Harlingen receives thousands in rebates from nonprofit group

HARLINGEN — More than $231,000 — that’s how much has been delivered back to the city of Harlingen thanks to its membership in the state’s leading municipal electricity buying group, the Texas Coalition for Affordable Power.

“Any extra money helps — especially during budget season,” said Harlingen Assistant City Manager Gabriel Gonzalez, who also has served as a TCAP board director.

“The fact that Harlingen has received more than $200,000 in rebates over the years is phenomenal. This is money that helps our city and by extension — our taxpayers.”

TCAP is a nonprofit coalition of 179 cities and other political subdivisions that have joined together to purchase power in bulk for their own governmental use. Through the power of its numbers, TCAP negotiates competitively-priced energy contracts that also include important member protections.

The coalition is overseen solely by its political subdivision members and operates exclusively for their benefit. It regularly returns surplus revenue — including a total of $231,211 back to Harlingen since 2010. That includes a check for more than $10,000 at the end of the most recent fiscal year. This is money that retail electric providers typically keep as profit.

TCAP has disbursed nearly $11.4 million back to members overall since its formation seven years ago, and more than $1.7 million this year alone. Funding for the most recent end-of-the-fiscal-year dispersals comes thanks to TCAP’s unique members-first energy contract that delivers cash back whenever certain technical and surplus requirements are met.

Most members were eligible this year for the checks, which varied in size based on electric usage and other factors.

“With TCAP, these rebates benefit cities and by extension, their taxpayers,” said TCAP Executive Director Jay Doegey. “TCAP also recently negotiated a rock-bottom electricity contract for its members. This should result in even more savings for our city members for years to come.”

TCAP members also have access to professional energy and billing consultants. The coalition’s 15-member board is comprised entirely of city officials. Harlingen has been a member of TCAP and a predecessor organization since 2002.

For more information, got to tcaptx.com.