Archive for December 2007

More stories on the Power to Choose Website…

For more stories on the Power to Choose website, read the following stories…
 
 
 

TV News Station in Houston Picks Up Power to Choose Story

Be sure to watch the video clip…”Your Electric Bill” as well.

http://www.click2houston.com/news/14841527/detail.html

 

PUCT Staff Seeking Feedback on Power To Choose Website…

Below is a note sent from Brian Lloyd yesterday to interested parties…
 
 

From: Lloyd, Brian [mailto:Brian.Lloyd@puc.state.tx.us]
Sent: Tuesday, December 11, 2007 4:55 PM
To: voswalt@reliant.com; davis@sjdlawoffices.com; webking@texas.net; jgarcia@tnpe.com; Meigs.Jones@GreenMountain.com; Blakey, Eric; roy.jackson@pnmresources.com
Subject: PTC comparison lists

 

Based on feedback we’ve received from customers and REPs, we’re considering a change to what is posted on the site, but I wanted to get some feedback from ya’ll before we do.

 

We are going to continue to post a list that shows up as an html page.  REPs will have all of their offers grouped together, and the lists will start with a random REP, with all other REPs listed alphabetically after that REP.  We are looking at reposting the pages as often as daily to continually change the order, but we’re still looking at our options on that. 

 

The spreadsheet version seems to have questionable, if any, value to most customers.   We are looking at posting a second html sheet that would have all offers sorted by price (low to high), since that was the most common sorting function from the old site.  We are also considering whether we should not post the excel file at all.  While it does provide some additional sorting and filtering options, I’m not sure how many people find value in that.

 

So the table on the compare page would look like this (in shorthand).

 

 

Service Area

Price Lists Sorted by REP

Price Lists Sorted by Price (low to high)

(if provided)

Download

Oncor

Link

Link

.xls file

Centerpoint

Link

Link

.xls file

AEP Texas Central

Link

Link

.xls file

AEP Texas North

Link

Link

.xls file

TNMP

Link

Link

.xls file

Sharyland

Link

Link

.xls file

Nueces

Link

Link

.xls file

 

 

My questions to you are:

(1)     – would having a price sheet with offers sorted by lowest to highest price be an improvement, from your persepective?

(2)     – should we continue to post an excel file

 

Thank you for your consideration.

 

Brian

 

Brian H. Lloyd

Special Projects Manager

Public Utility Commission of Texas

1701 N. Congress Ave.

PO Box 13326

Austin, Texas 78711-3326

email: brian.lloyd@puc.state.tx.us

 

 

News of Interest…

By Jim Fuquay, Star-Telegram Staff Writer
 
The Texas Public Utility Commission is working to restore its popular Power to Choose Web site, whose features were reduced after the expiration of a consultant’s contract to manage the site.
 
 
 

Open Meeting Update

A few items of interest from today’s open meeting
 
Docket 33138 – Freedom Notice of Violation
The Commissioners approved the Proposal for Decision which will effectively fine Freedom for violations of the PUCT’s rules on disconnects for non-payment and complaint responses.  The Commissioner’s rejected Freedom’s claim that it was entitled to an “opportunity to cure” as the disconnects were violations of chapter 39, and not of chapter 17 of PURA.  Chm. Smitherman also commented that the penalty for the disconnect violations was capped at $5,000 in this order, but that today the fine could have been up to $25,000 per violation.
 
Docket 34617 -  Direct Energy Settlement Agreement
The Commission approved the Staff/DE revised settlement that allows DE to expend funds that would otherwise be paid as a fine to be used by Direct Energy to conduct a small commercial customer education program.  This is the first time the Commission has approved an enforcement settlement that allows for the use of funds in some manner other than a fine.  The Commissioners did make some minor modifications to the settlement as it is anticipated (by them) that this may be a template for future actions.
 
Docket 33811 – One Time Bill Payment Assistance Rulemaking
The Commission discussed this rule today by modifying staff’s proposal.  Staff had presented a proposal for adoption that did not implement all the consensus items agreed to among parties (which included REPs and many consumer organizations).  The two biggest issues that staff disagreed with parties on were the definition of “one-time” and the allocation or pooling of assistance funds.  The Commissioners rejected staff’s proposal to maintain a assistance pool, and rather opted for allocating out 80% of the funds to REPs based on their share of low-income customers.  The remaining 20% of funds will be held to allow smaller REPs access to additional assistance funds should their allocated portion be exhausted or insufficient to provide meaningful assistance.  The Commission supported staff’s interpretation of “one-time” however, stating that one-time should mean a customer receives assistance one time per year (state fiscal year).  The Commission expects to finally adopt the rule at its next Open Meeting, deferring action today to allow staff to draft language consistent with the Commissioner’s Open Meeting comments.

New Interest Rates Set…

PUC sets 2008 interest rates

Rates set for customer deposits and over/under billings

Texas electric and telephone customers who are over billed will be paid 5.21 percent interest in 2008 under rates established Monday by the Public Utility Commission (PUC). Customers will receive 4.69 percent interest on utility deposits.
 
The 5.21 percent rate for over billings is based on the 90-day prime commercial paper rate over the last 12 months.
 
The 4.69 percent rate for deposit refunds is based on the average yield on 26-week Treasury bills during the past 12 months.
 
The final order is available on the PUC Web site by going to the filings interchange under control number 33670.

PowertoChoose Changes in Effect

If you haven’t already, take a minute to visit the newly, revised Power to Choose website (www.powertochoose.org)
 
You will notice that the zip code finder for offers has been replaced by a static listing of offers by service territory.  Customers must know their service territory!
 
Several retailers are meeting with Brian Lloyd and other PUCT staffers today at 2 p.m. to voice their concern over the new shopping site.