Draft Texas PUC Report To Legislature Would Recommend Streamlining Process For Small Claims Complaints
Recommends Requiring Registration Of Large Flexible Loads
January 6, 2023 Email This Story Copyright 2010-21 EnergyChoiceMatters.com
Reporting by Paul Ring • firstname.lastname@example.org
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Texas PUC Staff have filed a draft Biennial Agency Report to the 88th Legislature, which includes draft legislative recommendations.
The PUC will consider adopting an Agency Report to the 88th Legislature report at its next open meeting
Among other things, the draft recommends improving the consumer response time on small claims
"Currently, only one process is available for a consumer to get a binding resolution of a complaint
against a regulated service provider. A consumer can get informal assistance from the PUCT's Customer
Protection Division, but that resolution cannot be enforced by the PUCT. A binding resolution, which the
PUCT can enforce, is accomplished through a contested case under the Administrative Procedures Act. A
contested case is a trial-type procedure presided over by an administrative law judge at the PUCT or State
Office of Administrative Hearings (SOAH), and any hearing generally is conducted by SOAH. This process
is often expensive and time-consuming for the consumer, the PUCT and SOAH. When considering the
salaries of state employees assigned to such a proceeding, the cost to resolve such a proceeding can
greatly exceed the amount in dispute. To ensure the best use of resources and decrease the time taken
to resolve these claims, the PUCT recommends a streamlined process that does not require a contested
case for claims under a certain dollar amount, such as $500," the draft states
The draft also recommends requiring the registration of large flexible loads
"The number of large flexible loads interconnecting to ERCOT is increasing. Unlike other large loads,
these consumers can be turned on or off within seconds of receiving an instruction to do so. There is a
significant risk to the ERCOT region if large loads, almost instantly, have the ability to go on or off the
grid. To limit the reliability risk created by these large flexible loads, the PUCT recommends that ERCOT
have the authority to require large flexible loads register and follow standards on allowable behaviors," the draft states
The draft report also includes recommendations related to
Aggregate Distributed Energy Resources
The PUCT is currently overseeing the implementation of an ADER pilot project in the ERCOT power region. The design of this pilot project has given rise to areas of statute that bear clarification. To facilitate development of such resources, the draft recommends the Legislature consider clarifying that:
• the owner of a distributed energy resource (i.e., the owner of the home or business) need not be registered if an aggregator has registered the resource.
• the PUCT may establish simplified registration requirements for ADERs similar to those for distributed natural gas generation facilities
• A REP that aggregates distributed energy resources does not become a power generation company simply by doing so.
• the PUCT's rules, including customer protection rules, jurisdiction, and authority extends to market participants' and consumers' participation in an ADER.