Panel Seeks To Answer the “Real” Cost Of Energy

Researchers Gather At UT Energy Week To Put Numbers Behind Texas Power Alternatives.

By Emily DonahueFebruary 20, 2015 9:49 am

If you’ve stared down at your energy bill you’ve probably scratched your head in bewilderment of how much it actually costs to power your home. For many Texans power is a necessity that doesn’t come with many options, and even more so – information about those options. It’s a problem that University of Texas professor Jim Dyer and his panel hope to solve today, as they gather for Energy Week in Austin.

“There are some costs that may be hidden in the way that we are charged for electric power,” Dyer says. He will be leading a discussion that tries to explore the true cost of electricity – factoring in a variety of traditional as well as hidden costs associated with power.“What we’re trying to do is bring together faculty and researchers…lets get together and pool this expertise in a way that we can really focus on the full cost of electricity.”

Dyer hopes that the panel will not only weigh in on traditional power generating methods, but bring hard facts on how Texans can use solar power, wind power, and natural gas. “We have to consider not only the cost of building the facilities and the fuel costs…but also the cost of environmental impacts,” Dyer says.

One of the plans Dyer hopes to implement will be a website where people can review energy options and associated costs. “They can get an idea to how sensitive these costs are,” Dyer says.

Jim Dyer’s goal is that the information gathered can be used to drive a wider dialogue surrounding energy implementation throughout the state. “We hope that this will inform the discussion that policy makers are having.”