Archive for May 2007

News of SB 482′s Demise

By Claudia Grisales, Austin American-Statesman, 05/29/07
Legislation that would have set some new limits on electric rates and energy providers failed Monday, bringing to an end one of the session’s most high-profile and bitterly debated business issues.

SB482 Dies on the Last Day

Considered in the final moments of the 80th Legislature (shortly before Midnight), SB482 was again subject to a Point of Order (as it had been on Saturday evening). The Point of Order was sustained and the bill was withdrawn from further consideration by Rep. King.

The Legislature has adjourned Sine Die.

News Stories on Fate of SB 482

By R.A. DYER, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 5/28/07
AUSTIN — Legislation that would have provided additional protections for low-income electricity customers and given regulators more tools in combating market power abuses by big power companies may have been killed for good Sunday, having fallen victim to a technical objection in the Texas House.
 
From staff reports, The Dallas Morning News, 5/28/07
AUSTIN — The bill designed to prevent TXU market manipulation and give customers a rate break is dead. Senate Bill 482, which lawmakers in both chambers had worked to forge since February, was killed on a technicality one day before adjournment.
 
By Claudia Grisales, Austin AMERICAN-STATESMAN STAFF, 5/28/07
Legislation that would set some new limits on electric rates and energy providers hung by a thread at the Capitol on Sunday, as lawmakers worked to override a political objection that threatened to kill the measure.
 
By EMILY RAMSHAW and CHRISTY HOPPE / The Dallas Morning News, 5/27/07
AUSTIN — The bill designed to prevent TXU manipulation and give customers a rate break was left dangling by a thread Saturday, after House lawmakers spent the day alternately shutting it down and bringing it back to life.
 
By R.A. DYER, Fort Worth Star-Telegram staff writer, 5/27/07
AUSTIN — Legislation that would have provided additional protections for low-income electric customers and given regulators more tools to combat market power abuses by big power companies was in jeopardy Saturday, with the bill’s sponsor at one point declaring it dead.
 

Talk on SB483…

BY R.A. DYER, FORT WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM, 05/25/07
House and Senate negotiators were working Thursday afternoon on a deal that would restrict how much wholesale power a company such as TXU can control in Texas, according to a key lawmaker.

SB 482 Conference Committee Report Filed

SB 482
Relating to competition and customer choice in the retail electric power market; providing an administrative penalty.
5/24/2007 S Conference committee report filed
View all actions

SB 482 Compromise in in Works…SB 483 said to be dead

R.A. Dyer, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, May 24, 2007,  5:23 AM
Proponents of consumer protections say some good things remain in the legislation.
 
Key Provisions of Compromise:
  • 10% Rates Cut on July 1
  • 5% Rate Cut possible in September if certain conditions are met
  • Increases administrative penalties for wholesale market abuses
  • Requires separation of TXU business units with separate boards, boards, officers and physical locations
  • Partially reinstates the low-income discount program
  • Prohibits disconnecting low income Elderly customers between July 1 and Sept. 20th each year
  • Prohibits AREPs from assessing deposits from elderly and poor customers with good payment histories who have never switched away from AREP
 
By ELIZABETH SOUDER, Dallas Morning News, 05/24/07
Some electricity customers could get lower rates under a compromise reached Wednesday by legislators that left TXU Corp. largely unharmed.
 
By Claudia Grisales, Austin American Statesman, 5/24/07
After months of heated debate about plans to rein in soaring electricity rates and the market power of big energy providers, key state lawmakers reached a deal Wednesday to set some new limits on the industry.
 

 

Counting down…

It certainly appears that SB482 and SB483 will die on the vine…  The conference committee has failed to agree on compromise language that would move these bills forward.  Conference reports (containing agreed upon language) must be filed by midnight Saturday if it has any hope of passage.
 
 
BY AMAN BATHEJA, FORT WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM, 05/23/07
The possible conclusion of the legislative session without meaningful changes to Texas’ electric market will stand as an example of the power of money in politics, critics say.
 
BY R.A. DYER, FORT WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM, 05/23/07
TXU appears to be winning on all major points when it comes to legislation affecting the company’s proposed buyout, Capitol insiders say.
 

Mx Power Acquires Customers…

MXenergy and Vantage Power Services, L.P. have completed a transaction that transfers Vantage’s power customers in Texas to MXenergy. MXenergy will begin supplying power to Vantage’s nearly 2,500 former residential and commercial service locations on May 17, 2007.

More news on key electricity bills…

BY R.A. DYER, FORT WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM, 05/17/07
The debate over far-reaching legislation regarding the future of the Texas electricity market escalated Wednesday, with the exchange of verbal jabs among key legislators who have competing views over one bill.
 
BY R.A. DYER, FORT WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM, 05/17/07
A consumer-supported proposal to split TXU into separate companies would be removed from pending legislation under a proposal being pushed by two Tarrant County lawmakers and Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst. 
 
BY AMAN BATHEJA, FORT WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM, 05/17/07
Rep. Phil King stood at the front of the Texas House chamber facing a rare public challenge. 

Customer Satisfaction in the Utility Industry

North Texas firms feeling heat from patrons | Dallas Morning News … 
Elizabeth Souder, Dallas Morning News, May 15, 2007 -
North Texas firms feeling heat from patrons. TXU, Pizza Hut are among those scoring lower with consumers. Customer satisfaction with TXU Corp.