Oncor requesting rate increase of $98 million, their highest ever

Updated: May. 6, 2021 at 7:02 PM CDT
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TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - Oncor customers could see an increase after the company asked for a nearly $98 million rate increase. That’s a 30 percent increase from what they requested last year.

Thomas Brocato is an attorney who represents the Steering Committee of Cities Served by Oncor, and helps 163 cities in the committee get reasonable prices and reliable service.

“Back in 2011 the legislature adopted a law that allowed electric utilities to come in in the first week of April each year and have what is efficiently a mini, sort of expedited limited issue rate case,” Brocato said. “That’s what we are seeing here; this is the fourth one that Oncor has filed, and it’s the largest.”

Brocato said this year’s costs are related to 2020 filings and not associated with the winter storm. Brocato is working with cities across Texas who are denying the increase.

“In either circumstance, whether a city denies or they don’t, ultimately the commission will set rates that will be charged to all customers that Oncor serves.”

Brocato said the increased request is an opportunity for electric utilities to cover the invested capital they’ve made on their system.

“Oncor has indicated that they’ve had significant amount of growth on their system so they have to invest in new infrastructure to serve those new customers,” he said. “Moreover, they invest in their system to maintain it, which is something that we of course want. We want reliable services and that means spending money to keep the system running effectively.”

This year’s $98 million request is their largest. In 2019 it was around $30 million and last year, $76 million. For an average customer, that’s a proposed increase of 34 cents per month from two years ago to now.

“We may know in June or July if we have a settlement. I think if we have a settlement there’s a high probability that the commission would approve that, if all parties are on board. But they could reject it,” Brocato said.

The other circumstance would be when the commission takes final action, which could be in late July or early August.

Brocato said regardless of who customers choose as their electric provider, a portion of the bill is associated with Oncor services so all customers will be impacted by this.

Tyler City Council is set to discuss the rate increase at their May 26 meeting.

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