Archive for January 2008

House Interim Charges

To refresh your memories, the House list of interim charges was released last year.  The Regulated Industries items related to electricity are presented below.
 
1. Examine the impact of broadband Internet access on economic development, focusing on potential updates that would create incentives to help spur investment by network providers across a variety of platforms. Recommend changes to Texas law that would emphasize economic development through policy formulation.
 
2. Study and assess the ability of entities regulated by the Public Utility Commission of Texas to meet the communication needs of the Texas military forces during declared emergencies, including an assessment of current capabilities and technological compatibility among service providers throughout the state.
 
3. Research the effects of both wholesale and retail competition in the Texas electric market.
 
4. Study and examine whether Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) should be adhered to under Chapter 66 of the Public Utility Regulatory Act (PURA), and review procedures for revenue audits.
 

Senate Legislative Interim Charges Released

The Texas Senate has released its list of interim study charges.  There are a few on the electric side. 
 
1.  Study the current governance structure of electric cooperatives. Make recommendations for any legislative changes required to adequately protect customers, increase reliability, and respond to consumer complaints.

2. Study the current investment in generation and transmission in the Texas electricity market with emphasis on ensuring there will be sufficient generation and cost-effective transmission to meet Texas’ growing demand for electricity. Review and make recommendations relating to adoption of smart-metering programs, and the anticipated cost savings to consumers. Analyze options for cost-effective alternative energy
production, including solar and biomass electricity generation. Study and make recommendations on options for encouraging residential and small commercial consumers to switch electric products or providers. Review efforts at the federal level to implement legislation or rules that could impact the Texas electricity market.
3. Study current industry practice and regulation associated with the siting of wind turbines.  Compare the wind turbine siting process to processes associated with other forms of electric generation and the siting of facilities in other industries. Determine the advantages and disadvantages of additional siting regulation for wind turbines. Study the advantages and disadvantages of developing a building code specific to coastal
properties in order to mitigate hurricane damage. Focus on avoiding catastrophic losses of property during a major storm. Specifically, consider Florida’s building code, which applies to the designation of Enhanced Hurricane Protection Areas (EHPAs) that meet specific criteria to provide shelter and protection for up to eight hours following a catastrophic event.
4.  Study and examine whether Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) should be adhered to under Chapter 66 of the Public Utility Regulatory Act (PURA), and review procedures for revenue audits.
 

PUCT Power to Choose Update

 


From: Lloyd, Brian [mailto:Brian.Lloyd@puc.state.tx.us]
Sent: Tuesday, January 29, 2008 5:08 PM
To: davis@sjdlawoffices.com; webking@texas.net; Denise Stokes; eblakey1@txu.com; Darrin Pfannenstiel; Ann Dodson; Jessica.mahaffey@directenergy.com; jgarcia@tnpe.com; Marcie Zlotnik; Meigs.Jones@GreenMountain.com; pdolese@your-rcs.com; Oswalt, Vicki R.
Subject: powertochoose site

Hi guys,

 

As I announced in the REP Forum that Lauren hosted this morning, we will be sending passwords and login ids to all of the REPs to log into the new price comparison application and update your offer information.  That information, and the instructions will be sent to whomever in your company (or clients’ companies) sends the spreadsheet information to Robert Manning for compilation on the current site.  I am also copying the regulatory contacts if I have that contact information handy.

 

Ya’ll can help us speed the roll-out of this by making sure your folks promptly act on that request when you get it so we can be sure that the information is up to date and accurate.  We’re sending out the ids and passwords 5 at a time so we make sure we can promptly help people if they run into problems – we sent the first 5 out this afternoon.  Our goal is to launch the new tool next week, but can’t do that if the offers aren’t updated.  If your companies run into any issues, please let me know as soon as possible and we’ll get it fixed ASAP.

 

Thanks.

