Texas Electric News provides all of the important news for Texas Electric Industry, including developments in ERCOT, Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT), and Texas Legislature.

84th Legislative Regular Session

84th Legislative Regular Session

Any opinions voiced in the articles linked below are those of the article authors only, and not necessarily endorsed by Competitive Assets

Latest News

Oncor’s battery plan fizzles this legislative session, but Tesla could change the game
On 4/2/15 the Dallas Business Journal reported that Oncor’s grid-integrated battery storage plan may have been premature, as no bill was filed this legislative session to address the plan.  Sen. Troy Fraser is quoted as saying that ……..Click here for more

Texas Legislature should allow businesses to profit from conservation
In an article in the Houston Chronical on 3/31/15, a discussion is put forth about Demand Response (DR), which allows consumers to profit by reducing electricity use when the demand for electricity is high.  Some Retail Electricity Providers (REPs) have pilot programs, but to date DR is mainly for industrial consumers.  The article notes that regulatory obstacles make it difficult for all consumers to participate.  However, ……..Click here for more

April 2, 2015: Legislation Would Ban Fees for Conserving Electricity

March 31, 2015: Texas debates bill to eliminate utility fees for low demand customers

March 31, 2015: Legislation Would Curtail Citizens’ Ability to Challenge Pollution Permits

March 31, 2015: Bills could deter public’s say in environmental decisions

March 31, 2015: Legislation Aims to Boost Electricity Conservation

March 30, 2015: Bill barring ‘fracking bans’ advances out of committee

March 30, 2015: House Committee Passes Compromise on Drilling Rules

March 28, 2015: Watchdog: Thanks to you, pro-consumer bills are moving forward

March 29, 2015: State legislature faces off with municipalities over oil regulation

Texas Legislators Hear Testimony on Minimum Charges for Electric Customers
At the 3/25/15 Hearing of the Texas House State Affair Committee, the legislators heard testimony on HB 2254.  This bill states that a Retail Electric Provider (REP) may not charge a fee or give a customer a credit based on whether the customer used at least a certain amount of electricity during a particular period of time.  ….Click here for more

Texas RPS and CREZ May Be Consigned to History
While reports in the Dallas Morning News (3/23/15) and Utility Dive (3/24/15) discuss the possibility that Texas is no longer interested in renewables, some Texas legislators acted on 3/24/15 to make that closer to reality. On that day, the Senate Committee on Natural Resources and Economic Development, chaired by Sen. Fraser, favorably voted out Senate Bill 931, relating to the goal for renewable energy ….Click here for

March 26, 2015: Texas legislative panel advances grid bills

March 26, 2015: Electric industry pushes back against bill restricting minimum-use fees

March 26, 2015: Texas Senator rethinking his own renewable energy program

March 25, 2015: TIPRO Applauds Senate Natural Resources & Economic Development Committee for Passing Senate Bill 1165

March 24, 2015: Lawmakers: Trim Austin Energy spending, allow for competition

March 24, 2015: Texas weighs bill to end renewable energy incentives for utilities

March 24, 2015: With Potential Repeal Of RPS, Wind Developers In Lone Star State Face Texas-Sized Headaches

March 24, 2015: Tesla Motors Inc Allowed To Hold More Test Drive Events In Texas

March 24, 2015: Texas lawmakers get earful as they consider banning cities from banning fracking

March 24, 2015: Senate Committee Advances “Denton Fracking Bill”

March 24, 2015: Fort Worth Officials Are Asked to Help Rewrite Drilling Bill

March 23, 2015: Solar potential has sunny outlook in Texas

March 23, 2015: Fracking bills in Legislature fuel city-control debate

March 22, 2015: As wind power booms, Texas lawmakers consider yanking support

March 20, 2015: Energy Technology Firms Press Texas on Smart Electrical Meter Program

