Epic fail of renewables causes Texas town to have $1200 per year higher power bills

Average yearly homeowner electric bill increase is $1219

Above: Dale Ross in 2017 when the green dream hadn’t yet turned to a nightmare. From Georgetown View. The following opinion piece is from Chuck DeVore, a friend of WUWT:


Texas town’s environmental narcissism makes Al Gore happy while sticking its citizens with the bill

By Chuck DeVore

Political leaders in a college town in central Texas won wide praise from former Vice President Al Gore and the larger Green Movement when they decided to go “100 percent renewable” seven years ago. Now, however, they are on the defensive over electricity costs that have their residents paying more than $1,000 per household in higher electricity charges over the last four years.

That’s right – $1,219 per household in higher electricity costs for the 71,000 residents of Georgetown, Texas, all thanks to the decision of its Republican mayor, Dale Ross, to launch a bold plan to shift the city’s municipal utility to 100 percent renewable power in 2012.

In short order, Ross was elevated to celebrity status, appearing in scores of articles and videos, both at home and abroad. Al Gore made it a point to feature the Texas Republican mayor at renewable energy conferences as well. Ross was even featured in one of Gore’s documentaries.

But while Ross was being lauded far and wide, the residents of his town were paying a steep price. His decision to bet on renewables resulted in the city budget getting dinged by a total of $29.8 million in the four years from 2015 to 2018. Georgetown’s electric costs were $3.5 million over budget in 2015, ballooning to $6.3 million in 2016, the same year the mayor locked his municipal utility into 20- and 25-year wind and solar energy contracts to make good on his 100 percent renewable pledge.

By 2017, the mayor’s green gamble was undercut by the cheap natural gas prices brought about by the revolution in high-tech fracking. Power that year cost the city’s budget $9.5 million more than expected, rising to $10.5 million last year, according to budget documents reported by The Williamson County Sun.

Whether Mayor Ross and his colleagues on the Georgetown City Council were motivated by good intentions, political machinations, or mere vanity is unknown. What is known is that Georgetown’s municipal utility, an integral part of the city budget, is hemorrhaging red ink thanks to those long term renewable energy contracts.


Here is the best part from the article:

The mayor, who not long ago was approaching ubiquitous status with the media, could not be found by the local press to comment on his city’s budget-busting power deficit, declining to comment by both phone and email.

Full story, much more here.

 

UPDATE: My headline originally erroneously stated $1200 per month when it should have been per year. Fixed within 10 minutes of publication.

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176 thoughts on “Epic fail of renewables causes Texas town to have $1200 per year higher power bills

    • We published with confidence in 2002 in a written debate with the Pembina Institute:

      “Climate science does not support the theory of catastrophic human-made global warming – the alleged warming crisis does not exist.”

      We also published with confidence in the same 2002 debate:

      “The ultimate agenda of pro-Kyoto advocates is to eliminate fossil fuels, but this would result in a catastrophic shortfall in global energy supply – the wasteful, inefficient energy solutions proposed by Kyoto advocates simply cannot replace fossil fuels.”

      We told you so, 17 years ago. But did you listen? Nooooo!

      So now you are stuck with high electricity bills. Tell you what – send me money – lots and lots of money – and I’ll tell you how to get rid of this onerous wind power contract. No guarantees though – you’ll probably take my advice and then screw it up. Based on past experience, y’all don’t listen so good. 🙂

    • Another example of how Socialism always fails. Incompetent government officials will inevitably make poor decisions – the burden falls on the citizenry – and the controlling hand of a market economy has been manacled. Friedrich Hayek was quite correct and the burgeoning power of governments all over the world seems to get stronger everyday – especially since the press is so weak, co-opted and misinformed.

      • Socialism from a Republican mayor in Texas no less. Sure thing. This was a capitalism fail. Own it.

          • This fella how researched the trending change to blue in Texas for to generations of immigration.
            Hispanics vote 70% Democrat, which today means 70% socialist as that is into what the modern Democrats have devolved.
            It is only a matter of time before Texas too is lost. Yet another reason to build the wall. Just like Californians and New Yorkers who flee their states yet bring the same failed collectivists policies, so too will this nation fail by bringing in South and Central Americans who also share collectivist ideologies. The white West is doomed because of plans like the UN migration pact.
            You don’t see non white countries being inundated do you?
            Interesting that.

            For those who get tired of the politics angle, it should be well understood by now this is a socialist end game all the way. If you fail to recognize that then you don’t understand the true scope of this issue. And in order to build a socialist regime you must amass support. Well the numbers aren’t promising for America, especially if that wall isn’t built.

            Additionally, there are quite a few RINO’s, most notably the late Arizona liar named John McCain.
            Trump isn’t really a republican either, more like an 80s Democrat, but that doesn’t stop the mindless automatons from raging against him.

        • Interesting question. $1,200 extra on what base? Ie, what do they now pay for power? Australians are paying a considerable amount PA, possibly even higher than this town in Texas.

          • Hivemind, $1,200 extra on what base I would assume that if you used 800kW in a month outside of Georgetown and paid $150 for it, in Georgetown you’d pay $250 for the same 800kW. Because they are buying it from the grid and paying down the contract the naive mayor committed them to.

            I have solar PV and water and assisted cooling, I’m on the receiving end of things as I pay about $150 to $250 less than my neighbors but we’re all on the grid. So when my system fails to provide for me the grid is there for supply. For now the cost is likely negligible but if more of my neighbors did this the cost of generating power for when we need it would have to be reflected in our bills. The power company would have to do something or they’d go bankrupt.

      • thats $1200 a year increase, not total

        about A$1600 which is roughly my annual power bill in Australia, if I chuck in firewood

      • I seriously doubt that prices will decrease. But it will suppress growth until it is corrected. The reason is Georgetown is a bedroom community for Austin liberals fleeing Austin’s over-heated housing prices.

        Like everything good created by a traditionally conservative public policy of maintaining low taxes via small government, it creates a great environment for job creation and tech industry moving in/fleeing from California. Then the Liberals arrive in ever larger numbers and begin to dominate the political structures. They don’t leave their politics behind though. They end up destroying the very thing that brought them there in the first place.

    • ” ?It’s $1200/yr, right?”
      But is it even per year? What it says is
      “electricity costs that have their residents paying more than $1,000 per household in higher electricity charges over the last four years”

      The article is very short on absolute numbers. It’s all about costs being $x higher than some reference, which can be pretty hard to pin down.

      • It’s all about costs being $x higher than some reference . . .

        It would appear the reference is the previous 4 years:

        ” . . . paying more than $1,000 per household in higher electricity charges over the last four years . . . ”

        In which case, a $250 / year increase does seem a bit much don’t you agree?

