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  1. #1
    Power Of A God metroins's Avatar
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    ⚡ TX: Oldest, Largest, Electric Coop. Bankrupt ⚡

    I have not formed a full opinion on it yet. On one hand, they are a "business" and some businesses go bankrupt in disasters. This bankruptcy allows them to still provide power and figure out the 2.1 billion dollar one week bill. However, they are only filing bankruptcy so they don't pass the costs to their customers.

    On the other hand, I am not sure if they should have been sent a 2.1 billion dollar invoice for one weeks power.

    But then we learn...a VP of Brazos is on the ERCOT board.....surprise. Lots to unpack from our snowstorm.

    https://www.kxan.com/investigations/...es-bankruptcy/

    That plan ultimately led the Electric Reliability Council of Texas and the Public Utility Commission of Texas to drive the price of wholesale energy produced in the grid to $9,000 per megawatt hour. That price was $20.79 per megawatt hour in the weeks before the storm hit, according to ERCOT records.

    The pricing increase was to ensure regional utilities were cutting the amount of power ERCOT ordered in its Feb. 15 Level 3 Energy Emergency Alert, which resulted in 4.1 million Texans losing power.

    That pricing has driven Brazos Electric Power Cooperative, who bills itself as Texas’ largest and oldest generation and transmission cooperative, to file a petition for bankruptcy.

    ...

    “Brazos Electric will not foist this catastrophic ‘black swan’ financial event onto its members and their consumers, and commenced this bankruptcy to maintain the stability and integrity of its entire
    electric cooperative system,” Karnei wrote in the bankruptcy declaration filed in Houston on March 1.
    As a Coop, isn't the entire premise to foist the financial event into their members and consumers?

    Brazos Electric Power Cooperative Executive VP Clifton Karnei was a ERCOT board board member until Feb. 25; when the cooperative received a $2.1 billion bill from the manager of Texas’ power grid.
    The Brazos Electric filing claims the ERCOT wholesale market will see $55 billion in charges from the week-long winter storm timeframe; four years’ worth of charges from a single week.
    I was discussing with somebody last week on here about the cost of preventative winterizing.....I think we can say it would have been cheaper to winterize.
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    Live by deregulation, die by deregulation.
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  3. #3
    Power Of A God metroins's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by HYDRAE View Post
    Live by deregulation, die by deregulation.
    It's crazy to see the fallout of this. Brazos must have spoken to the Governor and the legislature and been told there would be no relief coming. As a board member of ERCOT, they must have known what he was doing to his own company.

    ERCOT also banned Griddy due to nonpayment... incoming bankruptcy. I'm on a fixed rate plan, because of... Austin... but I'm wondering how this effects all the providers. Like does PEC, Bluebonnet, ONCOR, or Austin Energy also get 2+ billion dollar bills?

    Where does the 55 billion go? It didn't cost that much to purchase the energy, it was a penalty for leaving customers lights on. Does ERCOT just keep the 55 billion?

    Well there was some regulation...they capped it at $9,000 per MWH. At least it wasn't:

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    On a fixed plan myself, thank my wife for picking that. I was out power most of that frozen week, anyway, but I haven't a clue how they determine what to charge. I haven't gotten any irregular bill, at least.
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    Power Of A God metroins's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by JUSA View Post
    On a fixed plan myself, thank my wife for picking that. I was out power most of that frozen week, anyway, but I haven't a clue how they determine what to charge. I haven't gotten any irregular bill, at least.
    Our bill has only been through Feb 9th.

    If you are part of a Coop, they can pass the expenses onto their members I believe, even if you are on a fixed plan. I don't know if that's true for electric coops, but that is how every other Coop works that I've ever been associated with. Members pay regular prices but if the Coop has unexpected costs above operating, they are shared with the members.

    I am part of a Coop. I will find out soon I guess

    Were you also without water? We were only out of power for 18 hours because a tree fell on the line.
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  6. #6
    Registered User Sakeoe's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by metroins View Post
    Our bill has only been through Feb 9th.

