Energy & Environment

Report Predicts What Will Happen To Your Electric Bill In Coming Years

Analysts find Texas is a real powerhouse when it comes to electricity.

A new report has good news for electricity customers in Texas: a surge in the supply could mean low prices in the future.

There's been concern that Texas is at risk of running short of electricity, because so many people are moving here and so many industries are expanding. On top of that, new environmental regulations to reduce greenhouse gases mean a few big, coal-burning power plants may have to shut down in coming years.

But according to a report by the investment research firm, Morningstar, there are reasons to be optimistic that Texas will remain a real powerhouse.

"So I don't think people in Texas have anything to worry about with blackouts," says Morningstar utility analyst Travis Miller.

Miller told us they found that there's little doubt the Texas economy will keep growing despite the falling price of oil and correspondingly, demand for electricity will grow as well.

"At this point you have some slowing, but we're still looking at Texas demand growing twice as fast as the rest of the U.S., "says Miller.

The Morningstar analysts found that power companies are planning on that growth, committing to build a lot of new generators over the next three years, mainly super-efficient power plants that burn natural gas — which Texas has plenty of — and wind turbines that use something else Texas has an abundance of: coastal breezes in South Texas and winds off the plains in West Texas.

But what about those old power plants that burn coal which may have to close?

"Even if you do have coal plant closures, the amount of new generation coming into the system primarily from wind and natural gas is going to very much outweigh the lost supply on the coal side," says Miller.

He says the bottom line for consumers: electricity prices should stay relatively low for the foreseeable future because Texas should have plenty of power.

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Dave Fehling

Dave Fehling

Director of News and Public Affairs

As Director of News and Public Affairs, Dave Fehling manages the radio news operation at Houston's NPR station. Previously, he was a reporter at the station, covering the oil & gas industry and its impact on the environment. He won top state honors for in-depth and investigative reporting as well...

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