AECT Supports Proposition 1

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Proposition 1 is the constitutional amendment providing for the use and dedication of certain money transferred to the state highway fund to assist in the completion of transportation construction, maintenance and rehabilitation projects, not to include toll roads.

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AECT strongly supports passage of Proposition 1 to keep our state’s infrastructure strong. 

Early voting runs from October 20 through October 31. Last day to apply for ballot by mail (received, not postmarked) is October 24. If you’re not early voting, get out to the polls on November 4 to support Prop 1!

For more information, “like” Texas Infrastructure Now on Facebook, “follow” them on Twitter and visit their website at http://www.infrastructuretexas.org/.

Looking to save money & stay comfortable in the heat? The Power To Save Texas website offers energy saving tips to do just that!

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The Power To Save Texas website was created by the Public Utility Commission of Texas as part of an educational campaign promoting energy conservation. The site features energy savings tips for both homes and businesses, information on the state’s electric grid conditions and how to reduce energy use during energy conservation alerts.

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You can even estimate the amount of money you could save by taking on some of these energy conservation measures with the site’s interactive savings calculator.

If you would like to find more ways to conserve energy and decrease your electricity bill, the Power To Save Texas site can connect you to sites on an energy saver contest, how to track your energy use and how to choose your electricity rate.

Electric prices rising nationwide, but lower offers available in the ERCOT competitive electric market

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According to the data from the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the average residential retail price of electricity in the cities BLS surveys topped 14¢/kWh for the first time. As reported by CNS News, the average June price was 14.3¢/kWh.

Meanwhile, the competitive retail electric market in ERCOT offers prices well below that average, with consumers able to find 12-month fixed-price offers as low as 9-to-10¢/kWh, as shown below.

June2014ChartCustomers interested in shopping around can visit www.powertochoose.org.

Energy Efficiency Round-Up

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Temperatures have officially hit the 100 degrees Fahrenheit mark across the state, and Texans are responding by cranking up their air conditioning and thus, increasing the demand for electricity. To combat higher electric bills, check out this round up of conservation and energy efficiency resources from several members of the Association of Electric Companies of Texas:

Want more? Visit the Department of Energy’s Energy Saver site.

Consumer Warning: Scammers Seeking Your Personal Information Mimic Electric Companies, Threaten to Cut Electricity During Summer Heat

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Download a copy of this press release

Consumer Warning: Scammers Seeking Your Personal Information Mimic Electric Companies, Threaten to Cut Electricity During Summer Heat

Consumers in doubt should call electric companies directly to verify account status; avoid giving financial or personal information to unsolicited callers or emailers

AUSTIN — In response to a scam affecting consumers cross Texas, members of the Association of Electric Companies of Texas (AECT) are warning consumers of unsolicited calls and emails that threaten to cut off electricity to consumers who don’t share personal information like bank accounts or Social Security numbers.

The scammers do not have the ability to cut electric service, but consumers may be more vulnerable to the possibility of service interruptions during the summer, when the prospect of losing electric service becomes more serious due to the heat.

“Service reliability is vital in the electric industry, and electric companies take their obligations to their customers seriously,” said John Fainter, president and CEO of the Association of Electric Companies of Texas. “We regard any efforts to undermine our reputations as significant threats. Law enforcement officials, electric companies and consumer organizations are diligently investigating these scams, and want to alert customers to stay vigilant this summer and beyond.”

Reminders for consumers:

  • Electricity customers should never provide Social Security numbers, credit card numbers or bank account information to anyone who requests them during unsolicited phone calls, from emails, etc.
  • If you are ever in doubt about a call concerning your electricity account status, especially if the caller threatens to disconnect your service, hang up and call the number on your electric bill to check your account status yourself.
  • Other red flags include a threat that your service may be suddenly terminated when you haven’t previously received any other warnings, or being contacted by a company that doesn’t normally send you electric bills.

“We are asking people to please help spread the word about these scams among their neighbors, friends and families — particularly seniors and those whose English skills may not be strong, since they may be more vulnerable to this illegal activity,” Fainter said. “Small businesses have been frequently targeted as well. Electric companies have been warning their customers about this problem for some time now, but in response to a recent increase in scam activity, we want to remind people to check their account status themselves by calling electric companies directly.”

The Association and its members are working with a number of other consumer and community organizations to alert consumers to the problem, supporting the ongoing efforts of local, state and federal law enforcement officials — such as the Texas Attorney General and the Federal Bureau of Investigation — to end the scam operation.

The Time is Now! Lock in your electricity rate for summer

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Since 2002, the majority of Texans are able to choose the company they purchase their electricity from. This has created competition as dozens of companies, known as retail electric providers (REPs), have formed in order to attract customers. Electricity customers in competitive areas of ERCOT have benefited with the freedom to choose the price and service that best suits their needs.

As temperatures rise during the summer, electric bills tend to do the same. This is due to the large amount of electricity used for air conditioning. The ability to shop around for electricity and secure a fixed electricity price for the duration of the summer provides protection against any price spikes associated with the Texas heat. Although the summer is just a few months a year, the length of an electricity contract can vary between one month and 36 months.

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Consumers should visit Power to Choose, the site operated by the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUC) to help you sort through the options available in your area. The time is now – lock in your electricity rate!

Before the storm – here’s what you can do to prepare for a hurricane

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Texas ranks high in states prone to major storms, and electric companies have decades of experience with hurricane recovery. Electric companies regularly review and revise their hurricane emergency plans through regular drills and assessment of their assets.

At the same time, these companies have been investing in technology to more quickly and accurately pinpoint problems. These actions help electric companies better prepare for future emergency events.

So what can you do to prepare for an approaching hurricane? Here our some tips from AECT member companies:

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There is the possibility of losing power during a hurricane. As a general guide, for category 1 hurricanes, you should be prepared to be without power for seven to 10 days; for category 3 hurricanes, three to five weeks; and category 5 hurricanes, six to eight weeks. There are other variables that affect damage and restoration like the speed of the storm, rainfall and windshield.

If you do lose power, please know that electric companies all have Emergency Restoration Plans and are committed to restoring all power as quickly, efficiently and safely as possible. A typical restoration plan consists of four phases of restoration:

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Again, the timeline for restoration is heavily dependent on the severity of the weather event and the extent of the areas affected. As hurricane season gets closer, be sure to take the time to consider how you will prepare your home for an approaching hurricane and what you will do if your home experiences a power outage.