        And then what difference would it make if the reference point is instead the next town over, where those residents are paying $1000 / year less than Georgetown is now?

        • “And then what difference would it make if the reference point is instead the next town over”
          So why to the figures matter at all?
          But it seems to be relative to budget. So what does that mean? Suppose they budgetted for big savings, and ended up just paying the same as the next town over? To make sense of the article, you really need to know.

          • So why to the figures matter at all?

            Well because the residents of the next town over that isn’t subject to the (apparent) Georgetown renewables contract debacle is paying +/- $1000 less than those residents in Georgetown . . .

          • Nick, there is such a thing as energy poverty, people unable to keep the lights on due to the high price of electricity. The higher the prices go, the more energy poverty.

            Name just one place where the green energy has led to lower prices.

            It amazes me that people can be concerned about the climate in 100 years and ignore the retirees freezing in the dark today.

          • “Well because the residents of the next town over that isn’t subject “
            But the figures aren’t relative to next town over. They are relative to Georgetown’s budget expectation. So we don’t know whether that is due to actual extra costs (re next town), or optimistic budget savings that didn’t eventuate. There’s a big difference between actual cost and someone’s faulty budgetting.

          • So we don’t know whether that is due to actual extra costs (re next town), or optimistic budget savings that didn’t eventuate.

            At the very least you’re right that the article is lacking specifics.

          • Nick, the reference period is “4 years ago”. So whatever they were paying 4 years ago, say x per annum, they’ve now spent 4x + $1,219. Now, Texas is pretty cheap overall for electricity. My home is pretty modest in size, and we spend plus or minus $1500 per year on electricity here in NJ, which is about +25% for electricity costs per k-Wh. An extra $300 per year would definitely sting.

          • Hi Nick. It may be a double whammy. First the city budge is hit by the increased costs. This is managed by cuts else where or “mill” rate increases to property taxes. Then there is increases to individual house holds and business

            From article

            “Most Texas residents have the ability to choose their electricity provider in a competitive statewide market, leading to electricity prices that are among the lowest in the nation: 18 percent below the national average in 2018, and 48 percent below prices in green energy pacesetter California.

            But Texas’ electricity market excludes municipal utilities like Georgetown’s from competition, leaving consumers without choice and allowing political decisions – rather than market forces – to determine the mix of electricity suppliers. ”

            Quit the mess

            michael

          • It’s pretty clear, Nick. Stop being such a weasel.

            “…The deficits were triggered by the drop in natural gas prices—now the mainstay of the U.S. electric grid, having displaced coal—which caused the city to sell its surplus wind and solar power at a steep discount into Texas’ wholesale energy market…

            …Most Texas residents have the ability to choose their electricity provider in a competitive statewide market, leading to electricity prices that are among the lowest in the nation: 18 percent below the national average in 2018..”

            Once again, it’s hard to tell if you’re just being obtuse or really are that thick.

            FYI, the “average customer” bill in Georgetown is set to go up another $13/month starting Feb 1. That’s 10% of the average residential bill in TX.

          • “Nick, the reference period is “4 years ago”. So whatever they were paying 4 years ago, say x per annum, they’ve now spent 4x + $1,219.”
            That’s the period. But it doesn’t say they are spending that much more than they did. It says that they are spending more each year than was budgetted for that year. So you have to ask whether the spending was higher or the budgetting lower? Was someone too optimistic?

        • “In which case, a $250 / year increase does seem a bit much don’t you agree?”

          Less than $21/month extra? No, doesn’t seem like the mountain it’s being made out to be. Looks like a non-story as far as the cost to the end-user, so far.

          • Looks like it’s going up to around $33.82 / month, or +/- $406.00 / year extra starting February 1st, plus additional base cost increases:

            “The City of Georgetown will increase the power cost adjustment or PCA on customer’s electric bills starting Feb. 1. The PCA allows the City to recover costs associated with purchasing energy.

            Customers will incur an increase of $0.0135 per kilowatt hour, resulting in a new PCA of $0.0175 per kilowatt hour through September. The average customer uses 949 kilowatt hours per month and will experience a $12.82 increase on their monthly bill.”

            What say you, Jeff, still a “non-story,” even for fixed-income households?

          • “Looks like it’s going up to around $33.82 / month”
            I don’t know where you get that from. The Municipal notice that you quote from is here. It quotes a rise of $12.82 per month. But what it also makes clear is that the increase comes only after they have tried other internal rearrangements::
            “In 2016, 2017, and 2018, the City addressed these ongoing challenges with one-time solutions, including adjusting how the City financed electric infrastructure projects, such as cash versus debt financing, adjusting the timing of projects, increasing the PCA on electric bills, and completing a rate study. All these efforts were intended to resolve what was previously perceived as one-time problems.”

            And, it says:
            “The current challenge is not related to renewable energy sources.”

          • It quotes a rise of $12.82 per month.

            $21 (per Jeff) + $12.82 = $33.82

            “The current challenge is not related to renewable energy sources.”

            I’ve made no claim regarding sources.

          • So you’ve taken someone’s (high) estimate of the amount and added the real figure. What does that achieve?

            Well if you must know, and I’m not sure you really must, it was Jeff’s argument, hence I was interested in his thoughts regarding how much of a “non-story” an additional $400/year increase in consumer electricity costs to the average consumer ought perhaps to be considered a real story. E.g., in the case of those consumers on fixed income.

            Really Nick with all due respect why am I explaining this to you when you can read the comment thread yourself? Obviously you can, you chose to interject?

      • I am with you on this Nick.

        The article states that electricity costs have exceeded their budget by a total of almost $30 million in the last 4 years. The city population is 71,000, so about 25,000 households is a reasonable estimate of the number of electricity accounts there, which equates to $1,200 IN TOTAL per account to pay for the over-budget electricity over the 4 year period.

        Sometimes I get my maths wrong, but why such a popular blog as WUWT hasn’t got it right by the time I have seen this at 09:30 on Thursday in Australia beats me.

        • ” . . . which equates to $1,200 IN TOTAL per account . . . “

          I’m no mathematician either, but $1200 per account over 4 years seems to equal $300 per year per account – not a small sum by any means?

          I can’t recall any time in decades of paying for both residential and/or commercial electric service having a rate increase of $300 / year in Texas.

          • $300 per year (£250) is at least what us Brits pay extra because of thr Renewables Obligation)

      • Spoken like a true blood communist. It really does not matter how much you take from the people because they did not earn it anyway. We of the intelligentsia know best. You earn it, we take it, and we may give it back if you are one of the selected.

        • Sounds like crony capitalism to me. The banks cause a near depression and we bail out the banks and not the people. Made in the good old USA.

