The Regulatory Mix, TMI’s daily blog of regulatory activities, is a snapshot of PUC, FCC, legislative, and occasionally court, issues that our regulatory monitoring team uncovers each day. Depending on their significance, some items may be the subject of a TMI Regulatory Bulletin.
The PUC announced new policies to (1) accept a request by an electric generation supplier (EGS) to reduce its level of security after the first year of operation from 10% to 5% of an EGS’s most recent 12 months of revenue or $250,000, whichever is higher, and (2) expand the forms of allowable security instruments. A $350 fee will be required for a request by a Commission-licensed EGS to reduce its level of bonding following the first year of operation.
The PUC issued a Press Release urging customers of Proton Energy Inc. (Proton) to shop for a new provider as the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) begins the process to switch Proton customers to a Provider of Last Resort (POLR). The PUC said that POLR rates may be significantly higher. Proton’s license was revoked after Proton failed to comply with a settlement agreement to transfer ownership of the company due to significant violations of PUC rules.
FCC Chairman Wheeler approved the appointment of Chris Henderson as Chief Executive Officer of the Universal Service Administrative Co. (USAC), which administers the FCC’s Universal Service programs. Chairman Wheeler issued this statement:
“Chris Henderson is an outstanding choice to lead USAC. His selection reflects the extensive and thorough search process conducted by the USAC Board. Chris’s background and qualifications will be invaluable as we work together to implement the Commission’s modernization and reform of the Universal Service Fund programs.”
A PURA Draft Decision is included on the August 27 agenda for discussion. The Decision would require non-compliant telecommunications companies and VoIP providers to file their Emergency Plans or to revise and resubmit their plans to meet new requirements. In addition, all utilities and service providers that submitted an exemption form to not file an Emergency Plan would be required to provide certain emergency contact information to the PURA, the EOC, and all electric distribution companies and municipalities in its service territory.
Earlier this month, the PUC denied a CenturyLink request for a variance of the out-of-service conditions rule. In particular, CenturyLink requested either a waiver or varying the standard that requires that a telephone utility reestablish service with a minimum objective to clear 95% of all out-of-service troubles within 24 hours of the time such troubles are reported to 85%. See the Regulatory Mix dated 8/22/14. CenturyLink has filed a Petition for Reconsideration of the PUC’s order. The company said that the rule “imposes an excessive burden on CenturyLink. Granting a variance advances the public interest…” CenturyLink goes on to say that the rule should “either be waived while the current rulemaking takes place, or be altered to an 85% standard during that time period.” TMI Regulatory Bulletin Service subscribers see Bulletin dated 8/7/14.