Archive for March 2007

ERCOT Inadvertent Gain Workshop

Sent by ERCOT last week:
In accordance with the recommendation from RMS, there will be an Inadvertent Gain Workshop held on Thursday, April 5 from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the ERCOT MET Center in Room 168. A draft agenda and the RMS Issue are attached. ALSO, if you have a specific issue that you would like to discuss OR a best practice for handling Inadvertent Gains that you would like to share, please send to Kyle Patrick and to me by COB on Wednesday, March 28.

Please contact Jennifer Garcia if you have any questions. Thanks!

Jennifer Garcia, Market Advocate & TDSP Liaison
DIRECT ENERGY
512.608.7722

Text of HB 1189 Now Available

The text of Committee Substitute for HB 1189 is now available at:  http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/tlodocs/80R/billtext/html/HB01189H.htm
 
On a quick first read it appears to be very similar, if not identical to SB 482 as amended by Regulated Industries.
 

Update on the TXU/InfrastruX Deal

Docket 33156: TEXAS STATE ASSOCIATION OF ELECTRICAL WORKERS (IBEW) PETITION FOR DECLARATORY ORDER REGARDING SAFETY AND RELIABILITY
 
Also during the Open Meeting on March 20th, the Commission voted to abate this docket for 30 days to allow time for consideration of the impact of the KKR/Texas Pacific Group transaction on this deal….
 

PUCT to Open Rate Case Against TXU

As discussed during last week’s open meeting, the Commission has opened a Rate Case proceeding against TXU Electric Delivery…
 
The proceeding has been assigned docket number 34040 and the Commission is expected to discuss the proceeding during its Open Meeting on March 29th.

Action on both HB1189 and SB482 Last Week…

Yes, the House Regulated Industries Committee too action on both HB 1189 and SB 482 last week.  HB 1189 was approved during the regularly scheduled committee meeting on Tuesday, while it appears SB 482 was approved in a called meeting of the Committee on Wednesday. 
 
The Regulated Industries Committee passed a substitute of HB 1189.  Unfortunately, the text of that version is not yet publicly available.
 
The Committee also passed a substitute for SB 482.  That text is available and can be found at:  http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/tlodocs/80R/billtext/html/SB00482H.htm
 
A quick read through SB 482 yields the following: 
  • It appears the customer protection rules would only apply to residential customers (not commercial)
  • Most of the objectionable language existing in previous versions of this bill have been removed.  See prior posts for a recounting of what this bill did include at one time…

News Stories of Interest

Wind power offers Texas potential as alternative energy source

By Ray Perryman, Midland Reporter-Telegram, 03/17/07

Throughout its history, Texas has always been a leader.

Chicken fat fires energy plant

By John Porretto, AP, Austin American-Statesman, 03/19/07

OAK RIDGE NORTH — Chicken fat and a $3.5 million investment are behind a breakthrough in the way Texans heat, cool and light their homes and offices.

UP, TXU in legal fight over transmission line

By KRISTEN HOLLAND, Dallas Morning News, 03/18/07

TXU, which has been hammered for its coal plants and business practices, is in the middle of another power struggle.

Web Posted: 03/14/2007 10:22 PM CDT Vicki Vaughan San Antonio Express-News Business Writer
Some CPS Energy workers will have to step down to lesser jobs and lower pay if they opt to stay with the utility, according to a plan to be presented to the utility’s board, a spokeswoman said Wednesday. CPS Energy is eliminating 46 jobs and creating 17 new ones, a net loss of 29 jobs, spokeswoman Theresa Cortez said….
Mar 16 – McClatchy-Tribune Business News Formerly Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News – Dan Piller Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Texas
The Gulf winds that have blown everything from deadly hurricanes to wind-surfing tourists at Galveston now appear to be putting the city in the forefront of the nation’s developing wind-energy industry.

Senate also Passed SB 483 yesterday

Senate Bill 483 largely deals with market power mitigation.  In addition to the market power mitigation language other key provisions include:
  • allowing the PUCT to order refunds for market power abuse
  • prevent an affiliate of a utility from using the utility’s corporate name, trademark, brand, logo or any portion thereof, on or after January 1, 2008
 

Texas Senate Passes SB 896 and SB 482

SB 896 grants the PUCT authority to review/approve mergers and acquisitions (like the TXU deal).
 
SB 482 is the main re-write of chapter 39 retail issues and has major changes since the committee draft.  It incorporates many of the key provisions of Sen. Hinojosa’s in SB 444/HB1394 (Turner).  Folks, this is bad for REPs… key items highlighted below:
  • no deposits allowed if customers document good payment history with another REP
  • a yearly disconnect moratorium low income elderly
  • no cancellation penalties allowed for month to month contracts
  • deferred payment plans offered during extreme weather emergencies must allow for 5 months to repay
  • definition of extreme weather (heat) changed to be a heat index of 100 degrees (no longer a heat advisory)
  • specifies the purpose for which the AREP penalty payments are to be used — the penalty for failing to shed customers
  • changes the mechanism and threshold for PUCT evaluation of the AREP price for former PTB customers
Full text of SB 482 as passed by Texas Senate:  http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/tlodocs/80R/billtext/html/SB00482E.htm
 
Full text of SB 896 as passed by Texas Senate:  http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/tlodocs/80R/billtext/html/SB00896E.htm

Rep. King’s Response to TXU Market Abuse Allegation

REP. PHIL KING REGARDING THE MARKET MONITOR REPORT

For Immediate Release
Monday, March 12, 2007

The following statement may be attributed to State Representative Phil King ( Weatherford), Chairman of the House Committee on Regulated Industries, concerning the report of market power abuse by TXU released by the Independent Market Monitor:

“The allegations that the Independent Market Monitor has made today regarding TXU’s market manipulation concern me deeply. The good news is that the market monitor – “the market cop” – we created last session is performing well. Consumers must be made whole when there is fraud. This underscores the need for the legislation we have under review – particularly that which affords civil redress and penalties sufficient to deter such behavior.”

For More Information:
Contact: (512) 463-0738

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Congressman Barton’s Letter to the PUCT

As mentioned in many press stories regarding the TXU Market Power abuse allegations, Congressman Joe Barton sent a letter to the PUCT expressing concern over the announced TXU sale.  The letter may be found at:  http://www.your-rcs.com/CongressmanBartonLetter.pdf