Officials May Double Price Cap on Electricity

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AUSTIN, Texas - The Texas Public Utility Commission will likely double the price cap on wholesale electricity in order to encourage more generation.

PUC chairwoman Donna Nelson told the House State Affairs Committee on Wednesday that the commission will vote on the proposal Thursday.

She said raising the maximum price that a generator can charge is needed to make sure there is enough electricity available during peak periods.

The wholesale price is currently $4,500 a megawatt hour, and that price could go up to $9,000.

The Texas electricity market pays only for electricity provided, not on the capacity available. Official say that low prices have kept generators from adding more capacity, and therefore creates the possibility of a shortage if something unexpected happens.

Customers experienced outages in 2011 because of cold weather.