The price of electricity rates in Arlington tend to move seasonally. We do not usually see year-over-year price increases. So why is this year different? While inflation may have played a small role, the main culprit is clear.
Why Did Electricity Rates in Arlington Go Up?
The reason for the rise in electricity prices originates in the Ice Storm of 2021. That storm caused rolling blackouts all across Texas. Arlington, TX saw a solid week where the temperatures never went above freezing. Because of that, many power plants in the state were knocked offline. This caused a massive spike in wholesale electricity prices.
After the storm was over, the Public Utility Commission of Texas and ERCOT demanded changes to keep this from happening again. Two types of electric companies were affected: power plants and Transmission/Distribution Utility companies.
Texas power plants were told they had to strengthen their facilities so they can withstand freezing temperatures. Going offline at the first sign of a cold snap would no longer be tolerated.
TDU companies were forced to beef up their distribution sites and increase their ability to quickly repair downed power lines. Electric companies in Arlington were put on notice.
These changes to infrastructure are expensive. Of course, the electric companies are not going to eat the cost. They have been quick to pass on the expenses to their customers in the form of higher electricity rates.
Did the Price of Electricity Go Up in Other Texas Cities?
Arlington, Texas is not the only city seeing higher electric rates this year. In fact, rates are up across the entire state.
Electric companies in Corpus Christi have raised rates a full cent this year. That is a 12% increase over last year’s price of electricity. You don’t usually think of a southern coastal city being affected by an ice storm.
Laredo, Texas has also been hit with higher rates. Light companies in Laredo have raised rates almost as much as those in Arlington have.
Electricity consumers in Waco, TX have seen price hikes similar to Arlington. Waco electricity providers have raised their prices steadily over the last 12 months.
How Long Will the Price of Electricity Stay Elevated?
That really is the key question here. The electric companies have not raised rates to increase their profit margin. They did it to cover the unexpected expenses that were mandated to them.
So, it makes sense that once the added expenses have been covered by the consumers, the rates will fall. That is the hope, anyway.
That being said, inflation is affecting everything we buy right now. The price of natural gas has stayed down so far. But, the price of coal is definitely higher than last year.