The Price of Power: ONCOR Energy to seek increase
Utility plans to replace all meters by 2012, wants customers to foot the bill
ONCOR says that the benefit of the new meters, in addition to saving the utility time and money is that customers can see near real time usage of their electricity over the internet. The utility also says it will learn of outages before they are even reported by the customers, and that customers could purchase a handheld meter to monitor electric usage in their homes for approximately $100.
The petition to the PUC stated that the intent of the surcharge and rate increase over the next 11 years was to pay for the meters ONCOR plans to install. The new meters will have hardware and software which allows for two-way communication with the utility company. ONCOR claims that they will save $176 million dollars by making the switch from the meters currently in use.
The Public Utility Commission is offering citizens and customers a chance to voice their opinions or concerns in hearings. In order to voice ones opinion on the issue, they must file a motion to intervene, according to PUC officials. This can be done by contacting PUC at 512-936-7000. Citizens can submit written comments to the Public Utility Commission at POB 13326 Austin, Texas 78711, or through their website at www.puc.state.tx.us.
The proposed rate increase may present a hardship to many on a fixed income, especially the elderly. Some