          Blind ideology always baffles me.

          • Blind ideology always baffles me.

            That’s funny, coming from the guy who defines blind ideology.

            Up above he declares that since the mayor is Republican, this is capitalism not socialism.
            Or how failures of government are failures of capitalism, not socialism.
            The banks didn’t cause anything. They were following the law as written by the socialists in congress.

    • Here in the PG&E rate zone … +$1,200/yr has been occurring for years now … as the interlocking directorates of The CA Legislature, Givernors office, CA PUC, and PG&E all conspire to RAPE the ratepayers … in the name of “saving the planet”. We PAY for a constant barrage of PR “virtue-signaling” advertising which includes lessons about; Energy efficiency, Energy “Waste”, Employees ovvvvv culler, Global Warming, “sinful” use of energy … etc. anything and everything completely irrelevant to what SHOULD BE PG&E’s prime mission … deliver cheap, abundant, energy to the people of N.CA.

    • NOT per year; over the past 4 years, so $300 per annum.

      “Now, however, they are on the defensive over electricity costs that have their residents paying more than $1,000 per household in higher electricity charges over the last four years.”

    • From the original article:
      “That’s right – $1,219 per household in higher electricity costs for the 71,000 residents of Georgetown, Texas.” Per household! How many houses? And what about the commercial costs, presuming they have a commercial sector now?

    • Wow. $1200/Year would double my Electric Bill.
      I can’t believe the residents aren’t converging on City Hall pitch forks in hand.

    • Technically the article does not say per year. The only time frame provided states, “…paying more than $1,000 per household in higher electricity charges over the last four years.” Per year is inferred but it could be $1000 over 4 years or $250 per year. Other specifics provided are for annul budgets but without a number of rate payers or how overruns are financed that annual increase can’t be calculated.
      I’d prefer to see something like average monthly or yearly bill increased from X to Y. That would also provide the percent increase.

    • hmmm…I recall some proverb against placing all your eggs into one basket.
      Alas, common sense isn’t all that common.
      He seems to have not been listening when his grannie read all those childhood wisdom fables that taught such good general lessons.
      Well, he will be parading around in his “new clothes” just as the temperatures drop across the country.

      • I’m pretty sure that Grimm’s Fairy Tails have been banned in most counties. Too violent or something (which they were , which made them memorable).

  1. I’m sad for the ratepayers. They will not escape this situation any time soon. Even trying to sell out and leave will be problematic.

    When does this story end up on 60 Minutes? LOL

  2. If the bill mentioned in the connected story goes through, will the municipal utility be able to go bankrupt? It does seem if most of the customers are able to choose another power supplier, Georgetown will lose enough customers that will be the only out.

    • It does seem if most of the customers are able to choose another power supplier . . .

      According to the article they can’t but that isn’t exactly true:

      But Texas’ electricity market excludes municipal utilities like Georgetown’s from competition, leaving consumers without choice and allowing political decisions – rather than market forces – to determine the mix of electricity suppliers.

      Municipals have the option:

      As of January 1, 2002, municipally-owned electric utilities (“munis”) and electric cooperatives (“co-ops”) have the right to choose whether to participate in Texas’ retail electric market.

      https://www.puc.texas.gov/consumer/facts/faq/Muni.aspx

      Whether Georgetown has elected to invoke their right to monopoly, I don’t know for sure, but it doesn’t seem rational to believe they wouldn’t.

      • In the linked article, it mentioned there was a proposed Texas bill to allow customers of municipal utilities to opt out, and choose another supplier.

        • Hopefully a consistent approach to competition will prevail and become law. Now if only I could drill a water well in the city limits . . . at least dreamin’ is free.

  3. “Mayor Ross had previously reveled in trolling President Trump, boasting to a German TV show that, “I make decisions based on facts… unlike the president,” then opining that “It was a huge mistake to withdraw from the Paris climate accords…””

    ….LOL

    • ““Mayor Ross had previously reveled in trolling President Trump”

      It’s nice to see people like this get their comeuppance.

  4. America is great for this example of thousands of various experiments in public policy. Public policy failures like Georgetown (or Puerto Rico) become learning case studies. People can see stupidity and free-market natural selection can select winners and losers. And if government gets in the way as they have in California’s energy market, people can easily vote with their feet and move across the state line or to nearby town/city or out to an unincorporated rural setting in Georgetown’s case.

    Dale Ross – a RINO trying to ingratiate himself to the ignorant Liberal social circles in Austin. Sadly his virtue signaling is costing people the lowest economic segment of Georgetown dearly.

    Not much different than former Gov. Arny Schwarzenegger when he signed the California Carbon cap and trade boondoggle that is slowly squeezing the economic life out of California.

    Dale Ross and, Schwarzenegger are examples of RINOs that must be driven from political office or at least force them to change party affiliations to stay in politics. There are several of these types today in Congress who call themselves Republicans. They clearly need to be “primary-ed out” by primary challengers. Cahllengers with the common sense of what being a conservative means and willing to challenge the stupidity of renewable energy that sell-outs working class America to the green billionaires like Tom Steyer and “Green” hedge funds.

    • RINOs and DINOs everywhere. Depends on the point of view.

      But he is not the first guy to sign a long term energy contract and get burned. Happens with oil and gas and coal as well.

  5. I know Dale Ross from political meetings. He used to pretend to be a Republican to get elected. Recently, he told a Republican activist words to the effect that the Democrats love me and I don’t need you (Republicans) any more. Cynical and without principles. The Democrats are welcome to him.

    Some time ago, I tried to tell him the folly of renewable energy. What happens when the wind don’t blow and the sun don’t shine? At any rate, he and Al Gore knew better. So, I confess to a feeling of schadenfreude. May the Lord forgive me but he is an arrogant “Little Napoleon” and he had it coming. Too bad about the people of Georgetown, especially in Sun City since they are on a fixed income. They voted for him so I do sympathize, but not too much.

    • I wonder what he thinks of his political career or his credibility? Although politician’s are on the whole a rather shameless lot.

      • Well he’s finished as a Republican or anything remotely related to conservatism. And as Republican-reject he’ll never be welcomed in the Democratic Party, which itself only exists as a political force in Texas in the bigger cities like Austin, San Antonio, Houston, Dallas, El Paso.

  6. all thanks to the decision of its Republican mayor, Dale Ross,

    more like
    all thanks to the decision of its RINO mayor, Dale Ross,

  7. But on the good side, the greenies that forced this on the public feel just so darn good about themselves.

    Now they need to do something for their warm-fuzzy fix tomorrow.

