Electric Rates in Texas Are Up 70% — Can You Get Help Paying Your Bill?

Dallas Texas golden sunrise over Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge.
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As summer is kicking in, Texas residents will have to brace themselves for increasing electric prices, as they are already up 70% year-over-year.

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According to The Dallas Morning News, the latest rate plans offered on the state’s Power to Choose website this month show that the average residential rate listed is 18.48 cents per kilowatt hour, up from 10.5 cents in June 2021.

Dallas News adds that consumers will experience the increase at different times, depending on when their current electricity contract expires, with cities such as Austin and San Antonio having regulated public utilities, while most of the state operates under a competitive market.

These are the highest prices since the state grid’s privatization in 1999, according to Chron.com.

“We’ve never seen prices this high,” AARP Texas Associate State Director Tim Morstad told the Dallas News. “There’s going to be some real sticker shock here.”

For example, the hike would reportedly represent an increase of $80 a month for a family using 1,000 kWh of electricity.

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However, some consumers might be eligible for financial assistance through the Comprehensive Energy Assistance Program (CEAP). This is a utility assistance program to assist low-income households in meeting their immediate energy needs and to encourage consumers to control energy costs for years to come through energy education, according to the program’s website.

CEAP provides relief to low-income elderly and/or disabled households “most vulnerable to the high cost of energy for home heating and cooling from fluctuations in energy costs by providing financial assistance, paying up to six or eight of the highest bills during the year depending on whether they are considered a vulnerable household.”

The program also provides assistance in an energy-related crisis or during severe weather or supply shortages.

To be eligible for this benefit program, you must be a resident of Texas and you must need financial assistance with home energy costs. For households of one person, the annual income must be below $20,385; for households of two, below $27,465; for households of eight, below $69,945.

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About the Author

Yaël Bizouati-Kennedy is a full-time financial journalist and has written for several publications, including Dow Jones, The Financial Times Group, Bloomberg and Business Insider. She also worked as a vice president/senior content writer for major NYC-based financial companies, including New York Life and MSCI. Yaël is now freelancing and most recently, she co-authored  the book “Blockchain for Medical Research: Accelerating Trust in Healthcare,” with Dr. Sean Manion. (CRC Press, April 2020) She holds two master’s degrees, including one in Journalism from New York University and one in Russian Studies from Université Toulouse-Jean Jaurès, France.
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