Making Electricity More Expensive

Tuesday’s hearing by the Texas Senate Business and Commerce Committee helped shine some light on the challenges of Texas’ green energy efforts.

While we heard great things about the state’s energy efficiency program, we didn’t hear how much the program costs consumers–so i helped out with some testimony. Since 2002, Texas consumers have paid $591.1 million to support the state’s energy efficiency program, and the program’s estimated cost for 2010 is $114.8 million. A recent increase to the program by the Public Utility Commission of Texas will probably double these costs. And legislative proposals could increase the annual cost to over $500 million.

All of this would be okay, of course, if the state’s energy efficiency program saved consumers money through reduced consumption of electricity. However, there is simply no way to properly determine the efficiency of the state’s energy efficiency program. But an educated guess is that it costs more than it saves.

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