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13 Document(s) [ Subject: Electric utility rates and charges ]

Committee: Senate Business and Commerce
Title: Interim Report
Subjects: Electric utilities | Electric utility deregulation | Electric utility rates and charges | Emergency management | Flood insurance | Flood plains | Health insurance | Health insurance exchanges | Home equity lines of credit | Home equity loans | Hurricane Harvey | Mortgages | Natural disasters | Occupational licenses | Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act | Privacy | Social networking websites | Texas Constitution | Wills and estates |
Library Call Number: L1836.85 B963
Session: 85th R.S. (2017)
Online version: View report [133 pages]
Charges: This report should address the charges below.
1. Study infrastructure security and energy restoration post weather events. Identify ways state government entities can help utilities more effectively stage pre-hurricane mobilization crews for managing resources before an event.
2. Examine state mortgage requirements regarding the notification of homebuyers on their need for flood insurance in flood plains and flood pool areas and make recommendations on how to better inform consumers.
3. Examine local government regulations, including occupational licenses, as related to Hurricane Harvey and determine if any are a detriment to rebuilding efforts.
4. Examine and make recommendations on the need for changes to the Texas Constitution for home equity lenders to offer various forms of relief to Texas homeowners affected by natural disasters including, among others, the authority to enter into deferment agreements. This examination should include a study of home equity rules regarding negotiation, modification and refinancing and whether constitutionally established time periods can be waived in times of disasters.
5. Free Market Electricity: Examine the competitive nature of the Texas retail electric system and what government competitive intrusions in the free energy markets may have in distorting those markets. Review the impact of competitive versus noncompetitive retail electricity markets across the state in terms of price and reliability. Consider the projected impact of establishing competitive electric retail markets statewide.
6. Health Insurance Market Stability: Study the factors affecting health insurance markets in Texas, particularly the individual market, including federal and state law. Make recommendations that would result in increased stability in the markets and enhance value and affordability for individual consumers and businesses. Examine what steps the state needs to take to allow out-of-state health insurance sales. In developing its recommendations, the committee should consider the flexibility afforded to states by 1332 "state innovation" waivers, which allow states to modify or eliminate tax penalties associated with individual and employer coverage mandates; modify requirements for benefits and subsidies; and find alternative ways to provide benefit plan choices, determine eligibility for subsidies, and enroll consumers.
7. Licensing and Fees: Review licensing requirements and fees imposed on entities within the committee's jurisdiction. Make recommendations for state licenses and fees that should be reduced, repealed or transitioned to private-sector enforcement.
8. Social Media Access: Study access issues regarding digital assets of decedents. Study social media privacy laws and whether job applicants and students' privacy is jeopardized under current law.
9. Examine the 2018 electric reliability forecasts announced by ERCOT and review how expected diminished reserve markets will impact the rates of residential and business consumers. Monitor current mechanisms available to ERCOT to ensure grid reliability, identify trends in the wholesale electric market, and make recommendations to maintain grid reliability moving forward.
10. Monitoring Charge: Monitor the implementation of legislation addressed by the Senate Committee on Business and Commerce during the 85th Legislature, Regular Session, including: • The implementation of legislation to deregulate occupational licensing; • The settlement of out-of-network health benefit claims involving balance billing and patient's explanation of benefits statements; and • Make recommendations regarding any additional legislation needed to improve, enhance, and/ or complete implementation.
Committee: House State Affairs
Title: Interim Report
Subjects: Banks and banking | Economy | Electric meters | Electric utility rates and charges | Electronic security | Emergency management | Fetal rights | Medical ethics | Natural disasters | Organ and tissue donations | Organized labor | Public Utility Commission of Texas | State employees | State government contracts | State purchasing | Telephone service | Undocumented immigrants | Universal Service Fund | Utility service | Water and sewer utilities |
Library Call Number: L1836.84 St29h
Session: 84th R.S. (2015)
Online version: View report [78 pages]
Charges: This report should address the charges below.
1. Study if the state's infrastructure is adequately prepared for disasters, whether man-made or natural. Include preparedness assessments of the maintenance and recovery of vital infrastructure such as transportation and utility systems.
