Bryan Texas Utilities Asking for $70 Million

By: Alex Villarreal Email
By: Alex Villarreal Email

Bryan Texas Utilities upgraded to smart meters not too long ago, and now they need more money for additional improvements and financing needs.
News 3 explains why they believe this is a plus for everyone involved.

Growth in the southern part of Brazos County, that's the main reason why those with Bryan Texas Utilities say they need $70 million.

Joe Hegwood, BTU CFO, said, "We'll have substations in the Wellborn area and sort of the west, southwest part of Brazos County and they'll link in with substations along Highway 6."

The city-owned utility company's board of directors approved plans to issue bonds up to $42 million for new transmission lines and $8.4 million to cover the purchase of an automated meter reading system when they officially made the switch to smart meters at the beginning of the year.

"When we initially started the project, we went to city council and said we're gonna do this, we want to bond fund it when we're through and now we're at the point where we're through with it and we're financing it," Hegwood said.

Another $17 million will be used to pay off old bonds, at lower interest rates, saving BTU around $1.5 million dollars over the next ten years.

Hegwood said, "This is all a net savings if you look at all this stuff because transmission gets billed out to transmission customers, not through retail rates."

BTU reps say customers' electricity bills will not go up and if the company continues to save money, rates may even drop in the future.

The bond authorization still has to be approved by the Bryan City Council.
It will be under consideration on the 27th.

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