AUSTIN (October 25, 2012)--The Texas Public Utility Commission voted Thursday to double the cap on wholesale electricity prices over the next three years.
Raising prices is necessary to encourage more plant construction and prevent power outages, the commission said.
The maximum wholesale rate would rise from $4,500 to $9,000 in 2015.
In Texas's minute-by-minute market, the cap was reached only once this year and prices are normally much lower.
State officials have warned that higher prices are needed to encourage companies to build more power plants as the Texas population grows.
Industry experts say companies that operate the state's power plants are losing money because prices are too low most of the year, but consumer groups complain that wholesale price increases can trickle down to monthly household electric bills for most Texans.