Some Cities Challenge Oncor’s Proposed Electricity Rate Increase

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TARRANT COUNTY (CBSDFW.COM) – Oncor is seeking to raise its electric rates to increase its revenue by 7½ percent. But Arlington and Fort Worth are putting the rate hike on hold for 90 days until it can review the plan the cities say would raise residential rates by up to 12 percent.

“Energy itself is a huge part of our monthly expense anyway and 12 percent? That’s a big jump,” said Fort Worth resident Hustin Odean.

According to Fort Worth, the last time Oncor raised rates was 2011.

Here is part of a statement Oncor released: “Oncor is seeking to recover investments made in the grid to serve the needs of its customers. Since our last rate case we have invested over $7.9 billion to build, upgrade and operate the system.”

The Oncor rate review filing includes a number of requests, including: a revenue requirement adjustment of $317 million, representing an overall average adjustment of 7.5 percent, and a minimum charge for residential distributed generation customers. If granted in full, it would bring Oncor’s total revenue requirement to approximately $4.5 billion.

If approved by regulators, the typical North Texas homeowner will see an increase of $.22 a day.

But what most people don’t know is North Texas cities can challenge the rate hike and some are.

“I didn’t know they could and I wonder what they’re doing about it and what they can do about it, for sure,” Odean said.

“Of course we’re trying to keep the increase as little as possible,” said Fort Worth Assistant City Manager Jay Chapa.

Fort Worth is one of the cities that will postpone the rate hike for 90 days so it can review Oncore’s proposal. It’s part of a 140 city coalition that will hire a consultant to look at what Oncor wants to charge you to turn on your lights. If it thinks the rates need to be lower it will ask the state of Texas to force Oncor bring bills down.

“We want to make sure that number that Oncore provides and that information is really to just deliver electricity,” Chapa said. “It impacts all of our citizens, all of our businesses and impacts the cities budgets.”

Once the coalition establishes a number for a rate hike it thinks is fair it can ask the state to adopt it for all of Oncor’s north Texas customers.

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