TXU starts prepaid electricity service!! Oh, what terrific news!

June 24, 2011 § 1 Comment

Pop art Portrait of Rick Perry

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This must be the innovation and positive impact of competitive forces that Texans were promised in 2002 when Governor Perry and his very own PUCT (Public Utility Commission of Texas) deregulated IOU’s (investor owned utilities) in Texas and when the TPUC discarded the North Texas TXU franchise by allowing it to be sold to a private equity consortium (KKR, TPG, and Goldman Sachs).

Hey, good work Governor Perry, TPUC, Energy Future Holdings, and private equity smart guys.  It was so boring and old fashion with Dallas Power & Light.  They just sat there.  Now we have exciting REP’s (retail electric providers) that offer consumers choice (i.e., power to choose).

TXU, our once proud franchise utility, has joined the throngs of predatory REP’s in Texas.  It’s business in Texas.  What a great idea and income opportunity . . . let’s use electricity service to exploit low-income families, the elderly, and customers with poor credit.

Now, the least fortunate electricity consumers actually have no choice in Texas: they can prepay their electricity with a large deposit, or they can prepay their electricity with a large prepayment.  It’s power to choose in a perverse manner.

TXU argues that the plan gives TXU the ‘ability’ to serve customers that don’t qualify for standard service because of bad credit.  Really?  No ability without a predatory plan?

Also . . . ‘customers want this service because they can pay as much on their electricity bills, when they choose to do so.’  OK now I understand, you can pay your electricity bill (at a higher electricity rate) several times a week or month instead of a normal billing cycle . . . now that’s very convenient.

In addition, with ‘smart meters’ TXU can put their low profile customers in the dark at any time of day when their ‘prepayment’ is expended.  Awesome.

Maybe municipally owned Dallas Water Utilities is watching . . . they can do the same thing.  Prepay your water bill and sanitary sewer service – another convenience for low-income families!

TEXAS . . . honestly, have you had enough? 

Begin to separate yourself from our ‘power to choose’ retail electricity providers.  Install a PV solar system on your home or business.  Produce a portion of your own electricity.  Hedge your electricity bills, and distance yourself from the usual cast of inside players.

PV is available now, it’s affordable and economic, it’s scalable (any size system works fine), and your investment in PV increases the value of your home or business.  Learn more, and join the solar movement.

You will have no regrets.  It’s time to make a move.  Light from light . . . cool energy.

Chet Boortz, CEO


[The comments, positions, and opinions stated above are my own and may or may not represent those of SES21USA, LLC and its affiliate companies.]


Texas Cracks the Top Ten in PV Installations . . . Finally!

March 15, 2011 § 1 Comment

. . . Can Top Five Status be Far Away?

The SEIA and GTM have released their annual report, U.S. Solar Insight 2010TM Year in Review, and it’s official, Texas finally is ranked among the top ten states in annual PV installations at 23MW or a 2.6% U.S. market share.  This is a five times jump from 4.5MW in 2009.  About 70% of the Texas PV total is utility-scale.2010 US PV Installations MWdc

Thank you San Antonio and Austin (MOU’s) for local RPS’s and demand incentives and Oncore for a one time rebate program and TARP and ARRA (SECO in Texas) for opening PV markets with stimulus funding.  2010 . . . it was a good year in Texas.

OK you Texas bashers; I can hear your snicker: 2.6% market share … wow.  Well, what makes this a remarkable achievement for Texas is that there is virtually no help at the state policy level, the Texas environmental commission (TCEQ) is suing the EPA to dumb down air quality, the state’s two largest markets (Houston & Dallas/Fort Worth) are essentially non players with deregulated IOU’s, net metering regulations are contrived to be ineffective, HOA issues, interconnections and more.  This is an oil and gas and lignite coal state thank you.

Even so, consider this:

  • Texas is ranked 2 in state population
  • Texas is ranks 2 in state GDP
  • Texas produces an consumes more electricity than any other state
  • Texas electricity rates and utility bills are among the highest in the nation
  • Texas leads the nation in wind powered generation
  • Texas has enormous solar power potential

So with its 2.6% market share in hand, what’s next for Texas?  Based on the current utility-scale PV project pipeline in Central Texas, I predict Texas will rank 5 or 6 by 2012; and based on the attributes listed above . . . Texas will rank 1 or 2 by 2016.

How does Texas advance from number 10 to number 1 in PV installations . . .  one house, one business, one commercial building, one industrial facility, and one municipal building at a time! The momentum comes from users, the economic, social, and health beneficiaries of PV generation, it will not come from the state capitol or electric utilities.

Texas has a ferocious mindset of independence, and this coincides perfectly with distributive PV generation.  The industry lobbyists (policy makers) in Austin may not be enthralled by PV, but they cannot prevent it . . . it’s your home or business; it’s your electricity bill; it’s your choice; and it’s your distributive generation PV system . . . it’s a ground swell movement.

In Texas, distributive PV generation provides an attractive economic return today.  It’s scalable and affordable, and it only will get better as the cost of conventional electricity increases year after year after year.

It’s time.  Go Solar.  Go Texas . . . the Lone Star State!

Chet Boortz, CEO


[The comments, positions, and opinions stated above are my own and may or may not represent those of SES 21 USA and its affiliate companies.]

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