 

Brian

 

 

Brian H. Lloyd

Special Projects Manager

Public Utility Commission of Texas

1701 N. Congress Ave.

PO Box 13326

Austin, Texas 78711

 

Summary of Today’s REP Forum

Can be found online at: www.your-rcs.com/REPIssues.pdf
 
Enjoy!
 

The REP Forum Issues List

From: Eric.Blakey@txu.com [mailto:Eric.Blakey@txu.com]
Sent: Wednesday, January 23, 2008 9:03 AM
To: lauren.damen@puc.state.tx.us
Cc: SBertin@reliant.com; Jessica.Mahaffey@directenergy.com; webking@texas.net; meigs.jones@greenmountain.com; julia.garcia@firstchoicepower.com; davis@sjdlawoffices.com; pdolese@your-rcs.com; CCorona@reliant.com; Marc.Burns@txu.com; Richard.Sorell@txu.com; crowley2@txu.com; darrinp@streamenergy.net; ritafournier@msn.com; Rob.Bevill@greenmountain.com; mzlotnik@startexpower.com; MLLauderdale@integrysenergy.com; Jeffrey.Levine@suezenergyna.com; Norman.Levine@directenergy.com; michael.matlock@gexaenergy.com; vanus.priestley@constellation.com; toncken@reliant.com; Eric.Goff@constellation.com
Subject: RE: REP Forum Issues List

Lauren –

 

The following is a list of topics that various REPs have developed for possible discussion at the REP forum. This list is not intended to suggest that all REPs that have participated in the development of this list of issues have the same position on every issue or support any specific rule changes. 

 

  • Status report on changes to powertocchoose.com
  • Discuss status of proposed rulemaking agenda, dated June 15, 2007
  • Options for REPs seeking clarification of rules, accelerate commissioner involvement/opinion as necessary (ie, Project 23400 type approach)
  • Discuss potential wording improvements to the ERCOT postcard
  • Discuss 25.471 – Clarification of rules for commercial customers >50 kw.
    • Can  the customer protection rules be waived for a residential premise  owned or controlled by a commercial customer greater than 50 k W  when the residential premise is part of a commercial contract where the commercial customer has waived  the customer protection rules?
    • Can a commercial customer greater than 50 kW, who has waived customer protection, add residential accounts to their commercial contract and waive customer protection for those accounts?
  • Discuss 25.474 – are there ways to streamline the enrollment process to be more consumer friendly?
  • Discuss 25.475 –
    • Standardization of EFL rate calculation
    • information disclosures related to advertising
    • charging early cancellation fees if customer moves and authorized at enrollment.
  • Discuss ERCOT workbook used to develop the emissions scorecards pursuant to 25.476.  The workbook double counts renewable energy (first when the RECs are input and second when the contract info is input). 
  • Discuss 25.479 – Clarify how to treat certain estimations.
  • Discuss 25.483 – Clarification of customer rights at point of disconnection
  • Discuss 25.490 –  Consider initiating rulemaking to repeal  
  • Discuss potential policy changes to allow REPs to prevent switches for customers who receive deferrals while those deferrals are active 

 

 

We look forward to the meeting next week.  Please let me know if you have any questions or need additional information.

 

Thank you,

 

Eric Blakey

TXU Energy

 

REP Conference Call Summary

As summarized by TXU’s Eric Blakey -

 

Summary of Conference Call – Discussion of REP Forum Issues for Staff

January 17, 2008

 

A conference call was held with numerous representatives of REPs and associated consultants to discuss the REP Forum and PUC staff’s request for a list of REP issues.  Staff has requested a list of issues by Jan 22 so that they can be included in the agenda that will be sent prior to the workshop.

 

Anti-trust admonitions were stated on the call and all agreed to keep the discussion focused on the PUC rules and the Forum.

 

Issues were discussed and we agreed to group the issues into 3 areas: issues in the market and rule clarifications, issues that require rulemaking, and other issues.