    If you are part of a Coop, they can pass the expenses onto their members I believe, even if you are on a fixed plan. I don't know if that's true for electric coops, but that is how every other Coop works that I've ever been associated with. Members pay regular prices but if the Coop has unexpected costs above operating, they are shared with the members.

    I am part of a Coop. I will find out soon I guess

    Were you also without water? We were only out of power for 18 hours because a tree fell on the line.
    Remains mind boggling how third world US infrastructure is lol.

    Trees can't fall on powerlines if you put them underground....
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  7. #7
    Registered User Chowboy's Avatar
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    So I am curious. Did Texas spend capital on cheap and available energy, ie, gas and coal, or did they go for the Federal subsidized route and spend on these awesome and reliable renewables?


    I read somewhere that they have more buzzard choppers than CA. Makes me think they went the renewables route and paid the price.
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    Power Of A God metroins's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Chowboy View Post
    So I am curious. Did Texas spend capital on cheap and available energy, ie, gas and coal, or did they go for the Federal subsidized route and spend on these awesome and reliable renewables?


    I read somewhere that they have more buzzard choppers than CA. Makes me think they went the renewables route and paid the price.
    Both. Diversified grid, which is smart. I think we are the number one wind energy state... maybe even in the world. Would need to Google to be sure.



    Originally Posted by Sakeoe View Post
    Remains mind boggling how third world US infrastructure is lol.

    Trees can't fall on powerlines if you put them underground....
    This is how big Texas is.....or at least how we see ourselves.

    Last edited by metroins; 03-01-2021 at 04:56 PM.
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    Registered User Chowboy's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by metroins View Post
    Both. Diversified grid, which is smart. I think we are the number one wind energy state... maybe even in the world. Would need to Google to be sure.

    As I heard on talk radio the other day, they shorted the cheap and available energy and went long on the renewables. Stupid. Dumb. Retarded.


    Some lefties must have been in charge.
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  10. #10
    Power Of A God metroins's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Chowboy View Post
    As I heard on talk radio the other day, they shorted the cheap and available energy and went long on the renewables. Stupid. Dumb. Retarded.


    Some lefties must have been in charge.
    You think the Texas Energy Market is in charge by...lefties...the Texas...energy market...

    No wonder you spent $200 on a solenoid.

    Senate:
    Spoiler!


    TX House:
    Spoiler!


    We are probably the most knowledgeable state on energy, and you think our state legislature put "lefties" in charge. Going renewable was a wise decision, not winterizing was unwise. Natural gas accounted for over 80% of our power loss during the storm.

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  11. #11
    Registered User Chowboy's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by metroins View Post
    You think the Texas Energy Market is in charge by...lefties...the Texas...energy market...

    No wonder you spent $200 on a solenoid.

    Senate:
    Spoiler!


    TX House:
    Spoiler!


    We are probably the most knowledgeable state on energy, and you think our state legislature put "lefties" in charge. Going renewable was a wise decision, not winterizing was unwise. Natural gas accounted for over 80% of our power loss during the storm.


    Because they didn't invest in winterizing the cheap energy. Spent a whole lot of money on buzzard choppers and Chinese solar panels.

    Brilliant. Gotta chase those subsidies. Lefty or righty, y'all fukced yourselves going green.

    Germany learned and now it's Texas' turn.
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  12. #12
    Power Of A God metroins's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Chowboy View Post
    Because they didn't invest in winterizing the cheap energy. Spent a whole lot of money on buzzard choppers and Chinese solar panels.

    Brilliant. Gotta chase those subsidies. Lefty or righty, y'all fukced yourselves going green.

    Germany learned and now it's Texas' turn.
    The worst part to me: 10 years ago to the day, the exact thing happened and we had a report telling us to winterize.

    Completely a mistake of our own making.

    I'm really wondering how the power companies handle $9,000 MWH bills, when they were $20 a week prior. That's 450x.
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    Registered User Chowboy's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by metroins View Post
    The worst part to me: 10 years ago to the day, the exact thing happened and we had a report telling us to winterize.

    Completely a mistake of our own making.

