Tribpedia: Public Utility Commission

Tribpedia

The Public Utility Commission protects public interest, fosters competition, and promotes high quality infrastructure in regard to public utility rates, operations, and services. 

It was established by the Public Utility Regulatory Act in 1975. Texas was the last state to enact such a law. 

According to The Dallas Morning News, "In the past seven years, Texans have filed 54,356 ...

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In Power Line Dispute, Rancher Questions Wiggle Room

Johnny Vinson stands on the part of his Wise County, Texas ranch where Oncor built a power line  through his property. Vinson says the power company didn't build the line where they said they would.
Johnny Vinson stands on the part of his Wise County, Texas ranch where Oncor built a power line through his property. Vinson says the power company didn't build the line where they said they would.

After landowners sign off on power line routes, can transmission companies install them somewhere else? The Public Utility Commission is set to consider a rancher’s complaint that a 345-kilovolt power line that a transmission operator erected is 150 feet north of where it was originally mapped.

 

Grid technicians monitor screens at the Electric Reliability Council of Texas' new state-of-the-art backup control center in Bastrop.
Grid technicians monitor screens at the Electric Reliability Council of Texas' new state-of-the-art backup control center in Bastrop.

ERCOT: Growth in Texas Energy Demand Slows

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas says the state’s peak power demand is growing more slowly than previously thought, buying time for regulators hoping to bolster reliability on the electric grid. 

Grid technicians monitor screens at the Electric Reliability Council of Texas' new state-of-the-art backup control center in Bastrop.
Grid technicians monitor screens at the Electric Reliability Council of Texas' new state-of-the-art backup control center in Bastrop.

In Grid Debate, New Info Doesn't Sway Opinions

Should Texas overhaul its electricity market? And if so, how much would it cost? A highly anticipated report has shed some light on those questions amid an increasingly contentious debate. 

Homeowner Adam Leija demonstrating how CPS energy's "home manager program" works.
Homeowner Adam Leija demonstrating how CPS energy's "home manager program" works.

Demand Response Could Factor in Grid Debate

As the utilities and big energy users spar in Austin over how to best encourage the building of power plants, another important issue that is getting less public attention is about how Texas can curb its energy use. 

Grid technicians monitor screens at the Electric Reliability Council of Texas' new state-of-the-art backup control center in Bastrop.
Grid technicians monitor screens at the Electric Reliability Council of Texas' new state-of-the-art backup control center in Bastrop.

Texas PUC Vote Signals Support for Market Shift

Texas regulators signaled Friday that they would pursue a major overhaul of the wholesale electricity market in hopes of ensuring the long-term reliability of the state’s electric grid.

Near Sweetwater, construction is complete on transmission lines that will connect windy regions of the state to its population centers. The total cost of all the lines throughout Texas is estimated at nearly $7 billion.
Near Sweetwater, construction is complete on transmission lines that will connect windy regions of the state to its population centers. The total cost of all the lines throughout Texas is estimated at nearly $7 billion.

$7 Billion CREZ Project Nears Finish, Aiding Wind Power

Developers expect to soon flip the switch on the final electrical transmission projects built under a nearly $7 billion effort to connect Texas' windiest, mostly secluded regions to communities that demand more power.

Roy Thornhill Sr. (center) voices his concern as residents of the City of Blue Mound, Texas, gather at their community center, on Monday, March 4, 2013.  The small North Texas City of Blue Mound held a town hall meeting on Monday, March 4, for its residents to sign a petition against what they say are unjustifiably high water rate increases.
Roy Thornhill Sr. (center) voices his concern as residents of the City of Blue Mound, Texas, gather at their community center, on Monday, March 4, 2013. The small North Texas City of Blue Mound held a town hall meeting on Monday, March 4, for its residents to sign a petition against what they say are unjustifiably high water rate increases.

Blue Mound Residents Boiling Over Water Rate

In the North Texas town of Blue Mound, the water system is owned by a private corporation. Residents say this results in painful rate hikes. Private water companies say their rates reflect the high costs of providing water to far-flung areas.

Little Hope for Overhaul as Fund Nears $1 Billion

Cost-cutting and fiscal transparency will likely dominate the upcoming legislative session, but lawmakers don't have high hopes for reforming the System Benefit Fund, a pot of $850 million not being used for its intended purposes.

Grid technicians monitor screens at the Electric Reliability Council of Texas' new state-of-the-art backup control center in Bastrop.
Grid technicians monitor screens at the Electric Reliability Council of Texas' new state-of-the-art backup control center in Bastrop.

Texas Electric Grid Faces Uncertainty in 2012

Will the lights stay on in 2012? Even Texas grid operators, who are coming off a tumultuous year, cannot say for certain. A lot will depend on the weather — namely, whether the state suffers through another piping-hot summer.

Steam rises from the stacks at the Martin Lake Coal-Fired Power Plant in Tatum, TX March 30, 2011.
Steam rises from the stacks at the Martin Lake Coal-Fired Power Plant in Tatum, TX March 30, 2011.

Texas Greens Cheer New EPA Mercury Rules

The Environmental Protection Agency announced a new rule on Wednesday aimed at reducing the amount of mercury and other toxic emissions from power plants. It is unlikely to improve Texas officials' low opinion of the federal agency.

Jon Wellinghoff, chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
Jon Wellinghoff, chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

Jon Wellinghoff: The TT Interview

The chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on managing wind energy, how electric cars could change the grid and what he's learned by monitoring his electricity consumption at home .