  8. The poor and fixed income households suffer the most between high property taxes in TX and higher green utilities. What’s left water, sanitation, and local Sales Taxes to cover the budget fiasco?

    • Scale of the two issues is somehwat different

      Nobody is sending bills to individuals for $500, althought it will probably ripple through in higher long term tarrifs.

      What is never discussed when looking at these peaks is how much of it is budgetted for or hedged against anyway.

      • How are they different? That $500 must be payed by the ratepayers (or backed up by the taxpayers, who are the same people).

        These peak prices are vastly higher than they used to be. They got to over $14,000 per MWh, which corresponds to $14 per kWh — 500 to 1000 times the typical retail price.

        Do you really think there is $1000 of a typical household’s electric bill per year budgeted for two of these days?

        • No but I do beleive (in the Oz case)such days are so common and predictable the overall annualized costs is included in the tariff that is struck with customers and adjusted and end of supply contracts. Nobody gets a $500 bill.

          You really belive that when a flight only has 10 seats filled , that those 10 people pay the real cost of that flight? Flights like that (days like that) are known occurences and are pat of everyones ticket. Its real money for sure, but spread very widely.

    • I lived in Southern California for 28 years, the last 11 of them in Redlands (we left in 2008). Our electric utility was Southern California Edison. Our house was a 4,400 square foot single-story residence on 1/2 acre, and we had a swimming pool. The pumps in the pool ran continuously, but didn’t consume much power. The roof of our home had a 1 foot thick layer of polyurethane foam insulation, so heat penetration from the sun was zero. Toward the end of our residence there, the highest electric bill we had was $1,200 per month. I knew that was impossible on a flat-rate basis. So I went on an exhaustive chase for the truth.

      The main problem was that SoCalEdison’s rate structure was sort of like the progressive income tax. They (allegedly) measured “average” usage, and set that as the “baseline.” Anything up to the baseline was billed at the basic rate. Above the baseline, the rate jumped to a breathtaking level. Our baseline was set at an absurdly low level. But beyond that, I found that their “meter readings” were, in fact, “estimated” – the meter readers couldn’t be bothered to actually read them. The biggest bill we got as a result of that was $2.400 – as a result of a supposed “correction” for previous “underestimates.” We managed to fight that one, and win.

      The one thing that really bugged me, though, was the meter. I once did a sequential power down of everything in the house, reading the power rate each time. Finally, I threw the main breaker, shutting off all power from the panel. The meter still rotated, slowly but surely. We repeatedly requested that SoCalEd come out and install a new meter. They demurred, saying that “If the meter is defective, it would read high.”

      When we moved out in 2008, we shut off all electric power to the house. Because of the real estate implosion of that year, it sat unoccupied until 2010. During that time, we received a minimum bill of $110 per month for electric power.

      Now I live in Virginia, with power supplied by the collective Novec (an excellent outfit). Our house here is actually bigger than the California house, though without a pool. Our average monthly bill is about $125 a month, with a peak of about $200 in summer.

      Go figure.

      • Long time readers will recall Anthony Watts’ articles regarding his foray into solar electric panels. As I recall, he did it as all-in, with no financing from the various solar “farmers” out there, so he paid all the costs and got all the revenues. The biggest incentive was this demand charge you encountered. In his case, shaving kW demand off his peak pretty much paid for the system, not including the additional electricity offsets.

  9. Rereading the article, it seems to be unclear whether the $1200 was per year or was spread over 4 years.

    • You’re right, it isn’t clear from the article.

      It reports “over budget” numbers totally $30 million over 4 years. If you take the town’s population of 71,000 and put it into 25,000 households, that’s $1200 spread over the 4 years.

      However, they may very well have budgeted for higher costs in the first place, just not high enough. But for it to be $1200 per household per year, they would have had to have budgeted for $900 per year.

  10. Gee, just because somebody tells you something, don’t you think you should check this out thoroughly when you are betting on something a whole city has to pay for? Wouldnt you wonder why you were the first city to do this. Wouldnt you know what your constituents would have to pay before you signed a contract… for 25yrs!!

    Since we have all these junk lawsuits against oil companies by the left, wouldnt this be a natural for suing the green goons back for false advertising on the competitiveness of renewables? Since the deal was signed, we discover that windmills fail after 12 yrs and their capacities decline to about half in that time. Hey, this means they will triple in the cost for their power and taxpayers have already paid them huge subsidies from the outset. I’d say the folks of Georgetown are therefore actually paying 1200 they dont know about plus 1200 that they do.

  11. Is it $1,219 extra per year, of over 4 years, i.e. $305 per year? The article says “Now, however, they are on the defensive over electricity costs that have their residents paying more than $1,000 per household in higher electricity charges over the last four years.”

  12. Sadly idiots like this get to grandstand and strut the stage for a while, and then get voted out leaving their “legacy” of dumb decision and long term debt or payment contracts for others to deal with. It has been the same in Australia , particularly South Australia but now in the much larger State of Victoria , where instead of learning from those mistakes they are repeating them.

    Blackouts and stratospheric peak costs are just the prelude, if they stay on the current path.

  13. So a ~70% increase in cost since 2015. That’s ~23% per year. Was there an associated ~70% increase in consumption?

    And can the Germans expect the same increase when they go 100% “renewable”?

    • I forgot this…

      That’s the problem Californians transplanting themselves.

      They cannot run from themselves…

      But hopefully the axiom: “the solution to pollution is dilution” when the next 10 million or so leave California. Right now they are screwing up CDL/Post Falls/Sand Point, Boise, Arizona, and Texas.

  14. Well, they should be thankful that renewables provide ‘free’ energy. Otherwise…
    Have you ever noticed that almost every con includes the victim being told he is getting something ‘free’?

    • TANSTAFL – it’s worth remembering
      (There Are No Such Things As Free Lunches)
      It’s been around since the 30’s.

      Modern day equivalent: “When the computer app is free, it’s your data that’s being sold.” TANSTAFL

  15. “… they decided to go “100 percent renewable” seven years ago …”.
    ===========================================
    “100% renewable” implies that the town’s electricity supply is totally self-sufficient but it’s not while it remains connected to the state grid:
    ” Georgetown has contracted with NRG Energy Inc. for solar and EDF Renewable Energy for wind. Energy generated by both the solar and wind farms is put into a statewide electrical grid, which is operated by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas. GUS then pulls energy off of the state electrical grid to meet customers’ needs …”.
    https://communityimpact.com/austin/georgetown/city-county/2018/08/14/bottom-line-drives-georgetowns-switch-to-solar-wind-power/
    Texas electricity generation by source is overwhelmingly gas-fired and coal-fired.
    Reliable 24 hour 7 day electricity supply to meet demand from weather-dependent sources is impossible and in a rational system the suppliers of the base-load backup would be charging appropriately for the costs associated with being suppliers of last resort.

