College Station Utilities prices?

6,271 Views | 34 Replies | Last: 4 mo ago by woodiewood1
MisterShipWreck
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It is my understanding, from reading here on this forum - that the profits from College Station Utilities goes into the general fund, Many here have claimed (over the years) that raises in rates essentially means a stealth tax.

I do know that when I bought my house in 2005, the utility bill in the summer was almost 1/2 of what it is now. Obviously, rates have gone up.

In a recent article about 2 Texas coal powered electric plants being shut down, the article stated:

Quote:

Over the past two years, wholesale power prices have fallen drastically in ERCOTthe entity that manages 90% of Texas' electric load, three-quarters of which is in the competitive market. In 2014, for example, while prices varied by zone across the market owing to congestion costs, the average annual real-time energy market price hovered at $40.64/MWh. In 2016, that average fell to $24.62/MWhan all-time record low in ERCOT. In the first eight months of 2017, meanwhile, prices averaged $28.64/MWh.



If this is true - have electric rates for College Station Utilities gone down? The cost they charge customers?
rcannaday
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AG
Just go to http://www.powertochoose.org/ and you will find out how much you are really overpaying. Due to wind generation in ERCOT West Hubs, being transported easily into the rest of Texas with upgrades to lines, prices have been super low. Add the fact that Natgas (which in effect determines Heat Rate/Power Pricing) is low, further has driven ERCOT prices down...

Look at your full year's bill and rate, take the middle tier power to choose a rate and find out how much is being taken out of your pocket.

They use the electricity rates to subsidize lower tax rates... your getting taxed you just don't know it.
meezermom
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My parent in Katy just switched power providers and are now paying $0.07 per kilowatt hour -- less than half of what we pay. Apparently not enough people are upset over the monopolies in this town (Suddenlink, CS Utilities) for anyone to take this on and really do anything about it. We compared utility bills over the weekend and it was ridiculous how much they are able to save because they can choose.
UmustBKidding
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Nothing ever goes down in College Station. When everyone was subject to their monopoly it was less unfair. But last year they decided they needed more money for police and no headroom in the tax rate to pay them so they increased the % they robbed from utilities. So people in the areas of town with CSU are now paying extra to cover the shortfalls caused by expansion of the city who are not CSU customers. But it will likely never change. To raise taxes to the level necessary to directly cover their wasteful ways the increase would exceed the rollback rate and voters would squash it. So they rob utilities which is supposed to be self sufficient, and either raise rates or float bonds which would not be necessary if they were using all the monies they take into to do necessary upgrades and repairs.
aggiepaintrain
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AG
If anyone wants to challenge it legally I will contribute to the cause.

We are getting hosed.
techno-ag
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AG
MisterShipWreck said:


- have electric rates for College Station Utilities gone down? The cost they charge customers?
b0ridi
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meezermom said:

My parent in Katy just switched power providers and are now paying $0.07 per kilowatt hour -- less than half of what we pay.
College Station rate is $0.12/kWh.
lockett93
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electric rates were reduced 1% (YIPPEEE) and water rates increased by 8%

The City will transfer approximately $12MM to the general budget from Utilities. They say that is in lieu of franchise fees since the city owns the utilities.
Average Joe
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You would think with all that money they could figure out why the power goes out for a few hours every three weeks or so just on my street and the street over.
InMyOpinion
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boridi said:

meezermom said:

My parent in Katy just switched power providers and are now paying $0.07 per kilowatt hour -- less than half of what we pay.
College Station rate is $0.12/kWh.


Probably used common core to do the math
Frio Cielo
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lockett93 said:

electric rates were reduced 1% (YIPPEEE) and water rates increased by 8%

The City will transfer approximately $12MM to the general budget from Utilities. They say that is in lieu of franchise fees since the city owns the utilities.


I think that the utilities should stand alone in terms of cost/revenues. If they have excess in revenues versus costs,, over some contingency fund for emergencies, it should be given back to the user in lower fees the next year.

Oogway
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Sorry, that makes too much sense.
MisterShipWreck
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Quote:



I think that the utilities should stand alone in terms of cost/revenues. If they have excess in revenues versus costs,, over some contingency fund for emergencies, it should be given back to the user in lower fees the next year.



Exactly!!!!!
Stucco
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rcannaday said:

They use the electricity rates to subsidize lower tax rates... your getting taxed you just don't know it.
The issue is that I can't deduct utility bills from my federal taxes.
kraut
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Stucco said:

rcannaday said:

They use the electricity rates to subsidize lower tax rates... your getting taxed you just don't know it.
The issue is that I can't deduct utility bills from my federal taxes.
Blue star for you.
UmustBKidding
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nor can you deduct your road maintenance fee.
91_Aggie
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Stucco said:

rcannaday said:

They use the electricity rates to subsidize lower tax rates... your getting taxed you just don't know it.
The issue is that I can't deduct utility bills from my federal taxes.


