TCAP: Texas Electric Complaints Reach Four-Year High
October 30, 2019 Email This Story Copyright 2010-19 EnergyChoiceMatters.com
Reporting by Paul Ring • email@example.com
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The Texas Coalition for Affordable Power (TCAP) released a snapshot report on 2019 electricity complaints filed with the Public Utility Commission of Texas
The complaint date reflects the 2019 fiscal year ending August 31, 2019
As such, the report may not reflect all complaint activity from this summer's pricing, especially for post-pay customers who did not see any impact until their September billing
TCAP said that the number of electricity-related complaints filed with the PUCT increased for the second year in a row and now stands at a new four-year high
TCAP said that Texans filed 5,508 electricity-related complaints or inquiries with the PUCT during the 2019 fiscal year. That number marks a 2.6 percent increase from the 5,371 filed during the previous fiscal year and a 31.9 percent increase from the 4,175 filed in FY 2017. Such data reflects all electric industry complaints, not only REP complaints
TCAP said that, "The PUC registered 3,903 complaints against competitive providers — or more than 7 in 10 [of total electric complaints]."
"Texans during the 2019 fiscal year also filed more complaints and inquiries with the PUC than they had during each of the previous three fiscal years. Even still, the number of complaints registered with the PUC during FY 2019 remains below the annual average of complaints filed during the most recent 10-year period and well below the average number filed on an annual basis since Texas implemented retail electric deregulation 18 years ago," TCAP said
TCAP said that 46% of complaints were categorized as "billing" complaints.
"Provisions of service" made up about 17% of complaints. Slamming made up about 10% of complaints. Disconnections made up about 9% of complaints. Quality of Service also made up about about 9% of complaints
Switch Holds made up about 1% of complaints. TCAP said, "Switch Hold complaints jumped 54.1 percent during FY 2019."
TCAP said that, according to PUCT data, customers received $258,290 in complaint-related refunds during FY 2019, as compared to $169,133 during FY 2018 and $157,336 in FY 2017. The FY 2019 figure represents a 52 percent increase from FY 2018 and a 64 percent increase from FY 2017.
TCAP said, "The average number of electricity-related complaints registered with the PUC during the state’s deregulated years is significantly higher than the average of those tracked prior to deregulation. The post-deregulated annual complaint average is 9,322.7. Before deregulation, the annual average was 1,315.8. However, data for pre-deregulation years are limited to only four years: 1998, 1999, 2000, and 2001."
"The average number of complaints and inquiries filed with the Texas PUC over the last 10 fiscal years — from 2010 through 2019 — was 7,276.4. That average is about 32.1 percent greater than the complaints registered in FY 2019. The steep decline over this longer 10-year look back may be explained, in part, by corresponding drops in residential electric prices since 2009 ... Texans also have become more familiar with the state’s competitive retail electricity system. This likely also contributed to a drop in complaints since 2002, which was the first year of the state’s deregulated retail market system," TCAP said