The additional fuel cost for BTU to provide electricity during last month’s winter storms will not be passed on to customers.
BTU’s executive director of business and customer operations David Werley says cash reserves will pay for higher fuel prices to generate and buy electricity.
Werley also says there are no plans to give BTU customers a rebate, which was done last year during the start of the pandemic.
BTU customers expecting to have trouble paying upcoming bills are told that now is the time to contact BTU customer service to make arrangements.
Click below for comments from David Werley, visiting with WTAW’s Bill Oliver:
BTU news release:
Along with other utilities in the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) region, Bryan Texas Utilities (BTU) continues to monitor the financial issues and discussions surrounding the recent historic winter weather event as it affected the energy market. While there are financial settlements still to be resolved in ERCOT and the situation changes daily, BTU expects no changes to customer rates. The Bryan City Council, BTU Board and staff will work diligently to ensure rates are kept as reasonable and predictable as possible.
However, customers may see an increase in their next bill due to increased usage. Many electric heating systems in Texas are air-source heat pumps. These heat pumps are not equipped to function efficiently in temperatures at or below freezing. The Bryan area experienced ten consecutive days – February 10 through February 19 – of below average temperatures, and spent 86 consecutive hours below freezing. Many of these heating systems have auxiliary heat strips that utilize resistance heating to help the unit reach the desired temperature. Resistance heating uses an immense amount of energy.
Those who did not lose power may see a significant increase in usage as their heating unit worked to bring the indoor temperature higher, while temperatures outside were in the single digits. Customers who did not have consistent power may also see increases. When homes did have power restored, even for short periods, heating systems worked excessively to try to heat the home to the desired temperature. Other appliances such as freezers, refrigerators, and water heaters also began operating to make up their lost temperatures.
Customers who may have difficulty paying their bills are encouraged to contact BTU at 979-821-5700 or contactBTU@btutilities.com to inquire about payment arrangements and assistance.