Don t forget about the service fees that are added to each utility bill. Even if you used no water or no electricity at all in a month, your monthly bill would still be about $20 to $30.

techno-ag
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Frio Cielo said:

lockett93 said:

electric rates were reduced 1% (YIPPEEE) and water rates increased by 8%

The City will transfer approximately $12MM to the general budget from Utilities. They say that is in lieu of franchise fees since the city owns the utilities.


I think that the utilities should stand alone in terms of cost/revenues. If they have excess in revenues versus costs,, over some contingency fund for emergencies, it should be given back to the user in lower fees the next year.


Yeah but this is Kollege Station we're talking about.
AggiePeeps06
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Sounds like residential and commercial solar would be a good solution for the CS market since rates are artificially inflated.
threecatcorner
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Just the gas bill is that much (approx $20 per month with no use). A while back, they doubled it (used to be just under $10).
Stucco
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AggiePeeps06 said:

Sounds like residential and commercial solar would be a good solution for the CS market since rates are artificially inflated.
Especially if we could sell back excess power at their rates.
AggiePeeps06
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Yea really!. I see they pay just a fraction of their rates for excess power. But because they have their power prices artificially inflated, solar actually makes a lot of sense in CS
Stucco
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Does anyone know what blocks a competing power company from coming into the city? Is there an ordinance, or is it refusal to authorize some permit, or something else?
OnlyANobody
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https://www.puc.texas.gov/consumer/facts/faq/Muni.aspx
duffelpud
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Bottom line: the city council decides. And since recent councils (and the current council) view it as another source of revenue to which they are entitled it's not changing any time soon. It will take a long term, determined effort to overturn the tax and spenders that have run this city for a long, long time.

"What's this button do?"
Stucco
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So what is stopping an ordinance initiative to either:
A) Participate in customer choice or;
B) Reduce/Remove fees or rates to remove it as a profit center

I think either of those would pass a majority vote in CoCS.
duffelpud
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That is covered in Article X.
"What's this button do?"
Justin2010
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I've thought about this too. Seems like it wouldn't be too hard to get a petition started to bring deregulation up for a vote. But I don't even know if that's possible.
Kitten With A Whip
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I'd like to see customer choice for both Utilities and Cable. I would certainly sign petitions in regard to these issues and even help collect signatures. I remember the red light camera initiative very well. Things like this can be overturned, but we need a few leaders to get it underway!
91_Aggie
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threecatcorner said:

Just the gas bill is that much (approx $20 per month with no use). A while back, they doubled it (used to be just under $10).
Yeah, I just looked at my statement. $7 service fee for water and $7 service fee for electric.

Still silly. That is still a de facto tax on the consumer.



duffelpud
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Quote:

Things like this can be overturned, but we need a few leaders to get it underway!

Rather than reinventing the wheel, why not contact someone who has done this before and piggyback off their experience?
"What's this button do?"
SARATOGA
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I smell an ad under the guise of a post.

How do your prices compare to tesla powerwalls ?

O'Doyle Rules
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AG
And CSU markets themselves on commercials and at aggie FB games. What the hell?? Youre the ONLY option.
nwspmp
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SARATOGA said:

I smell an ad under the guise of a post.

How do your prices compare to tesla powerwalls ?


Powerwall is a battery backed storage device for energy which can integrate with solar or simply act as a grid-power backup solution.

Solar systems can be grid-tied here, or be self-sufficient, and can tie in with battery storage or not. Typically, grid-tied systems lack much battery or any battery are limited to being grid-reliant as well. If the grid power goes down, the solar output from the inverters is cut, so as to not re-energize a circuit that may be under work. There are code-compliant cut-over switches, but these must be requested. The solar setups I've looked at do not spec it as standard. These systems are for reducing your utility bill rather than energy resilience.

Integration with battery is what would provide energy resilience, and if you're in an area with a TOU rating, then it could be scheduled to "refill" energy from grid at off-peak hours and use it at peak hours, leading to some bill shaving.

I'd be interested to know what panels and inverters are being used, and what the panel warranty and power output guarantees are.
woodiewood1
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Two of my friends who come down for football have showed me their electrical costs a number of times over the years and they are consistently about 1/2 of what we have to pay.

All money from utility charges should only go in three directions, one, to pay the bills that are generated to produce the power/water/sanitation, etc., two, go to a reserve fund for future expansion, repair needs, and three, back to the consumer where the money came from as a credit or direct payment.

It should not be used for any other purpose.


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