Monday, February 16, 2015


At this time the cost of residential electricity through the BPUB is 5-6 cents per khw.  The state average depending on the source is 10-11 cent per kwh.  My brother in East Texas pays 9 cents per kwh.  In the Dallas house we are paying 8.5 cents per kwh.

Even if when all is said and done our rate goes to 7-8 cents per kwh, we are still below the state average.

Before I get into the benefits of Tenaska I want to address the number one complaint.  The poor cannot afford the increase even though our rate is low.

What this argument says is, we should forgo economic development because economic development will mean a hardship on the poor.  If that is what the people of Brownsville want for Brownsville, then they need to vote accordingly.

But like everything else,  people prefer to complain than get informed.

Brownsville actually has many electric companies.  Those of us with BPUB will pay for part of Tenaska. 

If people cared to actually get informed instead of complaining and using the poor as an excuse for not wanting to pay higher rates, they would learn that the problem is state law.

Because those of us with BPUB are with a monopoly the poor cannot apply for assistance from the state.

LITEUPTEXAS for qualified residents actually pays the electric bill for the poor.  But Texas law prohibits LITEUPTEXAS from helping BPUB customers.  If you want to help the poor, write to Oliviera and the Lucios and ask that the law be changed to allow BPUB customers to apply for assistance.  Entire areas off of Jaime Zapata are not within BPUB and poor residents in that area get their electric bill paid for by the state during the Spring and Summer months.

The churches need to get back to advocacy work for the poor and help them access the program which pays for energy efficiency repairs to the homes of the poor.  Weatherization Assistance Program.  This will bring down their electric bills.

Even with the rate increases and a colder than normal winter, my electric bill went down $20 again this month.  Three months ago I spent $120 for labor and material to replace 50 feet of AC/heating ducts on the east side of my home.  I knew I had a problem because I could see the tears in the ducts.  I have now earned $40 back of that $120 spent.  The reality is it is more because my heater ran from November through January.  Normally I only run my heater a hand full of days each season.

The April bill will see my first savings from $1700 worth of other upgrades once the AC starts to run.

When I moved in and installed the solar screens in September the next summer for three months my electric was $80 less per month than the previous year when I did not have the solar screens.  They paid for themselves 2 1/2 years ago. 

To cover the $1700 in other upgrades I stopped going to Bingo.  I got one year interest free and will be able to pay the entire thing with my Bingo money.  You have to make sacrifices if you want to save money.

If community groups were to just help the poor to access the programs which exist the poor's electric bills will actually go down even with the rate increase.


Manufacturers look to things like access to electricity before relocating.  The tax base benefits over time will end up paying for Tenaska.  Further because it will be run on natural gas we will not be dependent on the Arabs for fuel.

The solution is not to use the poor as an excuse, but for you to get proactive and make your home more energy efficient, and find ways to help the poor through the many programs which exist.

We cannot count on the COB or BPUB to educate the people.  Neither know how to connect with the poor so they are not getting out the word.

It is not for the government to do everything for us. We need to do things for ourselves and our neighbors.  I have helped many seniors on a fixed income to receive the benefits from LITEUPTEXAS.  It frustrates me there is nothing I can do for the poor with the BPUB.  But it is a question of state law, not the BPUB.  I have helped BPUB customers apply for the weatherization program.


Anonymous said...

Let me explain something about this in maybe a way your can understand.

There is no reason to increase the costs to PUB customers.None.
Now we buy/build/are conned into a power plant that we don't need.

Now the costs to PUB customers go up. This is graft plain and simple. I care not what your brother pays, what somebody in Denmark pays, or for that matter what someone in Kyle pays. That is absolute distraction.

I am saying that the cost basis to the Brownsville customer was raised for no benefit to the Brownsville customer. This brings us back to graft and corruption or if we choose to forgo looking at it in that light, then we have incompetence of biblical proportions.

BobbyWC said...

Now let me explain something to you - you are paranoid - you have zero proof of graft.

Cheap local electricity is an important variable new manufacturing plant owners look for.

Tenaska based on state and national averages gives us both. It will increase the chance of more high paying jobs coming to Brownsville.

This is basis and understood by people who do not assume graft is part of every decision which can move a city forward.

Bobby WC

Anonymous said...

At this time the cost of residential electricity through the BPUB is 5-6 cents per khw.

Let me explain something to you:

This does not include the 5.2 cents Fuel Charges.

The true cost is over 11 cents a KWH.

This negates all your "analysis".

The cost of KWH in the Woodlands, the most exclusive place in Texas, is a low as 6 cents and they have NUMEROUS choices.

BobbyWC said...

I have already documented your claim on the Woodlands as a lie.

Charging a fuel surcharge is basic and not limited to BBUB.

