Electricity Markets

Governor declares correction of any billing errors tied to ERCOT as legislative emergency item

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on March 9 declared the correction of any billing errors related to the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) as an emergency item for the current legislative session in the state.

The emergency item includes any inaccurate excessive charges and any issues regarding ancillary service prices, Abbott’s office noted.

The Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT) recently declined to take action in response to a report from the independent market monitor (IMM) for ERCOT that a decision by ERCOT last month resulted in $16 billion in additional costs to ERCOT's market, of which roughly $1.5 billion was billed to load-serving entities (LSEs) to provide make-whole payments to generators for energy that was not needed or produced.

The decision in question was made by ERCOT as the grid operator grappled with extreme stress on the state power grid in the wake of an arctic blast.

Texas Lt. Governor calls for correction to $16 billion error

In related news, Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick on March 8 called on the PUCT and ERCOT to correct the emergency pricing error.

Patrick said that ERCOT has a procedure for correcting pricing errors but has declined to act so far.

“According to the ERCOT Nodal Protocol Section 6.3 (6) (a), ERCOT has 30 days from the event to correct errors in pricing. Today I am calling on both the PUC and ERCOT to follow the recommendations of the IMM and correct these mistakes,” he said. “Correcting this $16 billion error will require an adjustment, but it is the right thing to do. It will ultimately benefit consumers and is one important step we can take now to begin to fix what went wrong in the storm.”

Texas House members unveil series of bills in wake of power outage hearings

Meanwhile, Texas House Speaker Dade Phelan on March 8 unveiled the first phase of House legislative reforms in the wake of recent hearings in the Texas Legislature that examined rotating outages implemented by ERCOT in February after an arctic blast hit the state.