  16. Why are the costs going up when the prices were locked in for 20 years? May look like a smarter decision in the later years of the contract. Assuming the wind mill companies are still in business.

    • The problem isn’t that their prices are going up, it is that the cost for the rest of the Texas grid went down and they are locked into a long term fixed price contract with the solar and wind providers and so can’t take advantage of the fossil fuel driven price decline their neighbors are enjoying.

      • Guess the Georgetown residents can at least be thankful their local Government didn’t actually sever themselves from a reliable grid.
        If they had actually gone “100% Renewable”, they’d be in the dark. (And a bit chilly at times.)

      • As I understand it, it is worse than that. They contracted to buy all the electricity the wind and solar plants generated, even if they did not need it. So when the sun is shining and the wind blowing they are selling surplus electricity to the rest of the grid, generally at a loss.

        • The fact that they are still attached to the Texas grid, to buy or sell, means that they never did go “100% Renewable”.
          The “100% Renewable” energy was just a political Head-LIE-n from the start.

          PS Does Germany import energy? How about Spain?

        • Indeed. BillP. Basically they are selling their excess to the grid (cheaply at a loss, possibly even paying the grid to take it) at times when the grid energy is most abundant/cheap (the sun is shining so all the solar providers are feeding the grid, the wind is blowing so all the wind providers are feeding the grid) and buying from the grid at the times that the grid energy is most scarce/expensive (sun isn’t shining so everyone that depends on solar is tapping the grid, the wind isn’t blowing so everyone that depends on wind is tapping the grid).

  17. Have you been shortchanged by your major’s vanity? Join us in a class action to recover some of your losses.

    Just a suggestion for can enterprising legal eagle in Georgetown.

  18. “the mayor locked his municipal utility into 20- and 25-year wind and solar energy contracts”

    Shades of Enron.

    No mention is made about building out enough wind/solar to supply the town.

    Odds are that they signed contracts with a vendor.
    No mention is made about ‘what if’ solar and/or wind are not supplying electricity. Meaning, that on those days, the vendor just draws electricity from the grid and sell it to the town as 100% solar/wind based on the assumption that no one can tell the difference.

  19. I love it.

    NPR was slobbering all over this guy two years ago.

    Do you think NPR is covering the outcome ?

    Not on your life !

  20. In 2016 they claimed 90% of their electricity was from wind. They plan to add solar to round out their power needs to get them to 100%. When that comes on line to get them from 90% to 100%, they expect 40% of their power to come from solar and 60% to come from wind.

    Residents were told they would get more certainty in the electric rates because they can fix the cost for 20 years, and the costs won’t go up. They can only lock in gas prices for 6 or 7 years. Greenie/snowflake companies would be attracted to a city with 100% renewable power. Say, wouldn’t that cause their power requirements to increase?

    I think it’s fine that they’ve made themselves a test case. It’s a sacrifice I’m willing to make.

  21. Surely Texas has adequate tar supplies and a few chooks (chickens for the non-Aussies) for feathers that could be applied to his person as he leaves town.

  22. In 12 years Georgetown Texas will be the only city left on the Globe … but nobody (not even Soros) will be able to afford to live there.
    For documentation, search for AOC, the left’s rising intellectual.

    (Glad she hasn’t targeted drug companies yet. Trying to connect her dots gave me a headache!)

  23. Anthony
    Worth a post on its own
    Channel 9 news site Australia 2 hours ago
    “energy bill from last week’s heatwave has been revealed with Victoria and South Australia spending $1.1 billion during 48 hours of scorching weather.

    Tremendous pressure was placed on power supplies at the height of the heat as temperatures reached the mid to high 40s.

    The Australian Energy Market was forced to order rolling power cuts across both states to prevent widespread blackouts.

    The power bills for Victoria and South Australia have topped $1.1 billion.
    The power bills for Victoria and South Australia have topped $1.1 billion. (Getty)
    In Victoria alone, that meant 200,000 homes and businesses were left without power in the middle of the heatwave.

    Three generators in Victoria, two at Yallourn and one at Loy Yang, failed in the lead up to the extreme heat.

    Despite the inconvenience to many thousands, compensation is not currently being offered.”
    I cannot believe the figure of 1.1 billion.
    Puts this little town in the shade.
    Perhaps JoNova’s husband could write it up properly.
    1.1 billion!!
    There was a film where someone says something like that

  24. … residents paying more than $1,000 per household in higher electricity charges over the last four years.

    So, doesn’t this mean that the “more than $1,000 per household” is dividided by four = $250 per year more?
    And if the actual figure is “$1,219 per household in higher electricity costs”, then isn’t the PER YEAR increase $1,219/4 = $304.75 per year MORE per household?

    And this is over the last four years, right? — 2014 to 2018 ?

    $304.75 is still significant, and, as I’m reading, it looks like the price will continue to climb:

    https://www.statesman.com/news/20190124/monthly-electric-bill-to-go-up-by-more-than-12-for-georgetown-customers
    “Electric bills for city of Georgetown customers will increase by an average of $12.82 per month starting Feb. 1 to help the city recover the cost of purchasing energy, according to a city news release.”

    Let’s see now: $12.82 per month, for a year, is ANOTHER $153.84 MORE per year, on top of the previous $304.75 per year increase from the previous four years. Now we’re up to $304.74 + $153.84 = $463.58 per year MORE over the past five years, at the end of January of 2020.

    Do I hear $500 per year more? .. $600 ? … $700 ?

    Doesn’t the trend seem clearly up and up and up ?

  25. ” $1,219 per household in higher electricity costs”

    Can someone tell me the cost per kWh they are paying ?
    Also the daily supply fee.
    They are just giving a figure for an average household, whatever that is.

        • “Hmmm, their advertised rates as of 01/07/19 are below and don’t really look all that bad for Texas.”
          Exactly. That is what this Fox news article isn’t telling you. They wave figures around about how the budget savings figures might have been off, but don’t tell you what people are actually paying.

          • . . . but don’t tell you what people are actually paying.

            I suspect the advertised rates are what people are paying, but I’m still confused about the following:

            Municipal Service
            Base $132.00 @ $0.0700 per kWh with $0.004 “Power Cost Adjustment”

            What’s a municipal service? Is that for service from the muni??? If so, that’s much more expensive than what I would pay for residential rates. What’s the difference between muni and residential/commercial? What’s a “PCA?”

            Many questions . . .

