while you guys were cold as well. A few reports of frozen or broken pipes here. But not like you guys have had.

Mikey
 

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I did a little more reading on this, and if I'm wrong, feel free to correct me. From what I learned, there are 3 electrical grid patterns in the USA; East, West and Texas. The east and west can help each other during catastrophic times, but Texas can't get involved with them. They opted out and can't buy or receive help from them. If this is true, what could possibly be the reasoning behind it?? Money?? Lower rates until a disaster happens?? I really don't know why they wouldn't want to belong or be a part of this. I know nothing about electricity, big business or anything associated with it. Sitting about 1900 miles away, in a warm house with running water, my heart still goes out to those who have been displaced, affected, but I think someone possibly made a big mistake. Just my humble opinion, Carmine
You cannot understand the TEXAS mentality to NOT TREAD ON US. Texas is the only state that was a Republic before it ever became a state. It is as they say, born and bred in them, to be independent.

Mikey
 

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Mikey, I wouldn't call it the storm of the century. Heck we got less than 10'' of snow, waking up Monday morning and no power just didn't make sense. People up north get feet of snow and no real problems. I can't believe Texas failed us so easily.

10" But isn't that area normally no snow? Plus very low temps. I know if so calif had snow and freezing temps it would be a disaster
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Well probably every 10 yrs we get that much. Same type of storm in Feb.2011 lost power for the day. We get more ice than snow, trees take out power lines, no big deal gets fixed in 12 hrs. Funny thing, there are about 10 big lakes between me and Dallas that have power plants that apparently failed too. But also in the town of Forney Tx. 50 miles from me, their building thousands of new homes and people waiting in line to buy them.
 

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Discussion Starter #56
I don't think we get as cold as you (Wisconsin) or stay cold as long, either. But believe me, it's no bargain living here either. I'm pretty sure it's code to have water pipes buried at least 42" and building codes are very strict. They require a certain R factor for insulation, and for the most part, the only way to achieve this in the sidewalls, is by using 2x6's for framing. I believe the ceiling/rafters are 2x12's. I'm thankful for having this insulation, but still worry about water pipes in the walls. So far, so good, Carmine.
 

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You cannot understand the TEXAS mentality to NOT TREAD ON US. Texas is the only state that was a Republic before it ever became a state. It is as they say, born and bred in them, to be independent.

Mikey
Until disaster, then call on the feds for a bailout, be it the current disaster, or the floods and hurricanes. Everyone will see some increase in insurance.
 

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There are two tiers to this "degulated electric power" in Texas, retail and wholesale. Not everyone in TX has deregulated retail (at least as I understand it). The usual form of the retail side is that you have a choice of providers and you sign a fixed length contract with them (usually a year) for some agreed price. Sometimes this is a fixed cost, sometimes variable. The variable part is usually by amount of electricity you buy (more is cheaper) but there can be other variables. The "provider" does not own the power lines or meters, that belongs to your former (once a monopoly) local power company - and the provider pays the owner of the lines a fee, plus the infrastructure provider reads the meters.

The whole electric power market is just that, power is purchased for the grid based on hourly wholesale prices on the spot market. It's a similar system to the wholesale pricing of crude oil.

Very few retail providers have customer contracts with prices based on hourly spot prices. So what you're hearing about applies to only a small fraction of customers. Having a contract like that is a high stakes gamble during bad weather, either cold or hot. The company "Griddy" is one of the few that offered that, and from what I read only had 39,000 customers. Soon to be zero.

Word is the state is going to step in and limit retail liability retroactively. Also not allow disconnections for late payment or non-payment.

You can also bet that by summer we'll have a whole new look to "deregulated power". Every incumbent politician will have a stake in doing this "right" or they'll have a short career.
 

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Here's a few pics. Sunday a little snow. Monday morning snow covered. Last pic is my cousin's home in the Plano area, she had to leave after the first 24 hrs.
IMG_5350.JPG
IMG_5340.JPG
bathroom faucet.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #60
You cannot understand the TEXAS mentality to NOT TREAD ON US. Texas is the only state that was a Republic before it ever became a state. It is as they say, born and bred in them, to be independent.

Mikey
You are correct Mikey, I don't understand that mentality, although I do respect it. It's 2021. If there is anything in the world that I view as enhancing or enriching my life, then I think I would like to be a part of it. I've always subscribed, not always successful, to learning from the past, living in the present and prepare for the future. I like to reminisce, think about old times, perhaps better times in some ways, but I can't stay long. Eventually, I have to return to the present where I live. Just hope things continue going well for those in Texas and make any corrections they need for the future, Carmine.
 
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