March 21, 2015: Energy slump strikes Texas Capitol

March 20, 2015: Agency name change would benefit Texans

Senator Fraser: Time to Abolish RPS and CREZ
At the 3/17/15 hearing of the Senate Committee on Natural Resources and Economic Development, Senator Fraser laid out his Senate Bill 931, which proposes to abolish the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) (set out in 1999) and Competitive Renewable Energy Zones (CREZ). According to the senator, both accomplished their mission and it is time now to treat renewable power the same as any other generation. While the Texas Association of Manufacturers supported the bill, representatives of the Sierra Club and solar industry vehemently opposed it. They said that the repeal would take a tool out of the Texas’ toolbox just as the EPA is finalizing its Clean Power Plan and would send a bad signal to the many investors who are seeking to increase renewable power investments in the state. The representative of the Wind Coalition predicted that CREZ will be considered “visionary” in the future and the best thing done for the state by the legislators.

 

March 19, 2015: A Roundup of Energy, Water, and Climate Bills in the 84th Texas Legislative Session

March 19, 2015: Bills to preempt fracking bans moving in Austin

March 19, 2015: Energy technology firms press state on demand-response

March 19, 2015: Chamber delegation heads to Austin to meet with officials

March 18, 2015: PEC board opposes Dale bills as ‘undemocratic interference’

March 18, 2015: Lubbock leaders praise Texas Senate proposal that would benefit LP&L, 2019 deadline

March 18, 2015: With Changes, Texas Smart Thermostat Bill Now Has Support From Retail Electric Providers

March 18, 2015: Texas plans to power government vehicles with natural gas

March 18, 2015: Lawmakers Hope to Steer Self-Driving Car Bills to Abbott’s Desk

March 17, 2015: Texas renewable energy requirement in cross-hairs at Capitol

March 17, 2015: Bipartisan Texas shale caucus gathers to discuss key bills

March 17, 2015: Bill Would Throttle Local Government’s Ability to Sue Polluters

March 16, 2015: Texas legislature pushes back against EPA with two new bills

March 16, 2015: Texas Bill Would Allow Customers At Muni Austin Energy to Choose Electric Supplier

March 16, 2015: “Clean” Anti-Capacity Market Bill Filed With Texas Legislature

March 13, 2015: What is demand response and how 2 bills could bring it to your Texas home

March 15, 2015: Watson, Turner file demand response bills empowering consumers

March 13, 2015: As drilling slows, lawmakers turn away

March 13, 2015: Bill would let Texas counties keep some mineral wealth for damaged roads

Texas Bill Would Promote Demand Response Programs
On 3/11/15 Texas Senator Kirk Watson filed SB 1284 relating to the development of electricity demand response programs.  The bill encourages demand response from all customer classes in ERCOT.  Demand response is defined as “changes in electric usage by customers from their normal consumption patterns in response to:…….Click here for more

Texas Lawmakers Hear Bill on Blocking City Ordinances
On 3/11/15, the Texas House of Representatives State Affairs Committee heard House Bill 540 by Rep. Phil King. The bill would require municipalities to submit any referenda or initiatives for approval by the state’s Attorney General before the vote, and was likely inspired by the fracking ban, approved in Denton last year. …..Click here for more

Texas State Senator Eyes Securing Electrical Power Grid
On 3/10/15, Greenville’s Herald Banner wrote about a resolution by Sen. Bob Hall to assure protection of the electrical grid. “Hall has written a resolution, that if passed by the 84th Legislature of Texas, will urge the United States Congress to provide Department of Homeland Security funds for the protection of the electric grid… Hall’s drive to harden – the process of protecting electrical devices from EMP [electro-magnetic pulse] attacks ……Click here for more

 

Texas House Rep. Anchia Facing Backlash from Electric Companies
On 3/8/15, the Dallas Morning News wrote about Rep. Anchia’s House Bill 489, which would place consumer fees for using smart thermostats under state regulatory rules, and the unexpected backlash his office is receiving about the bill from some lobbyists. ………Click here for more

Texas Bill Would Direct Congestion Rents in ERCOT to Alleviate Grid Congestion
On 3/6/15 Texas Representative Jim Keffer filed HB 2561 relating to the allocation of congestions rents in the ERCOT wholesale market.  The bill would have the PUCT prioritize and allocate congestion rents …..Click here fore more

