Texas PUC Extends Requirement For Retail Electric Providers To Offer Deferred Payment Plans To Disaster Victims
Executive Director Ceases Most Broad-Based Rule Enforcement Discretion That Had Been Implemented Post-Harvey
September 29, 2017 Email This Story Copyright 2010-17 EnergyChoiceMatters.com
Reporting by Paul Ring • firstname.lastname@example.org
The Public Utility Commission of Texas yesterday adopted an order extending the requirement for Retail Electric Providers (REPs) to offer deferred payment plans to customers upon request in areas covered by Governor Abbott's disaster declarations as contemplated by P.U.C. Subst. R. 25.480(j)(1)(B)
A prior directive for REPs to offer such deferred payment plans was due to expire on September 29, 2017.
With the PUC's action, the requirement for REPs to offer deferred payment plans to such customers is extended until October 12, 2017, which is the day after the PUC's next open meeting. The PUC will consider whether further extension is appropriate prior to the October 12 expiration
Also, Commissioners agreed with the executive director's approach to end most broad-based rule enforcement discretion that had been implemented post-Harvey, which had been adopted to allow market participants to focus on restoration and customer service
Commissioners agreed with the executive director's stated intent to extend enforcement discretion for rules related to meter readings and estimation where advanced metering systems are not communicating or meters are otherwise damaged or inaccessible, with the caveat that the Commission made it clear in its Order that estimation should only be done in these circumstances and should account for likely reductions in usage.
All other broad based enforcement discretion will expire on September 29, but Commission Staff will resume its normal practice of exercising that discretion where appropriate to enable continued restoration efforts or to avoid absurd results