(Bill Montgomery/Houston Chronicle)

Power to Choose will help consumers filter out electricity plans charging “minimum use fees”

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So the Public Utility Commission of Texas will add an online filter to help consumers weed out such plans on the state’s Power to Choose website. Many of the seemingly cheapest plans include minimum use fees that increase rates when customers go above or below certain levels of electricity usage each month.
(Jason Alden/Bloomberg)

Texas grid operator asks consumers to limit electricity use after record-breaking demand on Wednesday

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Parts of the country, including Texas, were sweltering under a heat wave on Wednesday, with about 35 million people subject to heat advisories.
John Fainter, president and CEO of the Association of Electric Companies of Texas, poses in his offices Dec. 8, 2003, in Austin, Texas. (AP Photo/Harry Cabluck)

Longtime head of lobbying arm for Texas electric companies retires

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John Fainter, 76, who headed the Association of Electric Companies of Texas for 18 years, said he is retiring at the end of the year to spend more time with his grandchildren.
Electric Reliability Council of Texas ERCOT

Commentary: ERCOT Seeks Fee Increase

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ERCOT wants to increase its revenues — and it’s seeking another rate hike to make it happen.
Exelon Corp. will use GE gas turbines, like the one pictured above, in its Texas plants. (GE)

Exelon expanding gas-fueled power plants near Houston, Fort Worth

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The projects, which are roughly $750 million each, will triple the amount of power production at Exelon’s Colorado Bend Generating Station in Wharton, which is about 45 miles southwest of Houston. The second 1,000-megawatt expansion is for the Wolf Hollow Generating Station outside of Fort Worth.
old lady paying bill

Low-income Texans expected to receive $50 electric bill discounts

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The Texas Coalition for Affordable Power, a leading advocate for House Bill 1101, called the legislation the most important this year for electric customers.
A wind farm in West Texas, outside of Roby. (photo courtesy Rational Middle Media)

One of Texas’ biggest winds farms is getting an upgrade

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North Carolina-based Duke Energy said it will replace the wind farm’s lead acid battery storage system with lithium-ion technology in 2016 for better performance. Duke owns the Notrees Windpower Project that includes 95 wind turbines and generates 153 megawatts of electricity — enough to power 46,000 homes.
(Bill Montgomery/Houston Chronicle)

Texas rep counts one victory for cheap electricity, one loss for those using less of it

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Texans looking to conserve energy may continue to face monthly penalties on their electricity bills, but low-income residents should keep receiving discounts on their power usage.
H.B. "Trip" Doggett, shown last year at the Taylor offices of the  Electric Reliability Council of Texas, says he'll retire next year as CEO of the agency that manages most of the state power grid. (Houston Chronicle photo)

CEO of Texas power grid manager will retire next year

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Doggett, an electrical engineer who formerly worked with power generator and natural gas utility Duke Energy, joined ERCOT as chief operating officer in 2008 and was named president and CEO two years later.
The East Texas Electric Cooperative, the Trinity River Authority and other participants broke ground Wednesday on the new hydroelectric power plant at Lake Livingston. (ETEC)

Construction kicks off for hydroelectric plant near Houston

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The East Texas Electric Cooperative, or ETEC, broke ground Wednesday on the new 24-megawatt power plant will power about 12,000 eastern Texas homes and generate about $1 million annually for the city of Houston for the right to use city facilities at the lake.