 Texas Bill Aims to Safeguard Texas Electric Customers Served by Sales Agents
On 3/6/15 Texas Representative Hubert Vo filed HB 2563 relating to persons who solicit customers on behalf of a retail electric provider; adding provisions subject to criminal penalty.  The bill would require that Retail Electric Providers (REPs) verify that a person soliciting potential customers on behalf of the REP have complied ……..Click here for more 

Bill Would Give Customers Protections Related to Advanced Meters
On 3/6/15 Texas Senator Bob Hall filed SB 1044 relating to the authority of a customer to choose not to have an advanced meter and to liability for damages caused by an advanced meter.  The bill would make the utility that is using wireless technology for advanced meters civilly liable to the customer for damages for invasion of ……..Click here for more

Texas Electricity Bill Would Ban Penalties for Using too Little
The 3/9/15 Houston Chronicle reports on Rep. Turner’s bill to prohibit Retail Electric Providers from charging certain penalties for insufficient power use. “The bill would ban REPs from charging “minimum use fees” to customers whose monthly electricity consumption falls below thresholds set by electric companies. It also would prohibit electric providers from ……….Click here for more

March 11, 2015: Tesla Motors Inc Wants to Mess With Texas and This Ain’t Their First Rodeo

March 11, 2015: Texas lawmakers consider whether to give state power to block some city ordinances

March 10, 2015: State lawmakers want feds to end oil export ban

March 7, 2015: Watchdog: This week is Legislature’s last chance for Texas electricity reform

March 7, 2015: Lawmakers push for streamlined environmental permitting process

March 7, 2015: Bill seeks to ease pollution burden on poor, minorities

Texas Bill Filed to Study Grid Cyber-Security
On 3/4/15 Texas Representative Tan Parker filed HB 2289 relating to the security of the electric grid.  The bill would create a 6 member committee that would study the Texas electric grid and the computer systems and networks related to it.  The study would: 1)      Evaluate and summarize the current state of the electric grid and associated computer systems and networks; …….Click here for more

Texas Bill Would Transfer Functions from Railroad Commission to PUCT
On 3/5/15 Texas Representative Jim Keffer filed HB 2256 relating to the transfer of functions relating to the rates and services of certain gas utilities, propane distribution system retailers, and submetering from the Railroad Commission of Texas (RRC) to the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT). ……..Click here for more

PUCT Initiates Process to Distribute Letter of Credit Proceeds for Decertified REP
On 3/4/15 the staff of the PUCT filed a Petition to Distribute Letter of Credit Proceeds and Request for Approval of Proposed Distribution Procedure and Proposed Procedural Schedule.  The proceeds are the result of the PUCT’s revocation of Proton Energy, Inc.’s Retail Electric Provider (REP) certificate on August 21, 2014.  According to the PUCT rules, the proceeds are to be distributed thusly………Click here for more

Texas Senator Fraser Files Bill on ERCOT Interconnections for Import/Export
On 3/4/15 Texas Senator Troy Fraser filed SB 933 relating to the authority of the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT) to review transmission interconnections that enable imports or exports from the ERCOT power grid.  The bill provides that an electric utility or municipally owned utility  may not interconnect outside the ERCOT area without approval of a certificate of convenience and necessity by the PUCT.  The PUCT must find the application consistent with the public interest to grant approval…….Click here for more

Texas Rep. Sylvester Turner Files Bill Requiring Reports on Minimum Usage Fees
On 3/3/15 Representative Sylvester Turner filed HB 2253 relating to a report by the Public Utility Commission of Texas on retail electric service minimum usage fees and usage credits.  This bill would require the PUCT to report annually to the legislature a number of details about minimum usage fees…….Click here for more

March 5, 2015: Parry: Selling climate change action in Texas

Feb 28, 2015: Bill would allow property owners to sue over drilling ordinances

Senator Fraser Files Bill Allowing PUCT to Bar Certain Persons from Retail Electric Market
On 2/25/15 Senator Troy Fraser filed SB 777 relating to the authority of the Public Utility Commission of Texas to restrict participation in the retail electric market for significant violations.  The bill would, after notice and opportunity for hearing, and if the Commission suspends, revokes or amends a Retail Electric Provider’s (REP’s) certificate, allow the Commission to prohibit…..Click here for more