 

Below is a draft grouping based on the discussion.  We will finalize the list for PUC staff in a conference call on Tuesday, Jan 22 at 9:00 central.  Same conference call number as before.

 

Issues in the market and rule clarifications:

  • Status report on changes to powertocchoose.com
  • Discuss status of proposed rulemaking agenda, dated June 15, 2007
  • Options for REPs seeking clarification of rules, accelerate commissioner involvement/opinion as necessary (ie, Project 23400 type approach)
  • Clarification of customer rights at point of disconnection
  • Clarification of rules for commercial customers >50 kw (disconnect, aggregated residential accounts, etc)
  • Standardization of EFL rate calculations
  • Estimations
  • Discuss potential wording improvements to the ERCOT postcard

 

Issues that require rulemaking

  • 25.475 – EFL rate calculation needs to be consistent and simple to avoid customer confusion, and all REPs need clear direction on what to include and what is optional.   In rulemaking, can also address information disclosures, generic savings claims on environmental, and other disclosures, allow for early cancellation fee if customer moves and authorized at enrollment.
  • [sent in after the meeting by Reliant] 25.476 – Revise rule to address the ERCOT workbook that is used to develop the emissions scorecards.  In short, the workbook appears to double count renewable energy, first when you enter the RECs on the product tab and then when the energy mix is calculated based on the REP’s input on the contracts tab (where it matches up contracts with generator scorecards).   This can be fixed by changing the “%renew” on the scorecard tab such that the renewable energy is reduced by to correspond with the RECs produced. In other words, if all of a wind generator’s output has RECs associated with it, then the “%renew” [energy] would be “0” on the scorecard tab.
  • 25.474 – streamline enrollment process, remove quotes on required statements to be more consumer friendly, streamline rules for customers wanting to switch plans or extend service with the same REP
  •  [sent in after the meeting by Reliant] 25.487 and 490 – consider repeal

 Other issues 

  • Discussion of policy changes to allow REPs to prevent switches for customers who receive government mandated deferrals while those deferrals are active

 

FW: Notice of ERCOT Fee Allocation Workshop

 



From: Griffin, Jonathan [mailto:Jonathan.Griffin@puc.state.tx.us]
Sent: Wednesday, January 16, 2008 6:12 PM
To: Griffin, Jonathan
Subject: Notice of ERCOT Fee Allocation Workshop

Good afternoon:

 

Today I filed the attached workshop notice in PUC Project No. 34889.  It will also appear in the January 25 edition of the Texas Register.  I intend to post this workshop as a Commission Open Meeting.  If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.

 

Regards,

Jonathan Griffin

 

_________________________________

Jonathan Griffin

Rate Regulation Division

Public Utility Commission of Texas

jonathan.griffin@puc.state.tx.us

(512) 936-7378

 

Update on Power to Choose Website

 


From: Lloyd, Brian [mailto:Brian.Lloyd@puc.state.tx.us]
Sent: Wednesday, January 16, 2008 7:16 PM
To: eblakey1@txu.com; voswalt@reliant.com; davis@sjdlawoffices.com; webking@texas.net; jgarcia@tnpe.com; Meigs.Jones@GreenMountain.com; Darrin Pfannenstiel; Ann Dodson; Marcie Zlotnik; Jessica.mahaffey@directenergy.com; pdolese@your-rcs.com
Subject: power to choose website

Hi all,

 

Since its been about a month since we last met, I wanted to provide you with an update on where we are regarding the development of the replacement rate comparison tool.   I’m not sure if I remembered who all was in the meetings, but please forward this on if I’ve missed anyone, and feel free to pass it on to others in your trade associations, etc.

 

At this point, we have the primary development completed and have done some preliminary testing.   We are currently making what are hopefully our last content/layout/formatting changes to the search pages, and I expect those to be done by early next week.  After that is done, I will likely be contacting several of your companies to help us further test the data entry so we know what to include in the help guide and to allow us to further test the search/filter/sort/zip code functions to make sure they are returning the correct results. 

