Bluebonnet members benefit from lower-than-projected natural gas prices

Natural gas-fired power plants, like LCRA's Sim Gideon Power Plant in Bastrop, generate about half of the state's electricity. As natural gas prices fluctuate, we pass the cost savings or increases to you by adjusting the fuels portion of our electric rate.

If you’re like me, you probably notice the price of gasoline as you drive by the dozens of gas stations on your way to and from work. Since my commute is about 100 miles a day, a few pennies per gallon can make a big difference in my monthly fuel costs.

It’s essentially the same thing with your electric bill. About half of the electricity in Texas is generated at natural gas-fired power plants. Since natural gas prices currently are lower than projected, Bluebonnet reduced the fuels portion of its electric rate this month. Beginning with your December electric bills, the half-cent reduction means the average Bluebonnet member will pay about $5 less for electricity, about $109 instead of $114 for 1,000 kilowatt hours monthly.

 “We constantly monitor the cost of electricity in the wholesale power market and pass along savings to our members whenever we can,” said Mark Rose, Bluebonnet’s general manager. “Our wholesale power providers are already very competitive with their prices and that gets even better for our members when the cost of natural gas drops and stays lower for a while.”

We buy 90 percent of our power from the Lower Colorado River Authority and 10 percent from CPS Energy, San Antonio’s municipally owned utility.  Natural gas makes about half of LCRA’s wholesale power supply, and about 15 percent of CPS’ supply. As fuel prices fluctuate, particularly natural gas, we pass the cost savings or increases to our members through a power cost recovery factor, one of the components of our members’ electric bills. The other components of the bill – the member service charge, distribution rate and base wholesale rate – stay constant.

You keep watching the price at the pump and we’ll keep watching the price on the natural gas market. Hopefully we’ll all keep saving money.

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About Will Holford

Have you ever wondered about the future of electric use? Perhaps you’re curious about how some global or national events might impact your power, the environment or your bill? Maybe you’re just interested in what’s going on at Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative. We want to share what we know, and that’s what the Bluebonnet Blog is about. Will Holford, Bluebonnet’s Manager of Public Affairs, is going to write most often for the blog. He’s been with the co-op since 2007, and has worked in communications for more than 14 years. Will enjoys learning about energy – and writing about it. He and other Bluebonnet employees (and occasional guest contributors) will get the conversation going -- about everything from where your power is generated to where it’s used, advances in technology, changes that will affect you, and interesting peeks behind the scenes at the co-op. We welcome your comments, questions and ideas. Email Will at will.holford@bluebonnet.coop.
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