Simpson Bill Would Let Texas Ignore Feds
On Friday, 2/120/15, Longview Texas State Representative David Simpson filed HB 1751 Relating to the execution or enforcement of federal laws that violate the Bill of Rights of the Texas Constitution.  As reported in the Longview News-Journal, “the measure would prompt the state to withhold resources — manpower, equipment, funding — from …….Click here for more

Feb 25, 2015: Third time the charm? Legislators want to rename Texas Railroad Commission again

Feb 25, 2015: TX Bill Would Extend TDUs’ Ability To Rely on Alternative Ratemaking In Assessing Charges to REPs

Feb 22, 2015: Should PUC do gas utility rate cases? Watson asks

Feb 20, 2015: A Texas Clean Power Plan? Or, ‘Just say no!’

84th Legislature’s Consumer Energy Watch List According to the Texas Coalition for Affordable Power (TCAP), as posted by the 2/20/15 Fuel Fix, a number of bills have been filed “that could end up helping or harming Texas energy consumers.” These include:

  • House Bill 224,
  • House Bill 489,
  • House Bill 575,
  • House Bill 911, ……………….Click here for more

Feb 20, 2015: A Texas Clean Power Plan? Or, ‘Just say no!’

Tesla Donates to Legislators and Pushes Bill to Bypass Texas Autodealers
On 2/18 and 2/19, the San Antonio Express News wrote about Tesla’s efforts to sell its electric cars directly to Texans. “Backed with an army of lobbyists to storm the Capitol, Tesla Motors is asking state lawmakers to allow it to operate up to 12 dealerships in Texas.” The Texas Tribune also noted the filing of two bills on 2/19/15:  Rep. Eddie Rodriguez, D-Austin, filed House Bill 1653  (the companion bill is Senate Bill 639) to let Tesla bypass traditional dealerships, with the intent of………Click here for more

Feb 19, 2015: Permian Basin well-represented in state committee assignments

Feb 19, 2015: Tesla’s bid for direct sales attracts odd allies

Feb 18, 2015: Texas Dealers Reach Out, but Tesla Slams the Door

Bill Filed in Texas Legislature to Expedite Cost Recovery of Transmission and Power Plants Outside ERCOT
On 2/17/15, HB 1535 was filed relating to rates of and certificates of convenience and necessity for certain non-ERCOT electric utility.  Filed by Representative John Frullo of Lubbock, the bill would allow for rate adjustments for non-ERCOT utilities to occur up to twice per year to reflect transmission costs.  The applications for this treatment would be eligible for informal disposition, and the presiding officer would be required to issue………Click here for more

Feb 9, 2015: Will clean power have to await a special session?

Feb 7, 2015: Watchdog: My ideas to fix Texans’ electric bills spark debate – outside Legislature

Texas Speaker of the House Announces Committee Assignments
On 2/4/15, Speaker Joe Straus announced the House committee assignments. There are 38 standing and procedural committees and two select ones; 24 of those will have new chairs. “These appointments will allow some of our committee chairs to bring their perspectives and leadership to a fresh set of issues, and that new thinking will benefit the entire House ……..Click here for more

Feb 3, 2015: Texas electric agenda includes battery storage

Feb 4, 2014: Texas Bill Would Require PUCT To Publish Number of Complaints Against Each REP

Senate Natural Resources Committee Gets New Name, Agenda
On 2/2/15, the Austin American Statesman commented on the name change for what used to be just the Committee on Natural Resources, which dealt with energy issues, as well as environment. In the 84th Legislature, the committee has added ‘Economic Development’ to its duties. “The name change came out of Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick’s office. Patrick spokesman Alejandro Garcia told me that the move was made in the interest of efficiency……..Click here for more

