While CoServ Electric does not yet know all the costs associated with the extreme winter weather from last week that we are all still recovering from, we are working to recognize our Members’ concerns.
We are monitoring the efforts of elected officials, ERCOT and the Public Utility Commission (PUC) to resolve questions about how these costs will impact your electric bills moving forward. We do not know the actual financial impact of these decisions for each of our Members. We will communicate further with you as soon as we have that information.
We will only charge you for the energy you have used and as a cooperative, our intent is not to make a profit but to consistently do what is best for our Members.
To that extent, many of you have reached out with specific questions and we are trying to get answers to those questions as quickly as possible. With so many reports coming out about how various electric providers are handling this situation, we will ensure our Members get answers directly from us through our social media channels (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, NextDoor), CoServ.com or our call center at (940) 321-7800.
Here are answers to the most common questions we have received to date:
- Why did my home have so many rotating outages and someone else in my neighborhood did not?
CoServ Electric, like every electric provider, receives mandates from ERCOT during an EEA 3 emergency on how much electricity we are required to take off the grid to keep it operational. Depending on how much electricity demand ERCOT requires us to shed, we must look at the number of circuits needed to turn off—and circuits with Members that address critical needs (hospitals, nursing homes, sewer systems, etc.) are prioritized to receive power—which is why some homes or neighborhoods on a circuit with Members that address critical needs aren’t impacted by the rotating outages. These requirements are grouped by priority, based upon the size and number of critical loads on each feeder. Click here for more information on critical needs accounts.
- Why am I seeing all this usage on my SmartHub account when I wasn’t receiving electricity during an outage?
SmartHub is designed to give each Member an estimated view of ongoing usage on their account. The “charges” some of our Members are seeing during an outage reflect estimated (not actual) usage from SmartHub to fill in the gaps and assist you in planning your usage for the rest of the month. To reduce confusion, we have taken this feature offline which will avoid a misrepresentation of the usage that occurred in your home/business during the extreme weather event last week.
- Is the SmartHub issue the same as the one that has been in the news regarding smart meters and high bills?
No. SmartHub is a tool designed to fill in the gaps and assist you in planning your usage for the rest of the month. Smart meters send actual usage data to the electric provider. The media reports are referencing electric providers that send out monthly bills based on an estimated usage read from a smart meter. The chances of an estimated billing read being utilized on your CoServ electric bill are less than .04%. Should an estimated read be utilized for your bill, you will be contacted directly.
- Am I going to get a higher than usual bill next month?
The CoServ Electric Board has decided that the rate set on February 1, 2021 which includes the Power Cost Recovery Factor (PCRF), will remain the same as it was before the extreme winter weather last week. The rate details, including the PCRF, can be found here. This guarantees that our Members will not be severely impacted by the high wholesale prices that all electric providers faced during this time. The PCRF has been in place to consistently help spread anticipated higher costs over a longer period of time to benefit our Members. We will not be charging late fees and will suspend disconnections for nonpayment for the next 30 days. Impacts to your bill related to usage may change the amount you pay, particularly if you have electric heat, heat pumps, pool equipment or utilized space heaters during the extreme weather.
For 84 years CoServ Electric has been committed to providing our Members with safe and reliable energy and this extreme weather event will not change that commitment.