New Texas Retail Provider Seeks Temporary Exception To Texas Physical Office Requirement, Citing COVID Impacts
June 7, 2021 Email This Story Copyright 2010-21 EnergyChoiceMatters.com
Reporting by Paul Ring • firstname.lastname@example.org
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Enel Trading North America, LLC ("ETNA"), which as first reported by EnergyChoiceMatters.com is seeking an Option 1 Texas retail electric provider certificate, has requested from the Texas PUC a temporary good cause exception to the provision of 16 TAC § 25.107(e)(2) requiring a physical office located in Texas, "due to the extenuating circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic."
16 TAC § 25.107(e)(2) provides that, "A REP shall continuously maintain an office located within Texas for
the purpose of providing customer service, accepting service of process and making available
in that office books and records sufficient to establish the REP’s compliance with PURA and
the commission’s rules. The office satisfying this requirement for a REP shall have a physical
address that is not a post office box and shall be a location where the above three functions can
occur. To evaluate compliance with requirements in this paragraph, the commission staff may
visit the office of a REP at any time during normal business hours. An applicant shall
demonstrate that it has made arrangements for an office located in Texas."
In a filing with the PUC, Enel Trading North America said that, "ETNA currently has four employees located in Houston, Texas, however because of the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic these employees are currently working from home. As the impacts of the pandemic have receded, ETNA intends to open a physical office located in Houston, Texas this year, 2021, and return its employees to the office. ETNA expects to sign the lease for this office within approximately two months and is targeting October 1, 2021 for its employees to return to the office. In the interim, ETNA has measures in place to provide customer service, accept service of process, and make its books and records available in order to ensure that ETNA is in compliance with the PURA and the Commission's rules. To provide customer service, ETNA has a toll-free phone number: (888) 480-3844. ETNA has engaged Cogency Global Inc. to provide registered agent services for ETNA, which includes accepting service of process. Cogency Global Inc. is registered with the Texas Secretary of States' [sic] office as ETNA's registered agent. Finally, ETNA's books and records are available at any time in Houston upon request."
"For these reasons, ETNA respectfully requests a temporary good cause exception to the provision of 16 TAC § 25.107(e)(2) requiring a physical office located in Texas due to the extenuating circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic. As described above, ETNA is able to fulfill the functions identified by subsection 25.107(e)(2) during the interim period and only requests a temporary exception because ETNA intends for its employees to return to a physical office in no more than a few months. Out of an abundance of caution, ETNA requests that this temporary good cause exception be granted through December 31, 2021," ETNA said