2. Examine procedures regarding contract monitoring, compliance, performance evaluation and notification requirements for state contracting procedures. Include recommendations to determine a "best value" for the state and prevent conflicts of interests. Evaluate guidelines regarding the state's participation in contracts funded by grants and suggest methods to ensure the best use of taxpayer funds.
3. Determine if the state has sufficient authority and the tools to ensure continued operation of the state's government and economy under existing budgetary and statutory authority. Make contingency recommendations to prevent collapse in the event of an economic disaster.
4. Study the policies used by research and medical entities to adhere to the highest ethical standards for acquiring human fetal tissue for medical and scientific purposes. Specifically, review compliance to ensure informed consent and that all state and federal laws sufficiently respect the dignity of the human body. Study criteria for which persons have standing when giving consent for the use of fetal remains and to investigate potential violations of state laws regulating organ/tissue donation. Determine whether additional disclosure and reporting requirements are necessary to ensure moral and ethical research practices. Review practices and statutes in other states regarding fetal tissue harvesting.
5. Study support mechanisms for the Small and Rural Incumbent Local Exchange Carrier - Universal Service Fund. Consider alternative funding mechanisms as well as necessary statutory changes to ensure reasonable cost of basic local phone service in high cost, rural areas without expanding the size of the Texas Universal Service Fund.
6. Evaluate the administrative process used to determine utility rates. Consider if sufficient opportunities exist to ensure customer representation. Also determine if additional legislative guidance is needed to ensure public notification and participation.
7. Examine how the Public Utility Commission of Texas, when applicable, and utility providers, whether vertically integrated, privately owned, or municipally owned, can ensure consumer protection regarding metering devices for water, gas, and electricity service. Review recent examples of inaccurate or confusing billings and offer recommendations on appropriate consumer recourse and appeal. In addition, assess utility procedures regarding meter installation.
8. Examine state and local laws applicable to undocumented immigrants throughout the State of Texas and analyze the effects of those laws in conjunction with federal immigration laws and the policies and practices followed by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
9. Examine payroll deductions from state or political subdivision employees for the purpose of labor organization membership dues or fees as well as charitable organization and nonprofit contributions. Determine if this process is an appropriate use of public funds.
10. Monitor the impact of major State Affairs legislation passed by the 84th Legislature, including updates regarding recent contracting reforms. Conduct legislative oversight and monitoring of the agencies and programs under the committee's jurisdiction and the implementing of relevant legislation passed by the 84th Legislature. In conducting this oversight, the committee should: a. consider any reforms to state agencies to make them more responsive to Texas taxpayers and citizens; b. identify issues regarding the agency or its governance that may be appropriate to investigate, improve, remedy, or eliminate; c. determine whether an agency is operating in a transparent and efficient manner; and d. identify opportunities to streamline programs and services while maintaining the mission of the agency and its programs.
Committee: Senate Business and Commerce
Title: Interim Report
Library Catalog Title: Report to the 82nd Legislature
Subjects: Alternative energy | Career preparedness | Electric Reliability Council of Texas | Electric utilities | Electric utility rates and charges | Electricity transmission and distribution | Energy conservation | Homeowners insurance | Job training programs | Liens | Mortgages | Municipally-owned utilities | Natural disasters | Texas Windstorm Insurance Association | Unemployment Compensation Trust Fund | Unemployment insurance | Wind power | Workforce |
Library Call Number: L1836.81 B963
Session: 81st R.S. (2009)
Online version: View report [84 pages  File size: 2,897 kb]
Charges: This report should address the charges below.
1. Study the implementation of H.B. 4409 enacted by the 81st Legislature pertaining to the financing of insured losses in excess of premium and other revenue of the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association (TWIA). Assess the coverage and affordability of TWIA policies. Review the claims and payments processes and make recommendations to improve the stability of TWIA while enhancing services to clients.
