Texas PUC proposes rules for retail sales

Electricity retailers must �label� their product with the amount of pollution created during generation of the power under rules proposed Friday by Public Utility Commission of Texas. Carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxides, particulates, sulfur dioxide, and nuclear waste will have to be charted on the disclosure statement.


Electricity retailers must �label� their product with the amount of pollution created during generation of the power under rules proposed Friday by Public Utility Commission of Texas. The proposed rules also spell out certain consumer protections from telemarketing once competition begins in Texas in 2002.

The rules, not final yet, will require that retail electricity sales be accompanied with a label that spells out the percentage of air emission compounds and waste/Mw-hr generated as a percentage of the Texas average.

Carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxides, particulates, sulfur dioxide, and nuclear waste will have to be charted on the disclosure statement.

�The retail seller will have to send out these disclosure forms to their customers twice a year,� says Terry Hadley, spokesman for the PUC.

The commission also ordered retailers to disclose prices for electricity according to the level of use. For example, prices will vary if consumers use less than 500 kw-hr or more than 1,000 kw-hr. Other pricing factors must be disclosed. If the price varies with on-peak seasonal use or by the hour, that must be clearly specified. Conditions for contract changes or early termination penalties must be spelled out, too.

The fuel mix used to generate electricity on a percentage basis is part of the disclosure package.

In addition, the PUC specified that electricity consumers could also join a �Do Not Call� list by contacting the PUC by mail, phone, fax, or e-mail. Electricity retailers must provide information about the �Do Not Call� list to their prospective customers as part of the disclosure. Customers will remain on the list for 5 years, unless they ask to be taken off earlier.

The PUC has not issued a final order yet on these proposed rules and will be conducting a series of workshops to gather input. A final rule from the commission is expected in November.

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