House Bill Would Help Prevent Scamming Electricity Consumers Who Shop Around
With the Texas Legislative session underway, the discussions about the experiences of consumers who are shopping for electricity have increased dramatically.  To provide more information about this, Competitive Assets recently published as issue of Texas Electric Watch (TEW) entitled Is Shopping for Electricity in Texas Really a “Great Sham?”   Still another article has come out in the Houston Chronicle detailing some of the same issues already discussed in TEW and elsewhere.  While it is apparent that many customers are not familiar with minimum usage fees, nor that electric companies must buy power in advance to meet anticipated consumption by customers, it is also clear that consumers need more education on the terms that are present in contracts that they choose to sign…….Click here for more

Disagreements Brewing over Bill Letting Generators in Texas Get Bigger
On 2/1/15, the Texas Tribune wrote about Rep. Matt Krause’s House Bill 962, which would eliminate the current 20% cap on ownership/control of generation by a single entity in the region. Consumer advocates, however, “say the change would open the door to market abuse and higher electric rates.”…..Click here for more

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Legislative Monitoring Services during the 84th Regular Session of the Texas Legislature.

CA maintains a list of bills that address electric issues and tracks what is happening with these bills.  The database included in the bill lists contains information about each bill, such as bill text, bill author, committee assigned, last action, etc.  The most updated  bill list will be sent to Legislative Monitoring Service subscribers, weekly at first, and more often, including daily, when that becomes needed and meaningful.  The final day for filing of bills is in March, and little will happen until then. 

CA will send to Legislative Monitoring Service subscribers email alerts to upcoming legislative hearings/meetings that may be of interest.

CA will send to Legislative Monitoring Service subscribers all reports produced by CA that are related to the legislative session.  We strive to cover all hearings that include significant aspects of the electric industry, and/or significant bills and send out these report on a timely manner.  We indicate on our bill list those for which we anticipate coverage.

Inquire about pricing at CAcontact@texaselectricnews.com

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TEW: Energy-Related Bills Filed in the 84th Legislature
The latest issue of the Texas Electric Watch contains a comprehensive review of the 29 energy-related bills that have been filed through 2/1/15, including those on environmental topics and oil and gas.  An overview is also provided for relevant Legislative Committees appointed to dare. To read more, please subscribe to Texas Electric Watch. If you are interested in purchasing this TEW issue, please click here. If you are interested in subscribing the Texas Electric Watch, please click here or call Competitive Assets at 512-581-0151. 

Feb 2, 2015: Texas Bill Would Expand Public Utility Commission to 5 Members

 

84th Legislative Regular Session Archive

  • Competitive Assets

    provides information and consulting for the Texas electric utility industry and is the information source relied upon by many retail electric providers, cooperatives, municipalities, generators, power marketers, brokers, aggregators, wires companies, PUCT staff, ERCOT staff, Texas legislators and staff, FERC staff, metering companies, members of the financial community, consumer representatives, and other parties interested in the Texas electric industry..

    For more, click here to visit CompetitiveAssets.com

  • News Services provided by Competitive Assets

    Texas Electric Watch

    Texas Electric Policy News

    ERCOT Monitor Reports

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    For a free trial subscription to any of these 3 news services, please send an email to freetrial. If you are interested in subscribing any of these 3 news services, please click here or call Competitive Assets at 512-581-0151

  • Special Reports by Competitive Assets

    How to Prepare Confidential Filings at the PUCT

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    For more information about this special report, please click here or go to CA Store-Special Reports page.

  • ERCOT Monitor Reports---New Issue

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    ERCOT's Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) Meeting 8/25/16

    At the August Technical Advisory Committee meeting, participants considered a number of revision requests, heard an update on the Smart Meter Texas efforts, and noted the growth of unregistered distributed generation in several load zones.

    For more about the meeting, Please click here.

  • Other Services provided by Competitive Assets

    ERCOT TDU Rate Updates

    Provides updates of approved rates for TDUs in ERCOT in a spreadsheet format, updated twice per month

    If you are interested in subscribing this service, please click here or call Competitive Assets at 512-581-0151