2. Study options for reducing demand for electricity, including innovative pricing options relating to the use of smart meters, programmable thermostats, and other demand side management and behavioral response strategies. Review current consumer education programs to reduce demand, decrease energy prices, and improve air quality. Consider benefits and costs of alternative energy sources such as geothermal and solar, and current incentives for electric and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles. The study should include recommendations on improving consumer knowledge and usage of these strategies in lowering overall electric usage, promoting energy efficiency, and improving the reliability of the ERCOT grid.
3. Study and make recommendations relating to the development and implementation of wind energy. Assess the total impact of wind energy, including additional costs to consumers, if any, buy-back provisions and pricing, the need for alternative energy sources at times when wind does not generate electricity, impact on the ERCOT grid, development of battery storage and other storage methods, and economic development impacts.
4. Study the generation costs of municipally owned electric utilities' planned generation portfolios. Consider the impact of planned generation costs on electric rates for residential and commercial customers. Solicit input on the impact of future electric rates on charitable and non-profit organizations, and the impact on such organizations' cash assistance programs to indigent customers. Consider the merits of a justifiable planned generation cost standard, and whether a deviation above the standard should be subject to approval by a vote of all customers of a municipally owned utility's service area.
5. Study and make recommendations relating to the Texas Unemployment Compensation Insurance system, including, but not limited to, the following:
  • The capacity and efficiency of the claims filing and benefits delivery system as well as the ability of the agency to meet the needs of the clients it serves given the transition to call centers and web based filing;
  • The current financing scheme for the Unemployment Compensation Trust Fund, and any options to improve the long term financial health and stability of the Fund;
  • The use of debit cards for delivery of UI benefits, including ways to limit user fees to access payments; and
  • Improving public access to local and statewide data on current and historical UI claims.
6. Study and make recommendations regarding career-focused education and workforce training programs in Texas to insure that such programs meet business and worker needs. Specifically, study whether such programs: meet the current and future workforce needs of health care, skilled trades, construction, manufacturing, aerospace, information technology and green jobs; help retain workers in such trades and fields; retrain and update the skills and education of workers in such trades and fields; and foster and encourage collaboration between the State, education, labor and business to provide education and training.
7. Study the effectiveness of Chapter 557 of the Insurance Code, relating to insured property subject to a security interest, in setting forth the obligations of a lender and a residential real property insured resulting from an insurer's payment of a claim for damage to the residential real property caused by a natural disaster. Consider the legislation's requirements for release of the insurance proceeds, lienholder's approval of payment of the insurance proceeds, accrual and payment of interest on such proceeds and penalties provided by the statute. Make recommendations for any needed refinements of the legislation.
8. Monitor the implementation of legislation addressed by the Senate Committee on Business & Commerce, 81st Legislature, Regular and Called Sessions, and make recommendations for any legislation needed to improve, enhance, and/or complete implementation.
Committee: Senate Electric Utility Restructuring, Interim
Title: Interim report
Library Catalog Title: Report to the 76th Legislature.
Subjects: Air quality | Alternative energy | Electric Reliability Council of Texas | Electric utility deregulation | Electric utility rates and charges | Electric utility stranded costs and refunds | Electricity transmission and distribution | Environmental protection | Providers of last resort | Public Utility Regulatory Act | Renewable energy | Wind power |
Library Call Number: L1836.75 el25
Session: 75th R.S. (1997)
Online version: View report [213 pages  File size: 8,279 kb]
Charges: This report should address the charges below.
