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Texas Consumer Legislation Update

June 10, 2015 By Josh Kessler

The Texas Coalition for Affordable Power (TCAP), a group of more than 160 municipalities that jointly purchase competitive electricity supplies for use by public agencies, has commented on five recent bills affecting energy consumers in Texas. These include:

  • House Bill 1101, which will keep $200 million in funds flowing to 530,000 low-income residents (about $380 per resident). Both the House and Senate have approved the bill, and it is heading to Governor Greg Abbott for signature. TCAP recently featured a more extensive article on this bill, as did The Dallas Morning News.
  • House Bill 3425, which would have delayed review of the Texas Railroad Commission—the organization that oversees gas utilities. Consumer groups and others have supported efforts to reform the agency, and TCAP calls this is a win for consumers.
  • House Bill 3749, which was intended to protect citizen interests in gas utility cases but failed to pass the House.
  • House Bill 2254, which would have prohibited “minimum use” fees on electricity consumers but failed to emerge from committee.
  • Senate Bill 777, which would have expanded the Public Utility Commission’s enforcement powers toward “bad actors.” The bill passed the Senate but died in the House.

TCAP also has a new leader in Jay Doegey, who brings over 35 years of experience in municipal government. He served as president from 2011 to 2014 and has taken over again after the current president opted to retire. TCAP formed in 2011 and now purchases 1.3 billion kWh per year on behalf of its members for street lights, water pumps, municipal buildings and other applications.

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