Archive for March 2008

Prepay Rule Coming!

The Commission discussed the state of prepay during its Open Meeting yesterday (item 29).  In it the Commission expressed alarm at potentially fraudulent practices occurring with the existing, non-device, prepay model.  The Commission will undertake a rulemaking to address this other, older prepay model.  No timeline was given for the rulemaking.
The Commission has clearly heard (and appears to agree, now) that the existing customer protection rules do not adequately allow for a functional prepay arrangement.

News of Interest…

Texas won’t face electricity crisis after all, ERCOT head says … 
Dallas Morning News, Mar 13, 2008 -
Texas won’t face electricity crisis after all, ERCOT head says. In December, ERCOT predicted the grid would have about 12.4 percent excess capacity by 2009.

Office of Public Utility Counsel

Had a lunch today with Don Ballard, the new head of the Office of Public Utility Counsel (OPUC).  OPUC is the advocate for mass market customers (residential and small commercial).  Don has reorganized OPUC into two main sections, a section that will handled contested case proceedings (that will be headed by Laurie Pappas) and a Markets section that will focus on policy issues, rulemakings, and market advocacy (like attending ERCOT meetings).
Don has a clear sense that the consumer advocates need to be much more clear in their mission and judicious in the issues/positions they take.  This seems to be a refreshing change and hopefully will bode well for the retail market.