Here comes the rate increase

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This scenario has been setting up for the last 6-9 months and the likely effect on you is an increasing electricity bill.  The Texas Public Utilities Commission chose to raise the max allowable rate for wholesale energy to incent investors to build new generation capacity.  The PUC has decided that it will share the costs between investors and will pay with higher electric bills as new investor-owned generation facilities amortize their investment.


Texas needs new capacity but the PUC could have chosen to get after the problem with other methods like incentives for efficiency and other policy.  Many in the broader solar industry wanted "solar carve-outs" in the Texas renewable portfolio standard so that a minimum level of solar was required by policy.  This method has led to Texas being #1 in the nation (and #5 in the world if it were a separate nation!) in wind generation.


Nonetheless, by either policy or pure economics, solar power is achieving "grid parity" with traditional generation.  Much of solar progress over the last decade has been on cost and technology improvements by the solar cost increases no the other side are narrowing the gap even more.


Bottom line for you: expect solar payback periods to narrow as Texas' cost/kWh increases.

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