Archive for June 2007

News Clips

By ELIZABETH SOUDER, Dallas Morning News, 06/26/07
Two summers from now, you may pay a lot more for electricity.

 

News Clips

By ELIZABETH SOUDER and RANDY LEE LOFTIS, Dallas Morning News, 06/24/07
Electricity customers won’t gain if TXU Corp. sells itself to private equity investors, and they could eventually see higher bills, according to an independent study commissioned by The Dallas Morning News.

 

No Emergency Rule on Disconnect Moratorium

During Friday’s Open Meeting, the Commission declined to officially discuss the emergency petition filed by the Consumer groups as docket 34400.  However, they did discuss their desire to adopt a permanent rule to address these issues so that a petition is not filed every year.  In discussing their views, it was clear that the Commission did not believe that conditions this year warranted the imposition of an emergency disconnect moratorium.  The Commission has initiated a comment period however on the Consumer petition.

Low Income Discount set to return…

The Commission is expected to discuss the low income discount at this Friday’s Open Meeting.  The Commission received funding during the 2007 Legislative Session.  Staff has proposed that the discount only apply during summer months and that this summer’s rate be a discount of 12% off the POLR rate in each TDSP area.
 
For full details on the staff’s proposal:
 
 

News Clips


Jun 14, 2007 Knight Ridder Tribune Business News

Dallas oilman and investor Boone Pickens wants to build the world’s largest wind farm in the Texas Panhandle, a project that would put as many as 2,000 turbines on nearly 200,000 acres in four counties. Pickens’ Mesa Power presented its plans to about 250 landowners and their representatives Tuesday in Pampa, about 50 miles northeast of Amarillo, said Mike Boswell, a Mesa official.

 
Jun 15, 2007 Knight Ridder Tribune Business News

TXU Corp. filed documents Thursday that put a slightly higher price on the planned buyout of the Dallas-based power company and detailed the participation of the various private-equity groups, investment bankers and lenders involved in the deal. The investment group seeking to buy TXU will pay $46.7 billion for the state’s biggest electric utility, compared with the previous estimate of …

 
 

 

 
 


Jun 14, 2007 Industry Week

TXU Power, a subsidiary of TXU Corp. and Texas Energy Future Holdings Limited Partnership (TEF), the holding company formed by Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. (KKR), Texas Pacific Group (TPG) and other investors to acquire TXU Corp., announced today plans to install new activated carbon sorbent injection systems (SIS) at all of TXU’s existing coal-fueled generation units to reduce mercury …

 
 

Rep. King’s Letter to the PUCT

Rep. Phil King, chair of the Texas House Regulated Industries Committee, sent a letter to the Public Utility Commission recently.  Below is the text of the letter.  No doubt this letter is partly responsible for the Consumer Group filing yesterday.
 

May 31, 2007

 

 

Chairman Paul Hudson

Commissioner Julie Parsley

Commissioner Barry Smitherman

Public Utility Commission of Texas

P.O. Box 13326

1701 N. Congress Ave.

Austin, Texas 78711

 

Dear Commissioners:

 

Senate Bill 482 and its House counterpart were filed to improve customer protections for electricity service in the deregulated market.  As you probably know, the Second Conference Committee report received unanimous support in the Texas Senate and was approved by a bipartisan majority of Texas House members for final consideration.  It also received public support from several consumer organizations.  Unfortunately, the final enactment was blocked by House procedural rules.

 

Important measures included new consumer protections related to summer and winter heat advisories, and provisions that would allow most customers to switch electricity providers without incurring penalties.  During the floor debate, some members argued that the Public Utility Commission already has administrative authority to implement the consumer protections that would have been mandated by the enactment of this important legislation.

 

With summer fast approaching, I respectfully request that the Commission consider these legislative recommendations and conduct an expedited review of the extent and manner in which these important protections can be implemented through your administrative authority.