    I'm really wondering how the power companies handle $9,000 MWH bills, when they were $20 a week prior. That's 450x.

    And maybe, because it's Texas, people will be held accountable. Unlike at the federal level.
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    Why was the energy bill so high? Didn't alot of Texans go without power for most of the week?
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    I would love for someone to explain to me - a lifetime Republican - how right wing media and giant corporations have conned the majority of my fellow Republicans into believing that regulation is somehow a bad thing for non-billionaires. Same thing for dealing with climate change. It's just insane how gullible and stupid the party once full of great thinkers has become.
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    Originally Posted by newcomb12 View Post
    Why was the energy bill so high? Didn't alot of Texans go without power for most of the week?
    Basic supply and demand. Demand went up because people were heating (apparently far more people have electric heat than I would have thought) and supply was down because of generators tripping off. The same thing happens on August afternoons, although that is almost entirely demand driven and the prices aren't nearly as high.

    There are actually a number of generators that operate exclusively during high demand periods ("peak shaving") because the pricing is better. They normally help keep prices lower during the peaks than they would have.
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  17. #17
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    Texas has the most cucked smol guvmimt regulations around utilities, if your subdivision developer signed you up with a preferred provider decades ago you have to stick with them forever with zero option to switch

    If Jeb Bush were a state, it would be Texas tbh
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    Originally Posted by newcomb12 View Post
    Why was the energy bill so high? Didn't alot of Texans go without power for most of the week?
    Our electrical grid ERCOT increased prices 450x (the maximum) to penalize energy companies for keeping power on. Trying to force the power companies to do rolling blackouts or just shut off power.

    Our grid only had about 50k MW available, and if we went too far over that number, the equipment would have catastrophically failed. Taking months to fix. Normally we can produce like 80k MW

    So to not let the equipment fail ERCOT was trying to do anything they could to make the power companies shutoff customers. The power did not cost that much, it was a penalty.
    Last edited by metroins; 03-01-2021 at 08:24 PM.
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    Originally Posted by metroins View Post
    Our electrical grid ERCOT increased prices 450x (the maximum) to penalize energy companies for keeping power on. Trying to force the power companies to do rolling blackouts or just shut off power.

    Our grid only had about 50k MW available, and if we went too far over that number, the equipment would have catastrophically failed. Taking months to fix. Normally we can produce like 80k MW

    So to not let the equipment fail ERCOT was trying to do anything they could to make the power companies shutoff customers. The power did not cost that much, it was a penalty.
    Thanks for the info. So these penalties were passed on to customers? I feel like I read somewhere about people having several thousand dollar electricity bill.
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    Originally Posted by newcomb12 View Post
    Thanks for the info. So these penalties were passed on to customers? I feel like I read somewhere about people having several thousand dollar electricity bill.
    The thousand dollar bills were customers in Texas who have variable rate contracts. Power companies like Griddy charge $9.99 monthly fee but let their customers pay the wholesale price for electricity. Which could be .08 per kwh. When the price changed to $9,000... they got bills like 7-17k for the week because of the price increase.

    Most people have fixed rate contracts around .10 - .13 per kwh. So their bills shouldn't be impacted... but those are the customers. The power company itself still has to pay the wholesale price, which could bankrupt them. Austin Energy was a net producer of energy, so they should actually make money off the week.

    I am apart of a Cooperative, not Austin Energy, which has a fixed rate but we are all members. In good years our rates go down and in bad years (like this week) any excess costs the Cooperative cannot pay is passed on to its members. So I am unsure of how much my bill will be this month; it should not be 17k but it could be 1-2k, I'm not sure.

    The Texas electricity model is really different. People go door-to-door "selling" electricity, getting people to switch models and collecting a commission. In Austin, that is not allowed.
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    This is a good lesson for portfolio diversification.

    An A+ finch rated company goes bunk almost overnight.

    Many people are drawn to these type high rated bonds, or aaa preferred securities often associated with seemingly safe income (high dividend or interest) producing investments - and unfortunately often heavy weighted near retirements.


