Terms of TEF Distribution Finalized
The distribution of the $31.35 million Tenaska Equity Fund (TEF) was finalized Tuesday night at a Brownsville City Commission meeting on May 2. Brownsville commissioners acted on a resolution approved May 1 by the Board of Directors of the Brownsville Public Utilities Board (BPUB) based on recommendations made by a joint subcommittee of BPUB and the city of Brownsville.
The TEF includes $29 million collected from April 2013 to September 2016 to be used for anticipated costs during the construction phase of a proposed power plant project. On April 10, the BPUB Board of Directors voted to include BPUB’s net interest earned on the $29 million, an additional $2,082,611. The city of Brownsville received $208,261 from that interest as part of BPUB’s payment transfers to the city. This leaves a net amount of $1,874,350 added to the TEF, bringing the total to $30,874,350.
Additional interest from October 2022 through March 2023 totaled an estimated $534,134. With 10 percent, or $53,413, transferred to the city of Brownsville, this leaves a net amount of $480,721. At a special board meeting May 1, the Board of Directors at BPUB approved including those funds into the total TEF, bringing the new total to $31.35 million.
That $31.35 million will be distributed as refunds to BPUB electric customers within the April 2013 to September 2016 TEF timeframe based on electric consumption. This will ensure that customers get back what they paid into the TEF. Currently active customers will receive a credit on their bill. Former customers will receive their refunds via check in accordance with BPUB policies. Checks will be sent to the last forwarding address provided to BPUB.
In addition, BPUB and the city of Brownsville both voted to pool together refunds that were set to go to them and distribute those funds equally among all TEF timeframe customers who are still active account holders as of May 1, 2023. This additional $1.6 million will ensure that each of these active customers receives at least an estimated $48.91, not including any refund that customer will also receive.
Refunds to current BPUB customers are expected to be issued May 8. Current BPUB electric customers will be able to check the status of their refunds after that date. Refunds will show up as a named line item on bill statements entitled “Tenaska Equity Fund (TEF) Refund.” There will be an additional line item entitled “City & BPUB TEF Allocation” for the city of Brownsville and BPUB refunds. Checks to former customers are expected to be issued beginning May 22.
“We at BPUB appreciate our customers’ patience as we went through the process necessary to issue these refunds. We want to make issuing these refunds as simple for the customer as possible. If any customer has any questions or concerns, we encourage them to reach out to us or visit our website,” said BPUB General Manager & CEO Marilyn Gilbert.
If customers have any questions about the distribution of the TEF, they can send an email to [email protected] or call 956-983-6121. If customers would like to learn more, they can visit www.brownsville-pub.com/TEFrefund.
TEF – By the Numbers
- $31.35 million – total amount in TEF
- $29 million – funds originally collected for power plant project
- $2.35 million – total interest earned, minus city of Brownsville transfer
- $918,055 – city of Brownsville refund, portion of active customer TEF allocation
- $762,963 – BPUB refund, portion of active customer TEF allocation