Here’s a scorecard showing how consumer-friendly electricity reform bills are (not) progressing
Dave Lieber, The Watchdog
How are electricity reform bills coming along?
This isn’t a complete list, just bills that need your help. SB means Senate Bill, and HB means House Bill. You can look these up on TexasLegislatureOnline and follow their progress.
NEW:SB 2154 sped through the state Senate in only four days before the Senate passed it. It goes to the House. Expands the Public Utility Commission from three to five members and says two do not have to be knowledgeable about utilities, while the other three must have experience within the energy industry. Possibly, this sets up the appointment of two consumer-oriented members. Bill is ready for a Senate vote.
HB 16Waiting for full House vote. Electric companies would no longer be allowed to sell plans in which wholesale rates are based on a financial index. (SB 1279 would do the same for residential customers only. It’s pending in a Senate committee.)
HB 3384Stuck in committee. Everyone who signs an electricity contract must use a standard statewide form.
HB 3138Stuck in committee. Would ban switching customers with safe fixed rates to dangerous variable rates once their contract expires.
HB 2808Stuck in committee. Contracts with variable rates would be banned.
HB 3494 & HB 3370Both stuck in committee. HB 3494 would ban all electricity contracts except those with fixed prices. HB 3370 would do the same except it applies to residential contracts.
HB 3167Stuck in committee. Would clarify that electricity cannot be disconnected for lack of payment when the temperature is above 90 degrees.
HB 3168Stuck in committee. Texans would receive wireless phone emergency alerts when a governor declares a state disaster.
SB 1443Stuck in committee. Would require electricity companies and co-ops to identify vulnerable Texans during contract sign-ups. These customers rely on electric-powered medical devices or require either heating or cooling for health reasons. They would be prioritized for power restoration.
SB 2052No action taken. Companies would be required to notify customers “of imminent rolling outages and the length of time the outages are planned or expected to last.” Companies, co-ops and municipally owned utilities that own transmission and distribution facilities would be required to submit annual outage plans.
SB 2075No action taken. Would stop providers from charging prices that are 300% more than the average price charged the previous month.