Texas PUC's Anderson: Compliance With Switch Hold Rules Has To Be 100%
June 10, 2016 Email This Story Copyright 2010-16 EnergyChoiceMatters.com
Reporting by Paul Ring • firstname.lastname@example.org
In adopting a settlement between Staff of the Public Utility Commission of Texas and CenterPoint Energy Houston Electric regarding the removal of switch-holds, Texas PUC Commissioner Kenneth Anderson, in a view equally applicable to retail electric providers, said that compliance with the switch-hold rules has to be 100%.
As first reported by EnergyChoiceMatters.com, CenterPoint Energy Houston Electric (CenterPoint-TDU) agreed to pay $60,000 as a result of its failure to remove a total of 113 switch-holds on the same day the requests for removal were submitted. The violations were self-reported
CenterPoint-TDU maintained that at all relevant times, including in July 2012, it met the 98% performance standard to timely process a switch transaction, as required by the transaction performance standards approved in Project No. 36141. CenterPoint-TDU also maintained that it achieved a nearly 100% performance standard for release of switch-holds on the same day the request was received in May 2012, June 2012 and December 2013, and more than 96% in July 2012. CenterPoint-TDU maintained that most transaction performance standards approved in Project No. 36141, related to the retail performance metrics in 16 TAC § 25.88, are between 96% and 98%
However, PUCT Staff maintains that the switch-hold requirements in PURA § 39.101 and 16 TAC § 25.480(m)(2) require 100% compliance, and that the other performance metrics related to other retail transactions are not applicable
While the Commission did not address this legal question given that the settlement disposed of the case, Anderson during yesterday's open meeting, at which the settlement was approved unanimously, endorsed Staff's interpretation that 100% compliance is the standard for compliance with the switch-hold rules
Anderson, who had previously warned that he would consider any switch-hold violations to be egregious when the rules were first adopted, wished to stress for the record that, "I believe Staff's position is the correct one. I know that 100% for anything that involves human activity is almost impossible to achieve. Nevertheless, in this context, it has to be [100%]."
Chairman Donna Nelson and Commissioner Brandy Marty Marquez said that they agreed with Anderson's statement
When the settlement was originally filed in April, CenterPoint Energy Houston Electric provided the following statement to EnergyChoiceMatters.com: "We are pleased to have resolved this matter in a manner acceptable to both the Commission staff and our company."