Harlingen, Texas (KVEO)—During an emergency meeting Monday night, the Texas Public Utility Commission allowed the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) to modify pricing models after the demand for electricity increased.
ERCOT declared its highest state of emergency on Tuesday due to the demand for electricity. In the order, the PUC listed “exceptionally high natural gas prices” as one of the factors that prompted the action, which affects the cost of electric generation.
“The Commission believes this outcome is inconsistent with the fundamental design of the ERCOT market,” the order states. “Energy prices should reflect the scarcity of the supply. If customer load is being shed, scarcity is at its maximum, and the market price for the energy needed to serve that load should also be at its highest.”
As of Tuesday morning, over four million Texans are without power after planned rolling blackouts turned into prolonged outages and are still not back online.
Since then, customers have wondered why some areas have maintained power, while others have been in the dark and cold for days.
Amid ongoing widespread power outages during historic winter weather, ERCOT is facing criticism as millions of demand answers.
Bill Magness, the president, and CEO of ERCOT — which manages the flow of electric power in the state — spoke to KXAN Tuesday morning and answered some of those questions.
Magness explained that ERCOT’s primary function is to keep that balance, to ensure large collapses don’t happen.
Power outages are expected to continue at least into Wednesday.
To read the complete order, click here.