On December 30, Sharyland Utilities – a Texas-based public electric company that serves 54,000 customers statewide – filed an amended rate package (Docket No. 45414) as part of its ongoing system-wide rate case with the Public Utility Commission of Texas to set regulated delivery rates for all of Sharyland’s retail service territories. Sharyland jointly filed this amended package along with Sharyland Distribution & Transmission Services.
Sharyland originally filed the rate case on April 29, to combine the company’s two existing tariffs – one for its Stanton, Brady, and Celeste (SBC) service territory and one for its McAllen service area – into a single unified charge that would set uniform system-wide rates for all territories.
In reviewing the initial application, the PUCT determined that it would amend its previous method of regulating Sharyland and its leases. Sharyland leases utility assets that are owned by SDTS, and Sharyland operates and maintains these assets on behalf of SDTS.
Therefore, on December 30, Sharyland and SDTS jointly filed, seeking to:
- Set new wholesale and retail rates that Sharyland will charge its customers;
- Establish the rates that SDTS will charge to its only customer, Sharyland; and
- Grant a certificate of convenience and necessity (CCN) and transfer CCN rights to SDTS.
As part of this amended filing, Sharyland highlights the significant capital investments it has made to the transmission and distribution system since 2012, which was the test year for its previous rate case in 2013. These investments were critical in supporting the approximately 15 percent annual load growth in Sharyland’s West Texas SBC territory and in renovating the outdated SBC system that Sharyland acquired from Cap Rock Energy in 2010.
“This amended filing represents an important milestone in moving our rate case forward,” said Sharyland CEO David Campbell, adding, “It primarily addresses new procedural requirements related to the regulation of our lease agreements with SDTS, with minimal impacts on our proposed rates for our residential customers.
“Since 2012, Sharyland has made significant investments to improve the system and to meet continued load growth in the regions we serve,” said Campbell. “Going forward, we will continue our efforts to improve the efficiency of our system and our operations.”
For an average Sharyland residential customer using approximately 1,333 kWh per month, those in Sharyland’s SBC territories would see monthly delivery rates decrease by approximately $3, not including riders; and similar residential customers in Sharyland’s McAllen territory would see monthly delivery rates increase by approximately $36, not including riders. With riders included, the monthly bill for an average SBC residential customer will remain essentially the same, and the monthly bill for an average McAllen residential customer would increase $55 overall, similar to what was proposed in the original filing back in April 2016.
For the past 16 years, Sharyland has subsidized rates for its McAllen division customers. For this filing, the regulated delivery rates in McAllen were calculated using system-wide cost-based rates, as required by the PUCT final order in the 2013 rate case. The current rate case will be the first full review of rates in McAllen in 16 years.
Final action by the PUCT is expected by mid-summer 2017.