The historic February 2021 winter storm brought consecutive days of freezing temperatures, ice, and snow to our state resulting in devastation to PEC communities and millions of Texans. Consequently, it strained the electric grid and caused a surge in energy prices.
Historically, PEC has maintained steady and low costs for its members as demonstrated in the chart below.
Due to unexpected and significant costs during the winter storm to procure power, repair equipment and infrastructure, and restore power to the Texas Hill Country, PEC incurred costs in total of approximately $160 million. While PEC’s financial health allowed us to pay the exceptionally high winter storm bills using a very low-interest debt, other actions are needed to maintain our favorable credit rating. As a nonprofit organization, PEC does not earn profits and must recover its expenses from the entire membership.
Beginning October 1, 2021, a Temporary Winter Storm Surcharge will appear as a separate line item on members’ bills for 24 months. The amount charged to each member will be a per kilowatt hour charge and will vary by member, based on usage. During this time, PEC is taking steps to reduce its own expenses without sacrificing the cooperative’s ability to provide safe and reliable electricity for our members.
The decision to adopt a temporary surcharge is intended to preserve the cooperative’s credit rating and save member resources. In fact, Fitch Ratings recently reaffirmed PEC’s AA- credit rating based largely on recent board actions. In their rating, Fitch stated that, despite the impacts of the winter storm, “PEC’s financial performance and ratios will return to historically very strong levels beginning in 2022.” Our AA- rating provides PEC with continued access to low-cost financing to fund future system growth and guard against unforeseen financial impacts. PEC members will benefit from a savings of millions of dollars over the long-term.
Being transparent is one of our highest priorities at PEC. To help you further understand why these changes are occurring, please review the resources below.
Temporary Winter Storm Surcharge FAQs
We answer your questions about the temporary winter storm surcharge.
Member Communications and Other Resources
To help keep you updated, we’ve gathered all member communications here.
View cooperative presentations and listen to the discussions related to the impact of Winter Storm Uri.
Winter Storm Recap
The winter storm of February 2021 continues to impact all of us. Revisit information related to the storm event.
Winter Storm Senate Resolution 85
On February 23, the Texas State Senate adopted Senate Resolution 85 to honor the frontline workers who responded admirably to the recent winter storm that caused millions to lose power.