1. Study and determine any needed changes in the Public Utility Regulatory Act and related statutes to create a competitive Texas electric market that is open to all classes of retail customers. Such review shall include but not be limited to the following issues:
2. An appropriate date for opening the market to direct end-use customer access, and whether a phase-in program for public schools or other governmental units is warranted
3. Methods for quantification of a utility's investments that would be uneconomic in a fully competitive market (stranded costs) and appropriate methods for recovery of costs (including rate freezes, adjustments to depreciation, transition charges, securitization);
4. Balancing rate reductions with recovery of stranded costs during the transition to a competitive market;
5. The basic structural requirements for the competitive market to serve as an effective and efficient replacement for traditional regulation;
6. Provisions for municipal and cooperative utilities recognizing the importance of maintaining local control of community-owned systems and protecting the financial integrity of cooperative and municipal utilities;
7. Safeguards necessary for customer protection in a fully competitive marketplace (including designation of a provider of last resort, protections for low-income customers, obligations to be imposed on all providers, ability of providers to serve customers on an aggregated basis, and fair marketing and sales practices);
8. System reliability and service quality standards needed to ensure safe and reliable power and the role of the independent system operator in a fully competitive market;
9. Environmental issues relating to a competitive marketplace;
10. Development of renewable energy resources such as windpower in a competitive marketplace; and
11. Scope and nature of the continuing role of regulation in a deregulated electric power industry including oversight of market power.
12. Make recommendations for legislative and regulatory action, if necessary.
Committee: Senate State Purchase of Electricity, Task Force on
Title: Interim Report
Library Catalog Title: Senate Task Force on the State Purchase of Electricity : report to the 70th Legislature.
Subjects: Electric utility rates and charges | Electricity supplies | State agency budgets |
Library Call Number: L1836.69 el256
Session: 69th R.S. (1985)
Online version: View report [373 pages  File size: 11,969 kb]
Charge: This report should address the charge below.
1. To examine the state's options for purchasing electricity for state buildings in Travis County.
Committee: House Energy
Title: Interim report
Library Catalog Title: To the Speaker and members, Texas House of Representatives, 69th Legislature : report of the Committee on Energy, Texas House of Representatives, 68th Legislature.
Subjects: Electric power plants | Electric utilities | Electric utility rates and charges | Natural gas drilling | Oil drilling | Oil industry | Oil production | Public information | Radioactive waste | Rights of way | Solid waste disposal |
Library Call Number: L1836.68 en27
Session: 68th R.S. (1983)
Online version: View report [81 pages  File size: 2,479 kb]
Charges: This report should address the charges below.
1. To study the advantage of mandatory release of certain electric well logs made in conjunction with oil and gas exploration activities.
2. In cooperation with state and federal authorities and the Special House-Senate Joint Committee on Hazardous Waste, study future proposals of the National Waste Terminal Storage Program and the progress of the Department of Energy's other activities that relate to Texas' role in high-level waste disposal operations.
3. To study the background on the receipt and expenditure of Department of Energy oil overcharge money forwarded to the State of Texas and make appropriate recommendations.
4. To study operations relating to seismographic testing on the right-of-way of county roads or other public highways.
5. To study the concept of inverted block pricing structures as they relate to public utilities in Texas.
Supporting documents
Committee: House Energy
Title: Notices of public hearing and formal meeting
Library Catalog Title: Minutes
Library Call Number: L1801.9 EN27 68
Session: 68th R.S. (1983)
Online version: View document [3 pages]
Committee: Senate Natural Resources Subcommittee on Agriculture
Title: Interim Report
Library Catalog Title: Genetic engineering, predatory animals, energy for agriculture, soil and water conservation : interim report to the 69th Legislature / Senate Natural Resources Subcommittee on Agriculture.
Subjects: Biotechnology industry | Electric utility rates and charges | Farming | Genetic research and testing | Hazardous substances | Irrigation | Natural gas utility rates and charges | Ranching | Water conservation |
Library Call Number: L1836.68 ag83s
Session: 68th R.S. (1983)
Online version: View report [38 pages  File size: 1,422 kb]
Charges: This report should address the charges below.
1. Review the potential agricultural benefits of research in the areas of biotechnology and genetic engineering. Make recommendations regarding funding for continued research in these areas. *
2. Study the effects of major predators on Texas farmers and ranchers; consider the effectiveness of predation abatement methods, including predacides and poisons, hunting, and fencing. *
3. Study the impact of current energy pricing system on agricultural users. Make recommendations regarding the regulation of natural gas sold to agricultural users and the electricity rates for cotton gin operators. *
4. Review ways to promote water conservation, to increase the availability of water for agricultural purposes, and to control soil erosion. *
Committee: Senate Natural Resources
Title: Interim Report
Library Catalog Title: Interim report to the 67th Legislature / Senate Natural Resources Committee.
