It's shaping up to be another difficult summer for the Texas power grid. A national nonprofit has projected that the Texas grid will have the lowest percentage of power reserves this summer of any region of the country. Next summer could also be tougher than the grid operator currently projects.Full Story
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 ...
Smart electricity meters have long been criticized by those who say they present a health risks and infringe on individual rights. Now, with legislative action to allow property owners to deny meters failing, municipalities are picking up the slack.Full Story
A sunset bill that continues the operations of the Public Utility Commission of Texas won approval Wednesday from the House, though the legislation would adjust how the commission works.
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.Full Story
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.Full Story
At a public meeting held Tuesday by the Public Utility Commission, a state representative suggested that the commission create a way for customers to opt out of having smart electric meters installed at their homes.Full Story
After months of fielding complaints about smart electric meters, the Texas Public Utility Commission will hold an open meeting Tuesday to hear testimony from opponents and supporters of the technology.Full Story
Texas' electric grid prefers to stay isolated from the rest of the nation. But proposals are afoot to boost outside ties — something that proponents say could help ease the state's looming electricity crunch.Full Story
At a committee hearing Tuesday about the impact of drought on power generation, state senators voiced concerns that a lack of adequate water could harm Texas' long-term growth.Full Story
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.Full Story
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 .Full Story
Rolando Pablos, the former chairman of the Texas Racing Commission, will fill the empty slot at the Texas Public Utility Commission. Separately, the state's electric grid operator announced that its board chairwoman, Laura Doll, is stepping down.Full Story
The Legislature passed a handful of energy-saving measures this session, ranging from allowing churches access to an energy-efficiency loan program to recalibrating a statewide efficiency program.Full Story
On Friday morning, a small group of Texans, including the chairman of the Public Utility Commission, will brief White House representatives on the smart-meter rollout and related issues in the state.Full Story
The power failures earlier this month have called into question one of Texas' most basic tenets: that we do everything, including deregulation, better than anyone else.Full Story
When Texans turn on lights or plug in iPads, they are getting an increasing amount of power from the wind — and from coal plants. Last year, nearly 8 percent of the power on the state's electric grid was generated by wind, far above the national average. And coal plants produced more power than any other electricity source. The big loser was natural gas.
The impoverished border town of Presidio is home to the largest battery system in the country: a $25 million contraption that's the size of a big house. That's not as weird as it seems. Partly because of an affinity for wind energy, the state has a number of experiments going in "energy storage" — often referred to as the "holy grail" of energy technology, because it can modernize the grid by more efficiently matching people's demand for power with the generation of electricity.Full Story
Operators of the state’s electric grid are about to flip the switch on what could be the most significant change to the Texas energy market in a decade. The change to what’s called a “nodal” grid system happens on Dec. 1, but as Matt Largey of KUT News reports, it’s not clear what happens after that.Full Story
Galbraith's three-parter on the battle over wind power transmission lines, Grissom on a convicted killer who got probation, Aguilar on how the U.S. census counts inmates in the Texas prison system, Stiles launches a new interactive tool tracking the candidates for governor, Hamilton on the Texas A&M University System's latest accountability measure for faculty, Hu's interview with Democratic megadonor Steve "Back to Basics" Mostyn, Philpott on how the Texas economy compares to that of other states and Ramsey on the start of the 2010 election sprint: The best of our best from Sept. 6 to 10, 2010.Full Story
Texas already harvests more wind power than any state in the nation, bringing the promise of clean energy to millions of homes and businesses. Trouble is, getting that power from remote, windy West Texas to the big cities requires a massive, $5 billion network of transmission lines — which property owners in the Hill County and elsewhere don't want in their back yards. As construction gets under way on the new lines, an army of lawyers and angry landowners is working to stymie the state's renewable energy plans. Part one of a three-part series.Full Story
Hu compares and contrasts the official schedules of four big-state governors (including Rick Perry) and picks the 21 Texas House races to watch, Ramshaw on a 19-year-old with an IQ of 47 sentenced to 100 years in prison, Stiles on Perry's regent-donors, Galbraith on a plan to curb the independence of the state's electricity grid, Thevenot on the turf war over mental health, Grissom on whether the Texas Youth Commission should be abolished, Aguilar on a crucial immigration-related case pending before the U.S. Supreme Court, Ramsey's interview with GOP provocateur Debra Medina and M. Smith on how changes to campaign finance law will affect judicial elections in Texas: The best of our best from August 23 to 27, 2010.Full Story
Texas has always operated its own electricity grid, separate from the two other grids that span the rest of the nation. But a project quietly emerging in eastern New Mexico could curb that independence — and affect energy prices here in ways that remain much in dispute.Full Story
Stiles on Bill White's donor-appointees, M. Smith on a form of meritless lawsuit that's still legal in Texas, Ramshaw on what federal health care reform means for the future of physician-owned specialty hospitals, Galbraith's interview with the chairman of the Public Utility Commission, Philpott on the latest flap over federal education funding, Grissom on the finally-in-compliance Dallas County Jail, Titus on the oiled pelicans of the BP spill, Hamilton's interview with the new chancellor of the Texas State University System, Ramsey on the political and legal definitions of residency, Hu on Barack Obama's visit to Austin and Aguilar on what the U.S. could be doing to aid Mexico: The best of our best from August 9 to 13, 2010.Full Story