A few days ago, Oncor filed an application with the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT) for the authority to increase electricity rates.  This application is listed under Docket No. 46957.

Oncor is one of the largest utilities in the state of Texas. The company provides electricity to about 10 million people across many cities.  They cover over 35% of the state including Midland, Tyler, Sherman and Round Rock.

Rate Request Details

This request shouldn’t come as a huge surprise as the utility has already seen many major changes within the last year. Due to bankruptcy claims in 2014, Nextra Energy put in a bid with the PUC of Texas to purchase Oncor. This change in ownership was requested via an application with PUCT under Docket No. 467238.  The rate increase itself is actually part of the application process, which required Oncor to apply for the rate change. If Oncor did not apply for a rate change, the PUC of Texas would have required them to do so.

This is the utility company’s first rate increase request since 2011.

According to Dallas News, the rate increase amount will help Oncor to continue to finance the maintenance of the grid. In the six years between the last request, the company has spent approximately $7.9 billion on grid upgrades and maintenance. Should the request be approved, the additional income Oncor receives will go towards continued improvement of the grid. This includes “installing thousands of poles, rebuilding aging infrastructure and using software to boost reliability”.

Rate Increase Benefits

In a press release provided by Oncor, the utility states that the rate change request will help them to “recover investments made in the grid to serve the needs of its customers.”  The company’s CEO, Bob Shapard also stated “Our investments have allowed customers to benefit from cleaner wind and solar power and enable a more durable, reliable, and customer responsive grid. Investment in the grid is also necessary to continue attracting new industries, businesses and jobs to Texas.”

Currently Oncor’s rates are some of the lowest in Texas compared to other investor owned utility companies. If approved, the rate increase would help the company to raise its value to around $4.5 billion.