Saturday, July 21, 2018
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SURateIncrease JDL 20170215 4613Mission and McAllen residents living in the Sharyland Plantation area will no longer have to worry about a proposed increase in their electric rates following a transaction with their electric utility provider.


Sharyland Utilities announced in a news release Monday a transaction with the Dallas-based transmission and distribution electric utility, Oncor. As part of this agreement, Sharyland Utilities will exchange their retail distribution assets and operations for a set of Oncor’s transmission lines in West and Central Texas. In connection with this agreement, Sharyland Utilities and Sharyland Distribution & Transmission Services, L.L.C. have agreed to dismiss Sharyland’s current rate case that would’ve affected customers in the Sharyland Plantation area, the release states.


This proposed transaction means that Sharyland’s approximately 54,000 retail distribution customers across Texas will become Oncor customers and, as a result, see significantly reduced regulated retail delivery rates.


“This provides significant rate relief for our retail distribution customers,” David Campbell, CEO of Sharyland Utilities said in the statement. “We believe the most community-centric action we can take is to give our customers access to a world class utility like Oncor with the lowest rates in the State, and focus our forward strategy in support of the transmission infrastructure necessary for our communities to continue to grow and prosper.”


Previously Sharyland Utilities had a hearing with the Public Utilities Commission of Texas to increase electric rates for its 3,000 customers in parts of Mission and McAllen, according to Paul Schulze, Sharyland Utilities vice president of public affairs.


Under the proposed rate structure, an average residential customer using about 1,333 kilowatt hours per month in the Sharyland Utilities Mission/McAllen service area would see rates increase about $55 per month, including riders, said Schulze.


Schulze explained that Sharyland Utilities has been subsidizing rates in the Sharyland Plantation area for the past 16 years to encourage growth. However, the utility sought to recover costs, including $30 million associated with construction of the electric system in the McAllen division during its initial years of operation.


The Sharyland Utilities website stated Oncor has a much larger customer base and much higher customer density than Sharyland Utilities, which significantly drives down its cost of service meaning their residential customers pay the lowest delivery rates of any regulated utility in the state.


Currently, Sharyland Utilities residential customers in north and west Texas who use 1,000 kilowatt hours a month see a bill of nearly $92. Sharyland Plantation residents are billed nearly $46 while Oncor customers are billed $38.11, according to information provided by Schulze.


Under the proposed agreement with Oncor, Sharyland Utilities’ current rate case will be dismissed once the transaction closes, which the agency said it in its website that it expects to happen in the fourth quarter of 2017.  


“Sharyland’s McAllen customers will also see a reduction in their delivery rates under this proposal since Oncor’s rates will also be lower than the subsidized rates that Sharyland has charged to these customers since 2001,” the website stated. “Sharyland customers in the [West and North Texas] territories will receive a significant reduction in their regulated delivery rates.”