Daniel Bethapudi named new general manager of electric utility for Georgetown

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Daniel Bethapudi has been named the new general manager for the electric utility for the city of Georgetown, according to a Sept. 18 news release.

After a nationwide search, Bethapudi was selected from a pool of more than 50 applicants to serve in the new role. He will be taking on responsibilities currently held by long-time general manager Jim Briggs, who is retiring Sept. 30, the release said.

Bethapudi currently serves as the assistant director for College Station Utilities, directing and managing transmission and substation operations and overseeing strategic planning and power supply functions, the release said. While in College Station, Bethapudi successfully restructured and replaced multiple energy contracts, resulting in average annual savings of approximately $15 million, it said. He also developed and implemented a risk management framework and a governance model to equip decision-makers at all levels of the organization to properly assess risk related to energy, it said.

“It was not easy to make the decision to leave College Station,” Bethapudi said in the release. “I moved here to attend graduate school and ended up staying more than 15 years. But Georgetown offers a unique opportunity for me and my family. I look forward to addressing the current challenges facing the electric utility, ensuring this great institution remains an asset for the community for years to come.”

In Georgetown, Bethapudi will oversee Georgetown’s electric utility, which serves nearly 27,000 customers. Reporting directly to the city manager, the new general manager will be responsible for more than 75 employees and an annual operating budget of $77.4 million, the release said.

“Daniel is uniquely qualified to lead our electric utility through its current financial challenges. He has a track record of restructuring energy contracts, improving risk management practices, and achieving financial excellence,” City Manager David Morgan said in the release. “We’re excited for Daniel to join the City of Georgetown team. He’s a natural fit for our organization, and I am looking forward to working with him.”

Prior to College Station, Bethapudi served in several roles at Navasota, Texas-based Mid-South Synergy, including as the manager of engineering and information technology as well as the interim chief operating officer, the release said. He concluded his time at Mid-South as the vice president and chief financial officer, directing finance, engineering, information technology, and electric operations, the release said.

Bethapudi’s tenure will begin Oct. 7.

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  1. Unfortunately, it appears that Georgetown has employed as Georgetown Utility Systems Electric Utility Manager a person who has no experience with the competitive Texas electric utility market.

    Apparently Mr.Bethapudi has never been part of the competitive electric energy market in Texas and, therefore, probably does not understand it. He probably would not support opening Georgetown’s electric utility market to choice. Market competition is not something lifelong bureaucrats welcome.

    Georgetown Utility Systems captive electric utility customers have no choice. They are locked into a one size fits all plan. Take it or leave it. As a result, they are paying some of the highest electric utility rates in central Texas, indeed all of Texas.

    Electric energy customers in Round Rock can shop 46 different plans to get one that best meets their needs. Not the needs of the politicians on the city council.

    The median rate for 500 kWh in Round Rock in the competitive market as of August 14th was 9.6 cents per kWh. The fully allocated cost for the same amount of energy from Georgetown Utility Systems was 16.9 cents per kWh.

    The median cost for 1,000 kWh in Round Rock was 9.92 cents per kWh compared to 14.4 cents per kWh in Georgetown.

    The cost of 2,000 kWh in Round Rock was 8.9 cents per kWh compared to 13.2 cents per kWh in Georgetown.

    According to Georgetown Utility Systems, the average monthly consumption in Georgetown is 949 kWh per month, spread over a year, with fewer kWh consumed during the winter and more during the summer. Based on the average, which is superficial, a Georgetown Utility Systems customer is paying 56.9 percent more for electric energy than what he or she would have to pay in Round Rock.

    In a non competitive market, the consumer almost always pays more than h/she would have to pay in the competitive market. The Price of Monopoly

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Ali Linan
Ali Linan began covering Georgetown for Community Impact Newspaper in 2018. Her reporting focuses on education and Williamson County. Ali hails from El Paso and graduated from Syracuse University in 2017.
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