Texas Gas Answers Questions About Gas Surcharge
There have been a lot of questions about why El Pasoans are being asked to pay for a surcharge to offset costs associated with the fierce winter storm that blew through the rest of Texas but pretty much left El Paso alone earlier this year. The February storm caused a lot of damage and people even died in their homes as they sat in the dark with no way to heat their homes.
WE WERE GOING TO PAY ALOT BUT THEN THINGS CHANGED
Texas Gas had wanted to charge the average El Paso household $4.33 per month for 10 years for a total of $520, but then after pushback from El Paso City Council they amended it to $5.22 per month over a 3-year period, or a total of $188. But why are we having to pay anything, especially since we paid to upgrade our system after our own wild winter storm in 2011? I posed some questions to Texas Gas and I have to tell you, I wasn't happy with their answers. Here is their email in full:
My apologies for the delayed response. We respectfully decline an interview at this time as this is still an active proceeding before the Commission. Here are responses to your questions.
Did customers in the rest of Texas pay a surcharge for the Feb storm of 2011 in El Paso?
There was no surcharge after the 2011 winter storm because gas costs weren’t as high then as they were during Winter Storm Uri.
Did customers in the rest of Texas pay for El Paso infrastructure upgrades done after 2011?
We upgrade our system to benefit customers. Customers throughout Texas pay for improvements in the service area where the improvement occurred and a proportionate share of companywide improvements that benefit them.
And the big one we're hearing from listeners - why are El Pasoans being asked to pay at all?
El Pasoans will not be paying for usage or gas costs in other Texas Gas Service areas. Due to the historically low temperatures, we experienced higher natural gas demand and a significant increase in natural gas market prices on a portion of the supply purchased during this period. Throughout these conditions, our employees worked around the clock to make sure our customers continued to receive service.
While El Paso may not have experienced electrical outages or the severe, sustained freeze as in other parts of the state, natural gas usage and prices did increase due to our suppliers facing issues that led to Texas Gas Service buying natural gas on the open market at significantly higher costs.
Yeah, these answers do not pertain to my questions so I've reached out for clarification and I will do another article when I get those answers.