 

Attached to this email are two screen shots – with the understanding that this is not the precise final layout/text/formatting.   It should however, give you the general feel for what the site will look like, and how it will integrated into the broader powertochoose.org site.  The column headers, text in the search criteria box, etc. are being revised to make them more user-friendly, so before you send any ‘suggestions’ understand that we’ve probably already changed it.  J 

 

The first picture file (PTC rate layout)  is a sample results page showing the data elements and general layout that we expect to have.  The blue-ish “special terms” box in the middle of the page pops up when the cursor is help over the “Special Terms” link under the company name.  This box will allow REPs discretion in providing other information about the offers (i.e. billing options, deposit policies, enrollment incentives) that are likely to be of a non-standard nature – but will be policed to make sure it is objective information about the product, and not promotional claims (i.e. “we have the best customer service” or “we’re kind to puppies”).  The results page can be sorted by clicking on each column heading and the search criteria box will allow filtering of the offers.  We are in the process of adding options to filter by price range and contract range, and to have a check box by each offer that will allow customers to narrow the list to just those products that are checked.   Customers will also be able to hide the search box so that it only appears when the cursor is held over the light grey box on the far left with the vertical text. 

 

Of particular importance to ya’ll, we will not be hosting the Terms of Service or EFLs here – you will have to provide links to where those documents reside on your website.  Clicking on the “Terms of Service” and “Fact Label” links will open a pop-up box that will go to the links you provide.  So make sure you have those documents in a place where they can be linked to off our site (i.e. not midway through the enrollment process)– most of you appear to do so already. 

 

The second screen shot (ptc REP input page) is a sample page showing you how ya’ll will input your offer information.   You should be able to get a sense for how you’ll be adding and editing offers.   New and edited offers, once saved, will immediately show up on the search results pages and deleted offers will be immediately removed from the results.  You’re company will be supplied a user-id and password to access your offers edit pages. 

 

Finally, the answer to your question is “as soon as we’re sure it works and looks right, and REPs have adequate time to upload their offer information”.

 

Thanks,

 

Brian

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

REP Issues Discussion

Will now be at 2 pm tomorrow, instead of 9 am.  Same conference bridge number.

FW: REP Forum Issues List

fyi…


From: Eric.Blakey@txu.com [mailto:Eric.Blakey@txu.com]
Sent: Wednesday, January 16, 2008 10:34 AM
To: davis@sjdlawoffices.com; pdolese@your-rcs.com; CCorona@reliant.com; Jessica.Mahaffey@directenergy.com; webking@texas.net; jgarcia@tnpe.com; Marc.Burns@txu.com; Richard.Sorell@txu.com; crowley2@txu.com; meigs.jones@greenmountain.com; darrinp@streamenergy.net; ritafournier@msn.com; rob.bevill@greenmountain.com; mzlotnik@startexpower.com
Subject: REP Forum Issues List

We spoke at last week’s REP breakfast about the REP forum at the PUC on Jan 29.  Lauren Damen is coordinating the workshop and has asked if the REPs might have a list of issues they would like to submit as a group that they would like discussed.  She also is inviting individual companies to send her issues if that is their preference.  In addition, we are welcome as a group or individually to make a presentation.  So far, she has only had one party request time to make a presentation, and that is an aggregator.

 

She would like to send out an agenda for the meeting, and asked that if REPs either together or alone have issues they’d like included on the agenda to send those to her by next Monday, Jan 21.

 

I would like to know if there is interest in formulating a REP list.  I think it would be helpful to discuss on a conference call.  I propose that we meet at 9:00 in the morning and we can use my conference call number below.  If this is not a good time, I’m open to suggestions.

 

Please invite others in your company or other REPs that I may have missed.

 

Thanks, EB

 

 

Conference call:

Thursday, Jan 17

9:00 am.

(866) 310-1577

Code 5123496464

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