        • Thanks for that.
          9.58c is still pretty good compared to Australia

          “Power Cost Adjustment – The Power Cost Adjustment (PCA) charge will continue for the foreseeable future. This is the charge which allows the City to recover costs associated with purchasing power. The PCA is an adjustment to rates to compensate for fluctuations in purchased power cost caused by market prices as we are currently experiencing. It is a means to pass through the impact of short-term market factors without constantly changing the energy rate.”

          https://gus.georgetown.org/faq-georgetown-energy-contracts/

    • Frontier Utilities PUCT # 10169
      100% Green Energy
      NOTE: Electricity pricing in Texas has two parts to it: Provider Charges (Frontier Utilities) and Utility Delivery Charges (Oncor). These combine to become Total Charges.

      Provider Charges (Frontier Utilities)
      Base Charge
      $5.95 per month

      Energy Charge
      6.1¢ per kWh

        • How does this Georgetown setup work when it clouds over and the wind stops blowing?

          Do they have storage batteries or hydro pumped storage? Compressed air in salt caverns?

          Do they just black out their customers? Or do they mooch off their fossil-powered neighboring towns?

          • FAQ
            Where does Georgetown purchase its power?
            Georgetown is under contract to purchase power from four different providers. Our two largest energy providers are Spinning Spur 3, a windmill farm and Buckthorn, a solar farm, both located in West Texas. The wind power covers the bulk of the city’s energy needs. The solar farm provides energy needed during peak times of the day and year (primarily summer during the daylight hours).

            The third source of energy is a smaller wind farm operated by American Electric Power (AEP) which primarily covers Southwestern University’s energy needs.

            Our final energy contract is with Mercuria for natural gas-based energy. This contract was initiated in 2013 with the former JP Morgan following our termination of our relationship with LCRA. It was intended as a short-term power supply and is set to expire in 2021.

        • My thinking is that this story is twice overblown.

          The first way this is overblown is the supposed severe economic penalty to their rate payers. What they are paying is certainly more than the very low price their Texas neighbors are paying, but it is less than what I am paying in the Upper Great Lakes (the connect charge is lower at 18.74 for 30 days, but the kWHr rate is running about 13 cents, which is somewhat higher, and this is for not-particularly-green service).

          The second way this is overblown is the claim that Georgetown is getting green power. They are hooked up to the Texas Grid, and they are paying money under contract to green providers.

          This doesn’t seem to be like Biosphere 2 in Arizona where they have closed the doors and are dependent on the green plants within city limits to provide their breathing oxygen. It is more like how oxygen comes and goes into their city, only they are under some kind of contract to pay a greenhouse somewhere else to grow enough plants generating the equivalent of the oxygen they use up?

          Claims of being 100 percent green under these arrangements bother me because I claim they don’t take into account that without some breakthrough in storage, wind and solar power can never amount to more than about 20-30 percent of electric use. Even that number is optimistic because it doesn’t take into account that fossil plants relegated to the backup role generate the power they do supply at lower efficiency because these plants are no longer operated at steady conditions.

          • Paul, you’re correct, the Texas electrical grid is all interconnected. The power on the line comes from any number of sources. Purchasing “green” energy can’t be anything more than a paper transaction.

        • “Residential: $24.80 @ $0.0958 per kWh”

          Here is the Wayback of that same site for September 2015.
          Residential Service $20.00 @ $0.0939
          Negligible change in cost per kWH in 3.5 years. So much for those $1200 over 4 years in charges.

      • Georgetown seemed to have a scheme were them they would buy a surplus of renewable to guarantee their 100% supply and on days where they had a surplus sell it on the grid.

        From the article .

        “The deficits were triggered by the drop in natural gas prices—now the mainstay of the U.S. electric grid, having displaced coal—which caused the city to sell its surplus wind and solar power at a steep discount into Texas’ wholesale energy market. City leaders had to lock in a large excess of wind and solar power to be able to lend credibility to their 100 percent renewable claim, since wind and solar power can’t be relied on to keep the lights on 24/7/365. And, even with that surplus, there are times when Georgetown draws traditional fossil fuel power from the Texas grid, making the city’s “100 percent renewable” claim nothing more than spurious sloganeering.”

        Fools.

        michael

  26. tsk tsk. you climate deniers

    The bills may have gone up by $350 per year but its a price worth paying, because the economic discount vis a vis the social cost of carbon , bearing in mind the mitigation savings by invoking the precautionary principle and Peter Gleik means that each household is actually 500 dollars better off.

    500 dollars minus 350 means that each person in Texas is in a much more renewable canary in a cage.

    • Quote EO:
      tsk tsk. you climate deniers…

      It seems to me that climate has been changing since the beginning of the Earth and all the other planets and always will. It seems to me it is the AGW/CC crowd that are the anti-climate change believers and believe they are GOD with engineering blueprints.

  27. LOL. . . Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha…
    My advice. . . switch back to good old natural gas, coal, or whatever was used before this mess started.
    (and get rid of that mayor).
    JPP

      • “Where is it wrong?”
        The article doesn’t say anywhere that power bills will rise by $1200 per year. It lists a number of budget shortfalls over four years which could be added to $1219 per household in total, over four years. But a budget shortfall doesn’t mean rates will rise by that amount. It just means that they got their budgetting wrong. In fact, it seems to mainly relate to anticipated sales to the grid not earning as much. There is an announcement of an increase amounting to $12.82 per month. Not $100.

        • The article doesn’t say anywhere that power bills will rise by $1200 per year.

          You’re right, thanks for pointing that out. The article says their rates have risen over the past four years by that amount, rather than what’s going to happen going forward:

          Now, however, they are on the defensive over electricity costs that have their residents paying more than $1,000 per household in higher electricity charges over the last four years.

          The additional $12.82 you mention is being added to the last 4 years of increase, hence, whatever present budget shortfalls you’ve identified would seem to indicate the potential for even more in future costs added to the $1200 already passed on to Georgetown’s customers.

          • “The additional $12.82 you mention is being added to the last 4 years of increase”
            No, there is no basis for that at all. In fact, it says that the new PCA will be $0.0175 $/kWH, after the $0.0135 increase. They say:
            “In 2016, 2017, and 2018, the City addressed these ongoing challenges with one-time solutions, including adjusting how the City financed electric infrastructure projects, such as cash versus debt financing, adjusting the timing of projects, increasing the PCA on electric bills, and completing a rate study. All these efforts were intended to resolve what was previously perceived as one-time problems.”
            So the only extra charge mentioned is PCA, and the total after increase was $0.004 /kWH.

          • No, there is no basis for that at all.

            Actually, it can’t but necessarily follow that such is true. If the last four years have seen the +/-$1200 increase, and the $12.82 isn’t being implemented until February, then it necessarily follows that the $12.82 will be added to the amount of increase already implemented over the last 4 years.