If my fuel charge doubles my bill, for this to be my total BPUB bill without water and sewage and trash would have been $240 this month, It was $220.

Your claim that we are paying the same amount for the fuel surcharge which is clearly posted on the bill as for electricity is wrong.

Now the numbers just changed again meaning they went up . - but the idea they double our bill on the fuel charge is just stupid - but this is actually part of my point - natural gas is cheaper than coal and oil.

The fuel charge is wrongfully too high right now given the price of oil. There is a valid complaint.

But once we are on natural gas - the PUB will have a hard time justifying a high fuel charge

Here is a comparison of the energy costs for the woodlands

Everyone has a fuel charge, although they may call it something else.

Post any electric company which sells electricity in the Woodlands area for 6 cents and I will post it. But then I will look at all of the other costs.

Bobby WC

Anonymous said...

I am the graft poster. Your argument has no basis in logic. You are defending an increase in cost basis to captive consumers with zero material benefit to them. Move forward? By raising the basis cost for electricity is going to attract business in exactly what way? Please don't talk about averages. They have no place in this discussion. I see ducks walking, ducks quacking. They are not zebras.

BobbyWC said...

Ive explained over and over again how it benefits Brownsville you just do not like whar i'm saying so you ignore it

Bobby wc

Anonymous said...

I ignore it because it has precisely no logical value. It equates to the story of Noah explaining the lack of dinosaurs.

Anonymous said...

Here is Direct Engergy for Houston

Direct Energy 12 Month Fixed 12 months $0.0619 / kWh

The Woodlands cheapest is 8.5KWH with NO fuel charge other hidden charges. PUB is 30% higher!!!

"No hidden fees or extra charges. Quoted 1,000/kWh average price includes all current TDU pass thru charges, without mark-up. Plan features also include Auto Pay and electronic communications (e-docs)."

BobbyWC said...

Here is a great article explaining economic benefits of a new plant to a community - new taxes and new jobs.

This is not some Mexican scam - I chose this article because of where the city if located - Conn

Bobby WC

BobbyWC said...

So now you are changing you story since you could not prove it. Now it is Houston not Woodlands.

Well I checked your links and it is not 6 cents once you click onto their page.

you are making a fool of yourself - when I go to the links you provide and then click on that so called 6 cents and then type in several Houston and Woodland zip codes - there are no 6 cent rates - it is a con to get you to click on to their page.

I just canceled my order for those new green grocery bags you see on TV - you know why - in three weeks they have not been sent but I cam called every day with another special offer to buy just about anything.

It was a con to get my number to harassment me into buying things I do not want.

Your research is pathetic and you have been caught lying -

Guys you want to hate the deal fine - but I am done checking on your verifiable lies - I have things to do - like nothing

Bobby WC

Anonymous said...


Be fair, compare and report apples to apples. Compare PUB to local electric providers like Magic Valley who is many times lower than PUB and they do not own generation, but broker electricity. PUB should be at a lower rate than any other utility company since it is municipally owned and is suppose to be a non profit entity. The true problem is that we are financing a private venture through utility rate increases at the expense of the Brownsville citizens.

Anonymous said...

Bob so what if were paying less than other providers that is what we should be getting since taxpayers own PUB, and if we're already paying less isn't that enough for industry to locate to brownsville?The TENASKA inc says it all, INCorporated why should we rate payers be burdened with these rate hikes on a private company,it's Like paying Wal-Mart to locate somewhere in town

BobbyWC said...

This race to ignorance is really mind numbing. If you are not even smart enough to google the Magic Valley rate for Brownsville area before asking that I check it, why should my readers believe anything you say?

It is .107 cents - More than the BPUB even with the rate increase.

If we begin with .05 cents before a 36% rate increase do you know where it ends up .068 cents. Cry me a river.

On the non profit - no wonder Brownsville cannot progress - is knowledge and education a four letter word in this town.

Valley Baptist is a non-profit. The VFW is a non-profit - they own their buildings and facilities.

Actually Tenet owns VB again.

Do you know what a non profit means?

It means there are no shareholders to pay a profit to, a tax savings.

You want apples to apples - do you understand the term?

Reality check - how much do the people with Magic pay for water, sewage, and garbage pick-up. Our bill is packaged, therefore discounted

Do you really want to turn over all of the functions of the BPUB to a for profit corporation which has a duty to pay dividends to its shareholders?

Right now BPUB pays millions to the city. If we stop that what do you think the city will do? They will raise taxes.

What is really sad is rather than talk the real problem - water - you are crying a river over a 1.8 penny increase in the rate.

We have no water policy. I have been discussing this issue since before Tony was elected. I raised it during the campaign - he said conservation and he did not even do that.

Where is Space X going to get its water from?

Space X is going to explode in our faces and not the rocket -
the entire deal when the reality of insufficient water hits.

