The city of Georgetown plans to issue $ 47.8 million in a 10-year bond to pay for energy used during the severe winter storm in February. The bonds would not affect the electric tariff, according to a press release from the city on Wednesday.
The debt would be paid from electric utility revenues at current rates, the statement said.
The city currently owes ERCOT $ 44.8 million to cover around 3,000 megawatt hours between February 14 and 20, according to the statement. The annual debt payment (principle and interest) for the issued bond is approximately $ 5.4 million, according to the release.
“Last month, the average cost per megawatt hour was $ 20.79,” the statement said.
“The maximum price of $ 9,000 per megawatt hour was in effect in the ERCOT market for 70 hours from February 16 to 19. ERCOT also billed the city for ancillary services, which are a charge for backing up or supplying power to the city. request. During certain periods during the event, ancillary services were charged $ 25,000 per megawatt hour. “
The city could get state help to foot the bill, Georgetown Mayor Josh Schroeder said in the statement.
“We now have a few weeks where the people in power, at PUCT (the Texas Public Utility Council) and the Texas Legislature, have a chance to take action and give us all the help they want. can, ”said Schroeder.
“We hope the PUCT and lawmakers find solutions that will help ease the financial burden on utilities statewide,” he said. “I encourage you to contact your state officials and I have no doubts that we will do the same.”
Georgetown plans to use the existing electricity cost adjustment of $ 0.01375 per kilowatt hour to help cover the cost of the bond as it is repaid over 10 years, the statement said.
The average customer, who uses 1,000 kilowatt-hours per month, pays an electricity cost adjustment of $ 13.75 on their monthly bill, said Aly Van Dyke, a city spokesperson.
Customers could see higher than normal electricity bills for February due to increased usage, the statement said.
“Even with the power outages mandated by ERCOT, heating and reheating a home uses considerable energy and is likely to result in higher bills this month,” the city said.
Georgetown had required DC outages from ERCOT that began at 1:20 a.m. on February 15 and ended at 12:42 p.m. on February 18.
The city has several options to help customers pay their electricity bills, including with partner agencies and internal customer programs. To discuss the options, call 512-930-3640 or email [email protected]
The remaining 13,000 megawatt hours used by the city during the storm were generated by suppliers at contract rates, the statement said.
“Essentially, our existing energy contracts covered around 80% of our electricity needs during the event, significantly insulating us from the high wholesale market costs,” according to frequently asked questions on a city’s website on winter storm energy price.
“The energy supplied under our renewable energy contracts is variable, because production allows it. This is due to the intermittent nature of solar and wind generation. freezing conditions. “
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The city also said on its website that much of what happened during the winter storm was out of its control.
“We will continue to review, update and monitor our risk management policies,” the website says. “This includes aligning our policies with any new market structure or state-imposed changes as a result of this event. We will also continue to work with our energy contracts to minimize demand and balance rates.
“Finally,” he said, “we will work to improve the weathering of our electrical systems, as well as our water and wastewater treatment infrastructure.”
For more information on electricity costs and city maps, visit Georgetown.org.