Colder Temperatures and Commercial Electricity

Colder Temperatures and Commercial Electricity

Photo by Robert W Howington

A couple of weeks ago, ERCOT (The Electric Reliability Council of Texas) made a public statement indicating that Texas’ grid should remain stable throughout the winter months and into the spring. Warren Lasher, the ERCOT Director of System Planning, said this:

Winter in the ERCOT region typically does not drive electric use to the levels the grid experiences during summer, and we don’t expect to have problems keeping up with anticipated demand. However, if we experience record-breaking weather conditions and more generation outages than typically occur this time of year, ERCOT may need to reduce customer demand at some point during the weather event to protect the grid.

Overall, Lasher’s statements are positive. We can take it as a good indication of the grid’s stability that he and others at ERCOT don’t anticipate any issues or problems.

That said, the second half of Lasher’s statement is more than a little significant. Texas will be fine, Lasher tells us, if the weather is normal and there are no unexpected outages. Those are fairly big ifs.

More than once, this blog has highlighted the tremendous impact weather can have on commercial electricity rates. Extreme weather (heat waves or ice storms) and natural disasters (tornados or hurricanes) have the potential to dramatically change the scope of the business electricity market. North Texans can attest to this. In February of 2010, ice storms rolled through north Texas. Even major metropolitan areas, like Dallas/Fort Worth, ground to a halt. The streets were simply too treacherous to drive on. During that week, the cost of residential and commercial electricity rose quickly. In some cases, business electricity customers who were on variable rate plans paid as much as ten times their normal rate for that week of electricity.

That’s the kind of impact weather has the potential to make on your commercial electricity rate.

With so much talk in recent months about the Texas power grid and so many questions concerning its stability, it is good news that ERCOT anticipates no problems this winter. However, that doesn’t mean we’re guaranteed an issue-free season. Mother Nature is more than capable of throwing us a curveball.

But you needn’t fear the unknown. The truth is, we never really know what the commercial electricity market is going to do next. There are more than a dozen factors influencing it. In order to protect your business, your best bet is to develop a thorough, customized business electricity strategy.

And that’s where Live Energy can help. Our team of experts have been helping businesses of all sizes find the product, provider, rate and contract that will work for their business, rain or shine, for more than a decade. We take a consultative approach, learning as much as we can about your organization and your goals, then pairing that insight with our knowledge of the market. Whatever your chief concern—minimizing risk, saving money, preparing for growth, or something else—we can help you develop a strategy that will help you get there.

Don’t let the unexpected catch you off guard. Call Live Energy today at 888-341-9155 to find out more about how we can help you prepare for the future, whatever it holds.


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