Recently, the Dallas Morning News reported that Oncor Energy, the energy delivery service of the dallas area (as well as other parts of Texas such as Waco and Round Rock) is applying for 317 million in stimulus money to help with their installation of Smart Meters in their delivery footprint.
Interesting. What does this mean to you? Probably not much as a Texas electricity customer. At least on the surface. The interesting thing in this article to me is that Oncor, and every other delivery guy in Texas, like Centerpoint, etc, is already charging customers a monthly fee to switch to Smart Meters, and this on top of your regular Texas electricity rates.. And just so you understanding you’ll be paying these charges on a monthly basis for the next 11 or so years.
So you’re already paying for these new Smart Meters, and Oncor is going to try and get more stimulus money to pay for these meters as well, basically double dipping into the opportunity for stimulus money, which when you break it down, is just a payout of your tax dollars. So they’re basically hitting up all of their customers twice for their energy service in the state of Texas.
None of this is all that surprising. Companies that hold all of the cards, like Oncor and Centerpoint, and previously the incumbent electricity providers before de-regulation like Reliant and TXU, and currently companies like Austin Energy, will find ways to make their money, and it doesn’t typically matter if it comes at the expense of the customers. So what can the average customer do? Well, the only thing you can do is continue to shop for the best electricity prices and deals that you can find. Continue to shop around, continue to get the lowest rate available, and try to keep your bill as low as you can.