          • ” If the last four years have seen the +/-$1200 increase…”
            If. But there is no evidence of that. There is nothing in the report that spells out an increase. The PCA is currently virtually zero, and as you’ve noted, current charges seem fairly typical for the region. This $1200 is spun out of data from the budget. There is a gap between what they expected and what turned up, basically because prices elsewhere dropped. They described, in the section I quoted, their past efforts to solve this, which involved juggling the finances, not charging their customers.

          • “If the last four years have seen the +/-$1200 increase”
            As I showed upthread, cost in Sept 2015 was $0.0939 per kWH. Now it is $0.0958. The claim of $1200 rise in 4 years is absolute nonsense.

          • Seems like there is evidence.

            Agreed, I don’t see too much worrisome change at the residential level, which could make sense, since that’s where the voters are and this Mayoral Moron is certainly smart enough to see that. But I do see what appears to be a soaking at the business level. Given businesses don’t pay their own bills, rather their customers do, there might still be an argument here, albeit people who don’t think rationally would likely ignore it:

            Old Rates (from your wayback link)

            Large General $20.00 $8.45* $0.0713 $0.0001 $442.50
            Industrial $250.00 $10.00** $0.0644 $0.0001 $5,250.00
            Large Industrial $350.00 $7.50*** $0.0661 $0.0001 $15,350.00

            New Rates

            Large General $175.00 $11.00* $0.06543 $0.0175 $0.00 $725.00
            Industrial $350.00 $16.00**$0.05648 $0.0175 $0.00 $8,350.00
            Large Industrial $510.00 $19.25**$0.05317 $0.0175 $0.00 $39,010.00

            I don’t have a clue if the table formatting will hold here, but you should be able to see the soaking this muni is giving to it’s business clients. Look at Large General Service alone. The Base Charge has risen 775% in only 6 years! The minimum charge has increased 64.03%. Large industrial service has seen a 50% increase in the *minimum* charge since 2013.

            Extortion. And all for a failure to plan.

          • “The Base Charge has risen 775% in only 6 years!”
            Those are their charges for infrastructure – poles and wires, and admin. Same for any power source. I’ve no idea whether it is justified. I don’t think Large Industrial should be too fazed at paying $510 per month. But their charge per kWH has actually gone down, from $0.0661 to 0.05317.

          • I’ve no idea whether it is justified.

            I can think of at least one scenario where the muni would argue it is.

            I don’t think Large Industrial should be too fazed at paying $510 per month.

            I wonder if they should be fazed at paying close to 50% more for the minimum charge since 2013, i.e., an additional $23,660 per month?

          • “fazed at paying close to 50% more for the minimum charge”
            No, they wouldn’t be paying more. It isn’t a separate charge. If the minimum rises past what you are paying, you just lose the slight discount for Large – IOW pay $0.05648 instead of $0.05317 per kWH.

            But the thing that stands out here is that there was no major past increase in Georgetown rates, and a future change of $12.32 per month for residual. Not $1200 per year, past or future.

          • No, they wouldn’t be paying more. It isn’t a separate charge.

            That’s true, it isn’t a separate charge. It’s a minimum charge as I said. I called them to ask them to define “minimum charge.” That’s what the customer pays regardless of usage for any given month.

            Hence, yes, they are paying more. A total of 154% more than in 2013.

            The minimum charge (“Minimum Bill”) for Large Industrial (e.g., a hospital) is $39,010.00, regardless of actual usage:

            https://gus.georgetown.org/customercare/rates/

            The minimum charge for Large Industrial (e.g., a hospital) in 2013 was $15,350.00, regardless of actual usage.

            Hence, the increase in the minimum charge for hospitals alone In Georgetown has been about 154% over 5 years.

            But the thing that stands out here is that there was no major past increase in Georgetown rates . . .

            Doesn’t appear to stand out to me. In fact, were I an hospital administrator, a lack of “major past increase” in rates wouldn’t mean much to me at all given how they’re just blowing up the minimum charge for my facility. Kept my rates down? Gee thanks for your “kindness.”

            I suspect I might be somewhat fazed. But then maybe it’s all just what you have to do when you deal with Mayoral Morons who fail to plan. In the end, the hospital will just raise their rates to their customers – the sick people.

          • ” That’s what the customer pays regardless of usage”
            Yes. So if you are over the minimum, it isn’t a cost. If you are consistently under, you need to be reclassified.

            But there was an intriguing page at your link, called “Rumor Control” in which the city refutes much of what is said here:

            The City lost $26 million.

            The loss of $26 million reported by the media is inaccurate. It is true that between 2016 and 2018, the City incorrectly projected the cost of energy by a total $26 million. However, the City compensated for these missed projections with one-time solutions, including adjusting how the City financed electric infrastructure projects (i.e. cash vs. debt financing), adjusting the timing of projects, increasing the PCA on electric bills, and completing a rate study. All these efforts were intended to resolve what was previously perceived as one-time problems.

            The City does not want to shortchange the severity of the current challenge. A more accurate characterization of the current position is to reference the change in fund balance. The electric fund is expected to end the year with a fund balance of $1.97 million, which is $6.84 million short of the projected balance for fiscal year 2018.

            This problem occurred because the City contracted for renewable energy.

            The crux of the current challenge hinges on the large amount of energy the City must sell on the market that is not currently consumed in Georgetown. Like most city-owned utilities, Georgetown contracted for more energy than it currently needs. Any energy that is not consumed by Georgetown customers must be sold into the energy market.

            Over the past few years, the energy market in Texas experienced a fundamental change. Forecasts provided by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, the State’s energy grid operator, have proven to be unreliable. What were perceived as anomalies in 2016 and 2017, such as reduced consumption, unpredictable pricing, and unusually cold weather, masked the true impact of a depressed global energy market. The effect of depressed energy prices became abundantly obvious in 2018.

            At the same time, the utility is seeing a drop in consumer demand which is largely driven by conservation efforts, energy-saving technologies, and more energy-efficient new construction. Due to these two factors, the City ended the 2018 fiscal year with a $6.84 million shortfall in the electric fund, leaving a fund balance of $1.97 million.

            It is not possible for the City to be 100 percent renewable.

            The City has never claimed that the electrons produced in West Texas are the same electrons consumed in Georgetown. In fact, a commentary published by the Austin American Statesman on Aug. 11 states, “[t]he city did not set-out to influence other energy providers or shakeup the state grid. We know that Texas is reliant on traditional sources of energy. We know it is impossible to track an electron produced in West Texas all the way to Georgetown. However, we also know that state attributes all of wind farm and solar farm production with Georgetown.”

