Katy Perry and Texans’ need for affordable, reliable electricity: Strategic Framework

This is part of our blog series for Texas 2036’s Strategic Framework, which provides in-depth, cross-cutting data to inform key decisions about the most significant issues facing the state.

It’s not often that Texans give props to Californians, but Katy Perry put the Texas weather experience and our electric grid in perfect lyric form in her song, “Hot N Cold.” 

“Cause you’re hot then you’re cold. You’re yes then you’re no. You’re in then you’re out.”

Over the last few years, we’ve had both record-setting hot summers driving thermostats down and streaks of extreme winter weather driving them up. Both result in peak demand for electricity and underscore the critical nature of the reliability of that electricity. 

While electricity prices in the state have remained relatively consistent for over a decade until last year, Texas ranks last compared to peers states when it comes to residential electricity affordability, largely because of high utilization. 

When it comes to industrial electricity affordability, an important metric for attracting and retaining manufacturing and high tech industries, Texas performs worse too. According to the Energy Information Administration’s Annual Electric Power Industry Report, Texas ranks in the bottom half when compared to its peer states.

And while electricity is less affordable, it’s also less dependable. Between 2019 and 2020, Texas saw a 140% increase in the System Average Interruption Duration Index, which measures the total time that customers experience a non-momentary power interruption in a one-year period. And in 2021, according to Energy Information Administration data, Texans endured an average of 20 hours without power and three outages largely due to extreme weather events.This is particularly concerning.  

Texas 2036 has prioritized ensuring that Texans, and Texas businesses, have affordable, reliable electricity, establishing it as one of our 36 goals for the future of Texas. In our Strategic Framework, it’s Goal No. 15

We are working to support policymakers as they consider this critical issue, including developing robust models around an energy expansion in Texas that could not only provide affordable, reliable energy for Texans but also good paying jobs and revenue to fund state government. Regardless of the temperature, Texas 2036 is focused on ensuring our state delivers on quality of life and economic prosperity for all Texans through our bicentennial and beyond.