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Alert: Texas Senate Business & Commerce Chair Threatens To Expand Texas PUC Jurisdiction Over REP Pricing If REPs Don't Commit To Pass-Through To Customers TDU Rate Reductions From Tax Cuts

Senator: REP Customers "Entitled" To TDU Rate Savings From Tax Cuts


February 14, 2018

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Copyright 2010-17 EnergyChoiceMatters.com
Reporting by Paul Ring • ring@energychoicematters.com

This story was first published the evening of February 14, with an alert to our email alert subscribers

Texas State Senator Kelly Hancock has written to the Public Utility Commission of Texas that the failure of retail electric providers to make a "public commitment" to flow through to customers the savings on distribution fees charged to REPs from federal tax cuts, "would result in legislative action to clarify the regulatory scope of the Commission during the upcoming 86th Regular Session."

Hancock serves as Chair of the Senate Business & Commerce Committee

Hancock wrote, "The recently enacted Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was designed to put money back into the pockets of both individual and business taxpayers. A fortunate byproduct of the federal measure is that consumers of electricity who acquire services from regulated electric utilities should experience savings in the form of lower rates. The Public Utility Commission has created an excellent opportunity to discuss how exactly those savings should be realized by ratepayers through its examination of Project No. 47945."

"My office is aware that retail electric providers (REP) operating in the competitive areas of Texas will be instrumental in passing those savings on to millions of Texans. However, we understand that there is legal ambiguity within the Public Utility Regulatory Act regarding the authority of the Commission to require those REPs to pass through any referenced tax savings to consumers," Hancock wrote

"Before the Commission enters into any final agreement, order, or schedule for the distribution of funds related to tax savings, I feel it is very important that a public commitment be made on the part of all retail electric providers that they ultimately will flow the referenced money on to their consumers, who are ultimately entitled to it. Any deviation from that practice would result in legislative action to clarify the regulatory scope of the Commission during the upcoming 86th Regular Session," Hancock wrote

The Commission is scheduled to consider at the Feb. 15 open meeting Project 47945: Proceeding To Investigate And Address The Effects Of Tax Cuts And Jobs Act Of 2017 On The Rates Of Texas Investor-Owned Utility Companies

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