On May 13, 2022, Oncor filed a rate increase request to the Public Utility Commission of Texas for a 4.2% overall increase on bills. For regular consumers using 1,300 kilowatt/hour (kWh) per month, this would mean they’d have to pay $6.02 extra on their monthly bill. But the city of Dallas is looking to dispute the raise.
The rate increase was supposed to go effective by June 17, but the city halted the change asking for 90 extra days to review the request. Dallas is part of the Steering Committee of Cities Served by Oncor, a municipal coalition created in 1989 to represent consumers’ interests in proceedings presented by Oncor.
This 90 days review period, which according to city documents was intended to hire and direct legal counsel to prepare a common response from the committee to negotiate with Oncor, is coming to an end on October 30. According to the Dallas Observer, a consultant hired by the committee determined that the proposed change was excessive and unjustified.
Oncor sees the change as perfectly justified as Kerri Dunn, the company’s spokesperson told Dallas Observer, “Our rates, even with this change, would still be among the lowest electric delivery rates in Texas.” According to the company, this raise looks to make up for Oncor’s investment since the last rate review in 2017. Since then Oncor has added 10,000 miles of transmission and distribution lines and has added 355,000 new customer connections.
For now, Dallas is waiting for a city hall meeting on October 12 where they will vote against Oncor’s proposal, a vote to which the company will likely appeal, taking the discussion to the Public Utility Commission of Texas for a final decision. "It's actually pretty common practice for that denial to occur at the local jurisdiction so that way it can go to the [Public Utility Commission] and it can all be approved in one giant package, essentially," Dunn told the Dallas Observer, adding that this way different rates in different locations within the service area can be avoided.
Today members of Dallas’ Government Performance and Financial Management Committee will get a presentation with the steering committee’s findings and will discuss further how to handle Oncor’s proposed rate increase.
In case you missed it, check Local Profile's report on DFW's rising inflation rate.