Back in late January Oncor told the Public Utility Commission it wanted to raise Dallas residents' electricity bill by, oh, let's say $4 to $5 a month. Even though there'd been a three-buck jump in your bill only two years ago. Said Oncor, look, it had no choice: People aren't wasting electricity like they used to, the customer base isn't growing like it ought to, and it's investing, like, hundreds in infrastructure upgrades. (I kid?)
The city council delayed the inevitable while it the 147-cities-strong Oncor Cities Steering Committee negotiated a more "reasonable" rate hike with the power provider. On Wednesday, the council gets the news: Residents won't see that 16.5-percent spike after all. Instead, Oncor's going to raise rates by 6.2 percent -- which should run most residents somewhere around $1.50 more per month, on average. Also part of the settlement: Oncor will only trim trees "reactively" as opposed to cyclically. And there's a rate-hike freeze -- two whole years. Unless there's a strong sustained wind, in which case all bets are off.