There are many questions, and rumors, regarding your electric and water bills after a week of extreme weather and related service outages. We want you to know 2 key things about your utility account and billing:
Denton Municipal Electric (DME) is a resident-owned electric utility that provides responsive, affordable electric services to its customers. News articles regarding potential massive electric bills for customers of some privately-owned electric companies have caused alarm with some of our customers. We want to reassure our customers that DME only recovers the costs to provide electricity and will not financially benefit from this crisis.
All customers should know that DME rates are fixed and determined by the Denton City Council. Non-DME customers impacted by extremely high spikes in their bills are billed through variable rate for electricity – making them vulnerable to sudden price swings from the wholesale energy market. This is not the case with DME. Any change in rates must be approved by the Denton City Council after a thorough and transparent financial and rate review process.
The City of Denton and DME continue to assess impact of this winter storm, including the cost of purchasing electricity from the electric grid operator, ERCOT. Many discussions relating to relief and/or reform are occurring at the state and federal levels, and any decisions at those level may impact Denton. When this analysis is complete, we will then have a better understanding of the storm’s impact on DME finances. Again, any proposed rate changes would include public meetings and must be approved by the Denton City Council.
DME customers are charged only for the actual electricity consumed and will be charged at the existing fixed rates as approved by the Denton City Council. If a customer used more electricity than usual (consumed higher than average kWh), their electric bill will be higher than a normal month due to that higher use. If a customer used less than their average kWh, their bill will be less than a normal month.
The City of Denton is postponing any planned utility interruptions resulting from nonpayment until Monday, March 15, 2021, to give customers additional time to assess the impacts from the winter storm without worrying about losing power.
Customers with questions about their account may call Customer Service at 940-349-8700. Please visit www.cityofdenton.com/winterweather and follow City of Denton social media for updates.