 

Respectfully,

 

 

 

Phil King

State Representative

 

Consumer Groups Petition for Emergency and Permanent Rules

Filed yesterday at the PUCT:
 
 
Excerpts from the Filing:

“First, OPC and Consumer Groups ask the Commission to immediately adopt an emergency rule as adopted in P.U.C. Project No. 32874 for the summer of 2006. This rule protected low-income aged 65+ and critical care customers dependent on life support from disconnection during the summer months and extended more favorable deferred payment plan arrangements for all low-income residential consumers.  Second, we formally request that the Commission initiate a rulemaking to adopt a standing rule on summer disconnections and the other customer protections consistent with provisions contained in the final Conference Committee Report on SB 482.”

 

News Clips of Interest


Jun 8, 2007 Knight Ridder Tribune Business News
Two out-of-state energy companies want to spend an estimated $1.5 billion to build a high-tech coal-fired power plant in Midland. LS Power Group of New Jersey and Houston-based Dynegy Inc. have formed a joint venture called Mid-Michigan Energy that would construct a 750-megawatt plant. The proposed project likely would result in 100 permanent skilled jobs with about 600 to 1,200 …

 
Jun 8, 2007 Knight Ridder Tribune Business News

TXU Energy said Wednesday that it has instituted new electricity service options for low-income customers and seniors. They are aimed at easing financial strains caused by high summer bills. North Texas’ largest electricity provider: Will not disconnect for nonpayment those customers who are either low-income or at least age 62 who sign up for a deferred-payment plan.

 

 
Jun 8, 2007 Knight Ridder Tribune Business News
TXU Corp. on Thursday eased its rules for charging deposits to new customers and shutting off electricity for nonpayment during the summer. The company’s retail unit, TXU Energy, won’t charge a deposit to new customers who have paid their bills on time for 12 months and will extend the deal to customers who have one late payment during the year. That puts TXU in a more competitive …

 
Jun 8, 2007 Knight Ridder Tribune Business News
Central Texas leaders are quietly working on a deal that could pave the way for TXU Corp. to build a controversial power plant south of Dallas-Fort Worth in exchange for the energy company agreeing to spend $30 million to make the coal-fired plant cleaner than proposed. The possible deal comes days before the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality is scheduled to decide whether to …

 
Jun 8, 2007 Knight Ridder Tribune Business News
 WHARTON — There is now more electricity available to power both economic development and keep home air-conditioners running in Texas this summer. Colorado Bend Energy Center, a new gas-fired combined cycle power plant near Wharton, started generating electricity this month with the completion of the first of two phases. Once completed, the plant will have the capacity to generate …
 
Jun 8, 2007 Business Wire

HOUSTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–EC Power, the leading transaction service provider (TSP) in the Electric & Gas Industry, reported today several significant milestones thus far in 2007. The strong growth for the Texas-based company follows an impressive year of growth in 2006, when EC Power greatly broadened their customer base by adding 7 new customers and grew revenue by 14%.

 
 

Recent News Clips

By Claudia Grisales, Austin American-Statesman, 06/08/07
A group of private equity firms looking to buy TXU Corp. is in talks with local officials about paying for a pollution reduction plan for Central Texas worth up to $30 million.
 
Waco Tribune-Herald, 06/05/07
Texas was barely saved from hurry-up plans to build 16 or more coal-fired power plants around the state.
 
Dallas Morning News, 06/05/07
When it comes to spewing greenhouse gases, no one else even comes close. Texas is a veritable giant in the realm of global warming, cranking out more carbon dioxide than the next two leading states combined. (Together, those two states have twice Texas’ population.)
 
By R.G. RATCLIFFE, Houston Chronicle, 06/02/07
The lobbying that weakened and ultimately killed electric utility reform, clean-air legislation and regulation of the $45 billion buyout of TXU Corp. during the recent legislative session was a friend and family affair.
 
By Robert Elder, Austin American-Statesman, 06/03/07
Tax breaks are going nuclear in Texas.

New ERCOT CEO Named

Bob Kahn will be the new CEO at the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), replacing Sam Jones, who’s retiring. Kahn is the deputy general manager at Austin Energy and is a former ERCOT board member.