Effective March 1, 2018, PEC’s Transmission Cost of Service (TCOS), a line item on members’ bills, will increase by $0.00098 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) to $0.01256 per kWh, a less than 1 percent increase on a typical bill. Residential members with typical energy use of 1,000 kWh should expect to see an increase of about 98 cents per month (a 0.93 percent increase).
The TCOS recoups the cost of transporting electricity on the statewide transmission system. That cost is set by the Public Utility Commission of Texas and passed directly through on members’ bills. The cost is based on the measure of PEC’s total energy use when the statewide system experiences its highest overall 15-minute demand “peak” during each of four months: June, July, August and September.
By the numbers: TCOS rate increase
|2017 TCOS Rate||$0.01158 per kilowatt-hour (kWh)|
|2018 TCOS Rate*||$0.01256 per kWh|
|Cost increase per 1,000 kWh||$0.98|
|Cost increase per 1,250 kWh**||$1.23|
* Effective March 1, 2018
** Average PEC residential member monthly use
What caused the increase?
Statewide transmission costs account for 11 percent of PEC’s total annual budget and have increased more than 111 percent since 2009. They are expected to increase by 3 percent or more in 2018 alone. As our service territory experiences record growth, our membership generates an increased share of the statewide demand.
How we all helped
In the summer of 2017, PEC and our members worked together to beat what we call “Power Rush Hour” — we shifted our energy use during potential peak times to decrease our demand on the system. Though we weren’t able to avoid a rate increase altogether, our efforts made a difference, saving an estimated $1.4 million in avoided TCOS increases for PEC and our members.
How we help minimize future increases
Power Rush Hour doesn’t end when summer does — effectively managing our energy use is a lifelong effort. That’s why we renew our existing programs to reduce peak use, such as conservation voltage reduction and interconnection. It’s also why we never stop pursuing new initiatives to reduce peak use, such as our Time-of-Use Rate and Cooperative Solar Rate. Learn more about Power Rush Hour.
How can I lower my bill?
For families across the Hill Country, every dollar counts. To mitigate the TCOS increase on your monthly bill, consider signing up for our eSaver rate: By opting into paperless billing and automatic bank draft on this rate, you’ll instantly save $2.50 each month. Enroll on SmartHub or by calling PEC Member Services at 888-554-4732.
Another way you could save is to enroll in the Cooperative Solar Rate, our homegrown solar program that doesn’t rely on transmission lines and is not therefore affected by the TCOS increase.
In addition, you can help prevent or minimize future TCOS rate increases by shifting your electric use away from the peak times of 2-6 p.m. from June through September, or by enrolling in our Time-of-Use Rate, which offers lower kWh rates outside of peak times to members who shift their use.