Subjects: Agriculture | Alternative energy | Automobiles | Electric utility rates and charges | Energy conservation | Energy policy | Fuel conservation | Hazardous waste | Natural disasters | Natural gas utility rates and charges | Ports | Radioactive waste | Ships and shipping | Solid waste disposal | Wind power |
Library Call Number: L1836.66 n219s
Session: 66th R.S. (1979)
Online version: View report [262 pages  File size: 9,858 kb]
Charges: This report should address the charges below.
1. Study hazardous waste and toxic waste disposal in Texas; access the risk that existing toxic waste sites pose; review current waste disposal and waste management laws, and make recommendations. *
2. Study all aspects of the regulation of the disposal of uranium mill tailings; the problem of the disposal of low-level radioactive waste and problems concerning the disposal of toxic industrial waste.
3. Study the hazards affecting the Texas coastal areas and the Gulf of Mexico, including hazards such as hurricanes, tropical storms, tornadoes, subsidence, erosion and ground faults. *
4. Investigate ways to reduce the risk of maritime accidents, and better manage shipping in or near Texas ports. *
5. Investigate ways in which the state can encourage energy conservation and energy efficient construction practices. *
6. Study the obstacles to developing solar energy and wind energy resources, and suggest possible legal or regulatory changes which would promote the use of solar and wind energy sources.
7. Review the methods used for rate design, and the impact of rate structure on energy production and energy use.
8. Suggest ways that the state could reduce use of gasoline and other fuel for transportation. *
9. Investigate future demands of agriculture, and suggest legislative alternatives to encourage the growth of agricultural production. *
10. Analyze Texas laws' impact on small-scale hydroelectric development and recommend possible legislative action. *
Supporting documents
Committee: Senate Natural Resources
Title: Bills Referred to Committee
Library Catalog Title: Minutes
Library Call Number: L1803.9 N219 66
Session: 66th R.S. (1979)
Online version: View document [25 pages]
Committee: House Energy Resources
Title: Interim Report
Library Catalog Title: Interim report, Sixty-fifth Legislative session / Committee on Energy Resources, Texas House of Representatives.
Subjects: Alternative energy | Coal mining | Electric utility rates and charges | Natural gas prices | Natural gas utility rates and charges |
Library Call Number: L1836.64 en27
Session: 64th R.S. (1975)
Online version: View report [45 pages  File size: 1,496 kb]
Charge: This report should address the charge below.
1. Conduct hearings on energy issues including : coal slurry pipeline projects, utility rate structures, "take-or-pay" provisions in natural gas contracts, althernative energy sources, and the use of lignite coal. *
Committee: Senate Human Resources Subcommittee on Consumer Affairs
Title: Interim Report - Options for Reducing Energy Bills
Library Catalog Title: Options for reducing Texas utility consumers energy bills.
Subjects: Electric utility rates and charges | Energy assistance programs | Natural gas utility rates and charges |
Library Call Number: L1836.64 c765reo
Session: 64th R.S. (1975)
Online version: View report [44 pages  File size: 1,579 kb]
Charge: This report should address the charge below.
1. Study the reasons for dramatic increases in energy costs and natural gas prices and consider the impact of the price increases on consumers and the economy. Review options for reducing energy bills. *
Committee: Senate Human Resources Subcommittee on Consumer Affairs
Title: Interim Report - Energy Costs
Library Catalog Title: Final report, Senate Subcommittee on Consumer Affairs : energy costs in Texas.
Subjects: Electric utility rates and charges | Energy assistance programs | Natural gas utility rates and charges |
Library Call Number: L1836.64 c765re
Session: 64th R.S. (1975)
Online version: View report [16 pages  File size: 637 kb]
Charge: This report should address the charge below.
1. Study the reasons for dramatic increases in energy costs and natural gas prices and consider the impact of the price increases on consumers and the economy. Review options for reducing energy bills. *

* This represents an abstract of the report contents. Charge text is incomplete or unavailable.

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