Daily GPI / NGI All News Access

Texas' Senate Okays Electric Deregulation Bill

Texas' Senate Okays Electric Deregulation Bill

Senate Bill 7, legislation requiring electricity market competition in Texas as of Jan. 1, 2002, passed the state Senate Friday, leaving the Governor's signature as the missing piece of the puzzle before the bill becomes law. Governor George W. Bush has not said when he will sign the Sen. David Sibley (R-Waco)-sponsored bill, but has voiced his support.

Sibley said deregulation would save consumers between $500 million and $800 million even if they don't switch suppliers since legislation calls for a 5% rate cut when it takes effect. Stranded cost recovery is prescribed through securitization with bond debt being repaid through a transmission surcharge. A similar bill failed to pass the Senate two years ago.

"This is a comprehensive plan that will be good for Texas consumers," declared Ray Palmer, president of NEV Texas, New Energy Venture's subsidiary serving the state. Arizona-based New Energy Ventures is a technology-based energy partnership between UniSource Energy Corp. and New Energy Holdings. "This plan will ensure lower electric costs for residential consumers and create additional savings for those who exercise their option to choose an energy service provider."

The Competitive Power Advocates (CPA), a group of generators, marketers and users of electricity in wholesale and retail markets across the country also applauded the bill's passage. "The crafting of this legislation was a complex undertaking, with a lot of diverse interests coming together," said James A. Tramuto, the CPA chairman.

The bill leaves many specific decisions for the structure of the competitive market to the state's PUC. "The legislation has given the PUC a strong framework around which to design and implement many of the specifics of the competitive market," Palmer said, "such as the actual level of the `price to beat' and the operating rules and codes of conduct for market participants."

©Copyright 1999 Intelligence Press Inc. All rights reserved. The preceding news report may not be republished or redistributed, in whole or in part, in any form, without prior written consent of Intelligence Press, Inc.

Copyright ©2018 Natural Gas Intelligence - All Rights Reserved.
ISSN © 2577-9877 | ISSN © 1532-1231
Comments powered by Disqus