            Texas operates an interconnected electric grid. Georgetown is credited with the energy it pays to put into the grid, regardless of where it is located. The City is credited with putting more renewable energy into the grid than it consumed. According to the state, Georgetown’s customers have been using and paying for all-renewable energy since April 2017.”

            The figures bandied about here are not charges to customers. As I have said elsewhere, they are differences between budget projection and actual. Something has to be done about that, and the latest is indeed a charge to customers (PCA) of $12.32 per month average. But it isn’t because renewables are failing. It is because the city contracted for electricity excess to its anticipated needs, which it says in normal, with surplus to be sold on the market. But the market price went down. This would be the same issue whether the surplus was renewable or not.

          • “I don’t make any claims regarding sources.”
            But this article does
            “Epic fail of renewables causes Texas town to have $1200 per year higher power bills”
            How much of that is now true?

          • Yes. So if you are over the minimum, it isn’t a cost.

            Well that depends on how far you were over the minimum it seems.

            If you were billed for $17K of power usage in 2015, and then maintained that usage consistently until 2019, it looks like you’re pretty screwed in 2019 at $39K for the same amount of power.

            Heck, you might even faze out your business and go elsewhere. Who could blame you?

  28. As our politicians today are driven by polls, I have a suggestion. Lets go back to the electricity bill which used to have a box saying “Tick if you wish to have (And pay) for Green electricity.

    If the customer ” was n allowed to actually choose then we the none believers in Green things would benefit, and this instant poll would tell the politicians the truth.

    Of course what if the politicians don’t want to know. Remember the three monkeys.

    MJE

  29. Politicians are always willing to put Other People’s Money where the politicians’ mouths are…

    I don’t know what kind of “Republican” would fall for the green scam. Not any different from a Democrat, it seems. Anyone who puts ideology first over the workings of the free market (or as free as it is allowed to get nowadays) will always eventually lose – or in this case, other innocent people will lose.

  30. I suppose if I lived in that town I would get a natural gas generator (or two) and power my own home.

  31. Perhaps the good townsfolk of Georgetown might be mollified were their Mayor to explain to them to what extent their extra $1,200 a year on their electricity bills has modified the climate.
    Oops! Sorry, I forgot. No government or authority of any kind ever explains as to what extent the climate might have been modified by massive investment in intermittent and unreliable sources of energy.

  32. I’ll agree with Nick Stokes a bit on this one. It’s not clear to me exactly how much was being payed before and how much more is being paid now, and by who, and for how long. Maybe all that information is revealed, but I just couldn’t see it.

    • Is it because of the extra money payed in taxes/subsidies is not figured in? Why can’t a definite figure be arrived at? – As to the extra cost of electricity because of this renewable energy policy mandated compared to the conventional way of getting energy/electricity before this mandate???

  33. But wind and sunshine are free. Therefore using 100% renewables means everyone’s power bill should be zero.

    Clearly the city councillors have made a big mistake and need to be handing out refund checks to all the ratepayers. No doubt the check is in the mail.

  34. Confusing little article.
    Tried to do the maths but…
    “Details on pricing were withheld citing business confidential, but the contracts are for 144 MW of wind and 150 MW of solar for a combined annual quantity of nearly 900,000 MWh.[“
    The solar is per hour during the day and the wind is per hour during the night.
    The price is fairly fixed for the next 20 years.
    So the town/electric fund contracts a fixed price from the provider who uses fossil fuel energy to provide a reliable energy source and allows the renewable companies to put that energy into the grid, when available.
    Plus it gets money back when the unused energy is sold.
    The council makes a profit by overcharging for the energy used by its consumers as it claims to make a profit of several million a year.
    Seems to be a chance for smart operators, like brokers on the stock market, to make sure that any of the spare energy they sell conveniently happpens to be on the Georgetown time.
    Easily confirmed by looking at the price per MW hour they give back to the council. Instead of some high and some low prices it will all be listed as the cheapest rate. We know this because the council has not made any substantial profit that they had budgeted for.
    There was vague mention of hedging strategies to conntrol prices, not sure why when oversupply guaranteed but there must be a hidden little clause for blackout days.
    Wind was said to be cheap and solar at fossil fuel cost when signed.
    Only flaws I can see are the reliability of the renewable companies, reliability of govt support of renewable wind and solar companies and cheaper fossil fuel.
    Pull the subsidies out and there may be a shock in the contracts.
    Like putting subsidised solar panels on the roof with other people’s money it is a scam but good for those who got it at the time.

  35. To achieve 100% renewables, Georgetown negotiated two long-term (20+ year), fixed-price power contracts, one with EDF Renewables’ 194 MW Spinning Spur 3 wind plant beginning January 2016 and the second with NRG’s 154 MW Buckthorn solar site, effective July 2018. Details on pricing were withheld citing business confidential, but the contracts are for 144 MW of wind and 150 MW of solar for a combined annual quantity of nearly 900,000 MWh.[1]
    This is against Georgetown’s average annual consumption of about 575,000 MWh with a peak of 145 MW.

  36. Another example of how Socialism always fails. Incompetent government officials will inevitably make poor decisions – the burden falls on the citizenry – and the controlling hand of a market economy has been manacled. Friedrich Hayek was quite correct and the burgeoning power of governments all over the world seems to get stronger everyday – especially since the press is so weak, co-opted and misinformed.

    • From the city web site –

      “The crux of the current challenge hinges on the large amount of energy the City must sell on the market that is not currently consumed in Georgetown. Like most city-owned utilities, Georgetown contracted for more energy than it currently needs. Any energy that is not consumed by Georgetown customers must be sold into the energy market.

      Over the past few years, the energy market in Texas experienced a fundamental change. Forecasts provided by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, the State’s energy grid operator, have proven to be unreliable. What were perceived as anomalies in 2016 and 2017, such as reduced consumption, unpredictable pricing, and unusually cold weather, masked the true impact of a depressed global energy market. The effect of depressed energy prices became abundantly obvious in 2018.

      At the same time, the utility is seeing a drop in consumer demand which is largely driven by conservation efforts, energy-saving technologies, and more energy-efficient new construction.”

      Only a govt. could call it a “depressed energy market” – all of the users who actually pay the the bills would call it cheap energy…:^)

  37. All the drama over “$1200/year or $250/year” misses the point – green energy COSTS MORE. Provably so. That’s the fundamental issue. It was sold as a cost savings, and doesn’t do that at all.

    • But isn’t it worth the extra cost to allow the mayor you elected to virtual signal to Al Gore and the media? Where are your priorities?

  38. What would it cost a homeowner to put in a whole house generator, run it off bottled gas, and just leave the grid for the next 23 years?

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