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  81R11392 TJS-F
 
  By: Ellis S.B. No. 1865
 
 
 
A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
 
AN ACT
  relating to the provider of last resort.
         BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
         SECTION 1.  Section 39.106, Utilities Code, is amended by
  amending Subsections (b), (c), and (g) and adding Subsections (h)
  and (i) to read as follows:
         (b)  A provider of last resort shall offer a [standard]
  retail service package approved by the commission for each class of
  customers designated by the commission. Except as provided by
  Subsections (g) and (h), the commission shall ensure that:
               (1)  the price of service from a provider of last resort
  reflects the market price of providing short-term service; and
               (2)  for residential and small commercial customers,
  the computation of price for service from a provider of last resort
  does not include a multiplier of more than 120 percent of the
  marginal clearing price of energy in the power region [at a fixed,
  nondiscountable rate approved by the commission].
         (c)  In the territory for which it is the provider of last
  resort, a [A] provider of last resort shall provide, without
  interruption, the [standard] retail service package approved by the
  commission at the price prescribed by Subsection (b) or (g) to a
  [any requesting] customer of a retail electric provider declared to
  be in default under commission rules. If a customer receiving
  service from the provider of last resort under this subsection does
  not switch to another electric service plan before the 60th day
  after the date on which the default is declared, the provider may
  switch the customer to a month-to-month service plan that is at
  least as favorable to the customer as a month-to-month service plan
  the provider offers to new or renewing customers with similar
  electric service demands. The plan to which the customer is
  switched must comply with the commission's consumer protection
  rules. After a switch is completed under this subsection, the
  customer is not considered to be a customer of a [in the territory
  for which it is the] provider of last resort.
         (g)  This subsection applies only if the independent
  organization certified under Section 39.151 imposes a fee under
  Section 39.151(d-1)(7). The commission shall establish a mechanism
  by which a residential or small commercial customer of a provider of
  last resort is charged by the provider of last resort a price for a
  commission-approved retail service package that is not higher than
  the average price of residential plans with monthly terms offered
  on the Internet website at http://www.powertochoose.com on the date
  the customer begins service with the provider of last resort. The
  commission by rule shall provide that a provider of last resort may
  not require a residential or small commercial customer receiving
  provider of last resort services to pay a deposit as a condition of
  receiving those services at the price prescribed by this
  subsection. The independent organization shall use the proceeds of
  the fee imposed under Section 39.151(d-1)(7) to compensate a
  provider of last resort for the difference between the price for the
  retail package approved by the commission for provider of last
  resort services provided to residential and small commercial
  customers and the price computed in accordance with commission
  rules that would reasonably compensate a provider of last resort
  under the then current market conditions, considering the
  short-term and volatile nature of provider of last resort services.
  The independent organization shall also use the proceeds of the fee
  imposed under Section 39.151(d-1)(7) to compensate a provider of
  last resort for bad debt related to providing provider of last
  resort services [In the event that a retail electric provider fails
  to serve any or all of its customers, the provider of last resort
  shall offer that customer the standard retail service package for
  that customer class with no interruption of service to any
  customer].
         (h)  Notwithstanding Subsection (g), in determining the
  price that would reasonably compensate a provider of last resort
  under Subsection (g), the commission, until December 31, 2010,
  shall use the price for provider of last resort services that was in
  effect January 1, 2009.
         (i)  For purposes of this section, "small commercial
  customer" means a commercial customer that has a peak demand of less
  than 50 kilowatt hours during any 12-month period.
         SECTION 2.  Section 39.151(d-1), Utilities Code, is amended
  to read as follows:
         (d-1)  The commission may:
               (1)  require an independent organization to provide
  reports and information relating to the independent organization's
  performance of the functions prescribed by this section and
  relating to the organization's revenues, expenses, and other
  financial matters;
               (2)  prescribe a system of accounts for an independent
  organization;
               (3)  conduct audits of an independent organization's
  performance of the functions prescribed by this section or relating
  to its revenues, expenses, and other financial matters and may
  require an independent organization to conduct such an audit;
               (4)  inspect an independent organization's facilities,
  records, and accounts during reasonable hours and after reasonable
  notice to the independent organization;
               (5)  assess administrative penalties against an
  independent organization that violates this title or a rule or
  order adopted by the commission and, at the request of the
  commission, the attorney general may apply for a court order to
  require an independent organization to comply with commission rules
  and orders in the manner provided by Chapter 15; [and]
               (6)  resolve disputes between an affected person and an
  independent organization and adopt procedures for the efficient
  resolution of such disputes; and
               (7)  authorize an independent organization certified
  under this section to assess a fee against each resource or load in
  the retail electric competitive market in an amount reasonably
  necessary to fund the compensation for provider of last resort
  services to residential and small commercial customers as provided
  by Section 39.106(g).
         SECTION 3.  This Act takes effect immediately if it receives
  a vote of two-thirds of all the members elected to each house, as
  provided by Section 39, Article III, Texas Constitution.  If this
  Act does not receive the vote necessary for immediate effect, this
  Act takes effect September 1, 2009.