    Some where out there is a group of old brahs right at about retirement age that just saw 60%+ of their portfolios send them into unexpected panic pucker factor.

    And the same dudes prob often bragged about their safe secure income producing investment - often associated with utilities

    Many 401k plans associated with seeming “safe secure” things like this - why I like control over as much as my stuff as possible over that.


    As far as the situation and the companies themselves- id love to type about this- but fuk I’m exhausted.
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    Originally Posted by HYDRAE View Post
    Live by deregulation, die by deregulation.
    not sure what you mean since its so counter to reality that its hard to decipher

    This company does not set the utility prices.

    They swore on social media to do whatever they can to protect their customers from the texas board of energy from gouging them.

    The government made people choose between a 20k electric bill or death....
    no one thinks that srs
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    The private market always provides necessities better than anyone else.
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    They should have winterized years ago after the last bad winter storm when they were told to. Idiots.
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    Originally Posted by metroins View Post
    The Texas electricity model is really different. People go door-to-door "selling" electricity, getting people to switch models and collecting a commission. In Austin, that is not allowed.
    That's not unique, we get that in PA and I think most deregulated states probably get that to varying degrees.
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    Originally Posted by Weightaholic View Post
    The private market always provides necessities better than anyone else.
    holy chit, you are actually right for once

    Originally Posted by niospecv View Post
    They should have winterized years ago after the last bad winter storm when they were told to. Idiots.
    no, they shouldn't have
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    Originally Posted by rectifryer View Post
    The government made people choose between a 20k electric bill or death....
    What kind of sally dies because they don't have electricity? Ice storm of '97 we lost power for almost 2 weeks. Still here.

    Quick search shows that ice storm hit around the US. So apparently Texas is stupid and doesn't learn. https://www.msn.com/en-us/weather/to...as/ar-BB1dBytZ
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    Originally Posted by rectifryer View Post
    not sure what you mean since its so counter to reality that its hard to decipher

    This company does not set the utility prices.

    They swore on social media to do whatever they can to protect their customers from the texas board of energy from gouging them.

    The government made people choose between a 20k electric bill or death....
    Deregulation allowed for market driven rates and surge pricing. So in essence, yes, in a huge portion of the Texas electrical grid (85%), utilities or electrical re-sellers set their own prices and its up to the customer to decide who to buy from. So while you are technically correct that the "government" made people choose between huge bills or death, its because they chose to deregulate to the point such bills were even possible.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/21/u...blackouts.html

    https://www.utilitydive.com/news/the...lation/595564/

    https://theconversation.com/whats-be...n-texas-155822

    https://www.npr.org/sections/live-up...electric-bills

    "These resellers include Texas’ five electric utilities, which offer fixed and regulated prices in the areas of the state that they serve. Hundreds of others, known as retail providers in the Texas system, are unregulated and can offer electricity to consumers at any terms and at any price."

    It was a free-market capitalist's wet dream, but had predictable results given a long enough time scale.
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    Originally Posted by HYDRAE View Post
    Deregulation allowed for market driven rates and surge pricing. So in essence, yes, in a huge portion of the Texas electrical grid (85%), utilities or electrical re-sellers set their own prices and its up to the customer to decide who to buy from. So while you are technically correct that the "government" made people choose between huge bills or death, its because they chose to deregulate to the point such bills were even possible.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/21/u...blackouts.html

    https://www.utilitydive.com/news/the...lation/595564/

    https://theconversation.com/whats-be...n-texas-155822

    https://www.npr.org/sections/live-up...electric-bills

    "These resellers include Texas’ five electric utilities, which offer fixed and regulated prices in the areas of the state that they serve. Hundreds of others, known as retail providers in the Texas system, are unregulated and can offer electricity to consumers at any terms and at any price."

    It was a free-market capitalist's wet dream, but had predictable results given a long enough time scale.
    Does it say what the default is if the customer doesn't choose? In most states it defaults to fixed pricing and you have to actually choose to float with the market.
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    So, they go through the courts - re-establish after paying the people who charged them $5000 a KwH only 50 cents a KwH and go along with their business.

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