The Electric Reliability Council of Texas: Storm Uri, A Non-Profit Company and Statewide Outages
In February 2021, Storm Uri devastated an unprepared Texas which resulted in mass power outages across the state. Texans faced low temperatures, food shortages, water shortages, and power outages during the storm and high electricity bills after. When electricity demand exceeded supply, electricity prices per kilowatt-hour soared, leaving many Texans with monthly electricity bills in the thousands. ERCOT is responsible for ensuring the reliability of electric service for 90 percent of the state, despite not owning the Texas grid or setting prices, and has been highly criticized for its decision making during the event by Texas politicians, residents, and the media.
1. To highlight the disconnect between electricity providers and consumers;
2. To encourage analysis of a business strategy founded on producing competitive prices;
3. To encourage discussion regarding the level of responsibility and involvement the government has over utilities;
4. To encourage discussion on how/if utilities that are meant to serve the public interest can effectively be managed under different corporate structures.