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Public Utility Commission of Texas

    • Next Review Date: 2022-2023 Review Cycle - 88th Legislative Session
    • Last Review Date: 2012-2013 Review Cycle - 83rd Legislative Session

    Sunset Review Documents for 2012-2013 Review Cycle, 83rd Legislative Session

    Limited scope review

    Legislative Documents

    Final Results from Last Sunset Report

    The following material summarizes results of the 2012-2013 limited scope Sunset review of the Public Utility Commission.  The material includes provisions made through House Bill 1600 (83R) and the Appropriations Act (S.B. 1).  For additional information see the Public Utility Commission of Texas Sunset Final Report with Legislative Action.

    Water and Sewer Utility Economic Regulation

    • Transfers responsibility for regulating water and wastewater rates and services from TCEQ to PUC on September 1, 2014.
    • Revises water and sewer utility ratemaking to accommodate the differing regulatory needs and capacities of water and sewer utilities, with rules adopted by September 1, 2015.
    • Provides for OPUC to represent residential and small commercial interests relating to water and wastewater utilities, beginning September 1, 2013.
    • Requires PUC to make a comparative analysis of statutory ratemaking provisions under its authority to determine opportunities for standardization.
    • Requires PUC and OPUC to analyze their staffing requirements and report potential changes in staffing needs to the Legislative Budget Board and the Governor’s budget office.
    • By rider in Senate Bill 1 (General Appropriations Act), transfers funding and personnel from TCEQ to PUC and appropriates new funding and personnel for OPUC to carry out the agencies’ new responsibilities related to the economic regulation of water and sewer utilities.

    Regulation and Oversight

    • Authorizes PUC to issue emergency cease-and-desist orders to electric industry participants in circumstances such as those that threaten reliable electric service or create an immediate danger to public safety.
    • Adds prohibitions related to the use of data from an advanced metering system.
    • Requires PUC to provide for the renewal of certificates for Competitive Local Exchange Carriers.
    • Requires PUC to exercise additional oversight authority over ERCOT through:

        –  review and approval of annual budgets for ERCOT on a timeframe determined by PUC;

        –  prior review and approval of all debt financing, except as negotiated by PUC and ERCOT; and

        –  annual review of PUC-approved performance measures tracking ERCOT’s operations.

    • Requires ERCOT’s System Administration Fee to vary when needed to match revenues to the budget approved by PUC.


    • Abolishes PUC’s report relating to customer awareness for telecommunications markets and the System Benefit Fund report to the now abolished Electric Utility Restructuring Legislative Oversight Committee.

    Governance and Continuation

    • Prohibits PUC Commissioners from being employed by ERCOT for two years after leaving PUC, and makes other changes related to Commissioner or executive director conflicts of interest.
    • Adds qualifications to help ensure the competence of PUC Commissioners.
    • Continues PUC for 10 years.