Archive for June 2008

PUCT Updates…

The commission staff has put out a report card on REPs through its Power to Choose website.  It appears to be a work in process.  http://www.powertochoose.org/_content/_complaint/index.aspx
 
Also, the staff has opened a project (35806) to perform compliance reviews pursuant to Substantive rule 25.107(f) and (g) relating to financial requirements for REPs.  Janis Ervin and Gordon VanSickle are the staff assigned to this project.   

News of Interest…

Failures weren’t without warning
Four collapsed electric companies rang alarm bells — albeit muffled ones
June 21, 2008, 1:23AM; By TOM FOWLER; Copyright 2008 Houston Chronicle

The collapse of four Texas retail electric companies in recent weeks caught many by surprise, but there may have been early warning signs of trouble at the firms.  State regulators initially rejected the retail license applications from all four for a range of reasons.  Two of the companies were near the top in percentage of 2007 consumer complaints about matters that were determined to violate state laws, according to data from the Public Utility Commission….

In the News…

SEC accuses three of duping investors
Some funds bought failed electricity firm, regulators allege
June 19, 2008, 10:47PM, By TOM FOWLER, Copyright 2008 Houston Chronicle

Two Spring men and one from North Texas misled elderly investors to raise money the men used to buy a Houston electric company that failed last month, federal regulators allege. The electric company, National Power, was one of four that collapsed in recent weeks as wholesale power prices spiked. The failures forced thousands of customers to find other providers.

6/19/08, KOSA – Odessa,TX,USA
Oncor Electric Delivery has asked the public utilities commission for a rate hike.  It would allow the company to charge us extra for an advanced metering system we will have to accept.

News of Interest…

Power regulators propose report cards, strict rules
Calls for more information come in wake of closures

June 14, 2008 By TOM FOWLER, Copyright 2008 Houston Chronicle

The collapse of four small electric retailers in recent weeks is sparking renewed interest in providing Texans with more details about power companies seeking their business. The four fallen companies left 42,000 customers to find other providers on relatively short notice…

Power firms’ treatment angers Texans
By R.A. DYER, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 16 June 2008
AUSTIN — Prices aren’t the only thing skyrocketing in the state’s deregulated electricity market.

New Projects Opened by PUCT Staff…

On Friday, PUCT staff opened four projects:
 
Project 35768 – RULEMAKING TO RELATING TO RETAIL ELECTRIC PROVIDERS DISCLOSURES TO CUSTOMERS – This is the promised rulemaking to deal with the “fixed” versus “variable” disclosures
 
Project 35767 – RULEMAKING TO RELATING TO CERTIFICATION OF RETAIL ELECTRIC PROVIDERS – I suspect this will attempt to address the financial standards that REPs must meet in order to obtain certification.
 
Project 35769 – RULEMAKING TO RELATING TO ELECTRIC PROVIDERS OF LAST RESORT – likely looking at the POLR pricing mechanism
 
Project 35770 – PUC REPORT TO THE 81TH LEGISLATURE ON ADVANCED METERING
 

Phil Wilson

Phil Wilson, the current Texas Secretary of State is resigning effective July 7 and will go to work for Luminant (f/k/a TXU Power) as public relations chief.

 

This will change some of the dynamic for the session because Phil Wilson has been one of Perry’s primary advisors on the electric industry.

Riverway Power Files Bankruptcy

Another Texas power company facing closure
Fort Worth Star-Telegram, By R.A. DYER, rdyer@star-telegram.com

The fourth Texas electric company in two weeks is showing signs of failing, although for the moment its customers won’t get involuntarily dumped to a high-cost default provider, officials said Thursday. 
The company, Houston-based Riverway Power, has filed for bankruptcy, according to the Public Utility Commission. Operators of the Texas power grid were preparing to shift its customers to the high-cost default electric company, but then stopped that process after Riverway came under the court’s bankruptcy protection….(more)

Commissioners deny settlement on Suez Violations

Docket

No. 35650 – Agreed Notice of Violation and Settlement Agreement Relating to Suez Energy Marketing NA, Inc. ‘s Violations of PURA § 39.1510) and P.U.C. SUBST. R 25.503(c)(2), Relating to Failure to Adhere to ERCOT Protocol § 6.5.4(2). Concerning Load Acting as Resource Service Requirements

 
PUCT staff and Suez had agreed to a penalty amount of $73,375.  Chm. Smitherman expressed anger over the low amount as he considers these serious market issues and refused to consent to the settlement.  Com. Hudson joined with the Chairman in withholding approval.

 
 

Com. Hudson announces his departure

Com. Hudson announced at the start of today’s open meeting that he will be leaving the Commission, effective August 15th.  He gave no indication of his future plans.

Today’s REP Default

 Is Highway 3 (under their operating DBA of Etricity)  is the REP defaulting today .  They have 12193 residential customers and  428.93 MWH .