No one is talking water policy.

We should already have federal and state funds to build a small weir dam near the area Space X is going in so that the Rio Grande will serve as its water source.

But nooooooooooooo - we are crying me a river over 1.8 pennies.

You have to stop making knowledge a sin.

Your idea cities just develop on the moronic opinions of people who post to the Internet is frightening.

I have said over and over again - I worked for a targeted readership.

You know why two weeks before Carl Montoya resigned the BV posted the story?

Do you know why the BV was spot on about a search committee, citizen's committee and an interim who was a retired superintendent for BISD?

My targeted readers are the policy makers - not idiots who have nothing else to do with their life than claiming because their five year old can turn on the computer for them they are informed about municipal policy.

I do not give a crap about the people on the blogs who have nothing but vulgarities to throw and unverified moronic claims.

Dude, think about it - you do not even understand something as simple as apples to apples.

You are so poorly educated it never occurred to you to check the rate of Magic Valley before posting your comment.

In the end we may be at Magic Valley's rate, but unlike Magic Valley we will have stable natural gas electricity. We will not be subject to changes due to the price of oil and goal.

Plus we are getting all of our services through one package versus paying multiple corporations for water, sewage, and trash.

Why do you prefer to do business with multiple for profit corporations who pay dividends to the shareholders?

Plus, Tenaska will bring jobs.

Bobby WC

Anonymous said...

K bob but why you so adamant about your views on TENASKA?couldnt some of your responders to your blog be right to a point. seems you never give any credence to some of the smart people who actually do care about justice and fairness in OUR city and OUR PUB

BobbyWC said...

Also look at how you presented your fair question in a civil manner and you got an honest civil answer.

You did not lie - present a distraction - you just asked an honest question which I respect. I gave you an honest answer - we can agree to disagree, but it is this type discussion which helps the BV and the community

Bobby WC

Anonymous said...


You seem like a person who is sincere, but you are misguided. I will refer you to the PUB comparison chart, which clearly shows PUB is consistently higher than Magic Valley. Please go to:

What you seem not to realize is that PUB is not in the business of getting into the power plant business, but its mandate is to provide the lowest rates to its citizens and historically fails to do this in the past few years. Aside from paying higher rates we are subsidizing a private company to build the Tenaska Power Plant and committed to providing water for the plant at a lock rate that we will regret. Get your facts right.

BobbyWC said...

Sorry, your comment was in pending comments - I just saw it.

You are still not getting it - okay when all variables are added in BPUB is higher by 1.67 cents than Magic Valley

What I like about your link is it adds in all fees as variable to get to an average.

So if I were with Magic Valley my bill would have been $20.06 less which is due on the first.

What you refuse to get and never will get - Brownsville will raise taxes if the BPUB does not have the money to pay the city. So you lower the effective rate and then pay higher taxes. What have you won?

How much are the Magic Valley and other people paying for water, trash and sewer? Until you have all the numbers for everything you are not comparing apples to apples.

Who pays for the repairs for those outside BPUB for water, trash etc.

If you want Brownsville to be depended on imported oil for electricity then vote accordingly.

If you want a long term plan which stabilizes the cost of fuel and promotes development then vote accordingly.

But I know I do not want different for profit companies charging me for electricity, water and trash. It is more efficient to have one company.

But you will never get the concept of bundling to discount.

Now on water I wish people would start talking about that.

The rates are going up and I do not like it - but it is because we have no water policy.

Space X will be a mess on the water issue and no one wants to discuss it.

All anyone cares about is a penny and half more per kwh for electricity while ignoring we have no water policy.

Until you can compare the cost of water and trash and electricity for a Magic valley customer to a BPUB customer you cannot compare.

Also unless you have a way for the city to make up for the millions it will lose if the BPUB
stops paying you have no solution.


The rate increase is not all Tenaska - it is a back door tax on the people without a vote.

There is your story.

If you want to argue some of the rate increase is a way to raise money for the COB without a proper vote for a tax increase - you will not hear me say you are wrong on that one.

I have my facts straight - I'm just not buying into this conspiracy nonsense with Tenaska being bad for the city and that officials are taking kick-backs.

Learn what is really happening.

Demand a water policy.

Demand the city stop using the BPUB as a revenue source to avoid raising taxes. They can vote to raise rates all they want thereby increasing the payment to the city.

That is why the rates are going up in part. Clearly part of it is Tenaska - but a part is a back door tax so that can avoid a public vote.

One way or the other we have to pay. There is clearly waste in the city. I do not like it - but everyone has waste. You either raise the money to pay for services or agree to drive on roads with potholes and fewer city services. Nothing is free.

But thanks for the link because it extended the discussion in a way which makes the BV work better

Bobby WC