In a settlement agreement released on Oct. 17, 2008, it appears Liberty Power will pay a fine of $32,000 to settle a PUCT investigation. Apparently, the PUCT believed Liberty had violated portions of §25.475 which requires all printed advertisements distributed by Retail Electricity Providers (REPs) to include the REP’s certificated name and number, and Electricity Facts Label (EFL) or instructions on how to obtain more information, and that the advertisements shall not be fraudulent, unfair, misleading, deceptive, or anticompetitive as prohibited by federal and state law.
PUCT Staff had investigated LPT for non-compliance with §25.475, due to the receipt of a printed advertisement in the form of a facsimile transmission distributed by AEM Consulting (AEM), an entity that Staff determined was acting as an agent for LPT and other REPs. AEM and LPT previously had a contract for AEM to provide energy consulting services to business owners within the sales territory and business profile assigned by LPT. In the course of providing those services, AEM faxed an advertisement to 11,149 potential customers that did not comply with Substantive Rule 25.475.
As I have said before, it’s the little things that are black and white that can get you into trouble with the PUCT.
Commissioners extended the deposit waiver in response to hurricane Ike. As a modification was made to the actual order language at the Open Meeting, final language is not yet available.
It appears Reliant has put itself up for sale…
Highlights from the staff draft:
Two tiered system:
- Tier 1: investment grade credit rating or tangible net worth greater than or equal to $100 million
- Tier 2: liquid capital of at least $3 million; or $2 million if in business more than 2 years but less than 3 and you have not been sanctioned (term undefined) or defaulted; $1 million in in business as a REP more than 3 years and you have not been sanctioned (term undefined) or defaulted
One year for all REPs to come into compliance with new standards
Protection of Customer Deposits and Advance Payments
Tier 1: keep deposits in a restricted cash account or an escrow account or provide an irrevocable standby-by letter of credit in an amount sufficient to cover 100% of the REP’s outstanding customer deposits or advance payments at all times.
Tier 2: keep deposits in an escrow account or provide an irrevocable standee-by letter of credit in an amount sufficient to cover 100% of the REP’s outstanding customer deposits or advance payments at all times.
Tier 1: no TDU deposits allowed except to ensure payment of transition charges
Tier 2: allows deposits for payment of amounts billed. TDU tariff to prescribe details of deposits.
Technical and Managerial Requirements
- One principal or permanent employee with 5 years experience in commodity risk management of a substantial energy portfolio, or a contract for at least a 2 year term with a firm who has provided such services for at least 5 years.
Regulatory Compliance Services
The staff released its draft rule for publication yesterday. The draft rule will be discussed by the Commission at its next Open Meeting and if approved, will be published for comment, marking the beginning of the formal comment period.
Regulatory Compliance Services