Electricity consultant comments on Brady

In a press release issued by the City of Brady late last week, the findings of a study conducted by Charles Freeman, president of Electric Powers Engineers, Inc. of Waco, summarized his views of the profitability of the Brady utility department. According to City Manager Merle Taylor, the city requested Freeman to analyze the profitability of the system ending March 2001. The request was made in April and the report was only recently delivered. In a meeting with Brady Mayor Clarence Friar and Taylor, Freeman had several things on which he reported. “The annual profit from the operation of the Brady electric distribution system is relatively stable at slightly over $1.4 million,” he said. He also reported on the operation of the Power Cost Recovery Factor (PCRF) which is a means of ensuring a relatively constant margin (utility revenue less cost) despite fluctuating wholesale power cost. “The revised PCRF is correctly operating to recover increases in wholesale power cost and to stabilize margin and profit despite wholesale power cost increases,” said Freeman. “The cost of wholesale electric power has recently increased considerably due to the price of natural gas quadrupling during the last year. Natural gas is used to generate a high percentage of electric power.” In his meeting, Freeman also noted that during the past year, if the city of Brady had been supplied with wholesale electric power from city Public Service (CPS) of San Antonio rather than from its present supplier, customers of the City of Brady would have realized a total savings of approximately $744,000. CPS will become the wholesale supplier for Brady at the end of its current contract with West Texas Utilities which occurs on Dec. 15, 2001. According to Taylor, he and Mr. Freeman have met with several of the larger utility customers in Brady and have plans to meet with several more to discuss options that would level out the demand load placed on the city’s system. “Minimizing electrical usage during hot summer afternoons will reduce the cost of electric power for the customer making the reduction in usage and, through the Power Cost Recovery Factor, for all customers of the Brady electric distribution system,” said Freeman. “What we are trying to do is to level out and stabilize the demand on the electricity supply,” said Taylor. “We here at the city are evaluating what we can do to cut down on electricity usage and we need help from the residents in doing the same thing.” Taylor stated that there are more meetings scheduled with some of the top utility use customers later this week with hopes of coming up with additional solutions.

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