Sam Houston Electric Cooperative consumer-members have been benefiting from reduced power costs in recent months. The Cooperative, serving more than 56,000 members throughout 10 counties in East Texas, is experiencing its lowest power costs in eight years.
According to Doug Turk, Chief Executive Officer and General Manager, costs should remain low through the end of the year.
“It is exciting,” Turk said. “One of the things we do as part of our mission here at Sam Houston is to supply our members with reliable power, and power that is as low cost as possible.”
Sam Houston EC does not generate its own power, but purchases power from East Texas Electric Cooperative, a generation and transmission cooperative, headquartered in Nacogdoches, Texas.
“Our power purchases right now are a culmination of many, many years of the G&T (generation and transmission) cooperatives accumulating and managing (power) plants,” Turk said. “It is good to see the culmination of that pay-off in the form of lower power costs.”
2018 was the second wettest year in the region, and 2019 also saw significant amounts of rain in the first half of the year, which is good news for hydroelectric power coming from Sam Rayburn Dam.
“It has been a relatively wet year and the hydro(electric) facilities—for the most part—have run most of the year. This has helped keep the power costs low,” Turk said.
Sam Houston EC also searches for other opportunities to keep prices low for its consumer-members. The Cooperative negotiates the payment of the initial construction costs for any large project, whether that be a subdivision addition, or substation expansion for a new high-voltage transformer.
“With all large projects, our staff tries to make sure the costs are relevant, and they are incurred, as much as possible, by the entity that is going to receive the benefit,” Turk said. “We feel that is a good strategy for future growth, and good financial stewardship on our part as we reduce financial liabilities for our member-owners.”
Even though power costs are low, the Cooperative encourages consumers to be energy efficient and conserve to save even more in the family budget and enjoy the upcoming holiday season.