Because high energy costs can impact municipal budgets and the ability to fund essential services, TCAP, as part of its mission, actively promotes affordable energy policies. Affordable power in a fully competitive market also means economic development for our communities and a better life for our citizens. TCAP members are committed to making electric deregulation work.
Recommendations for a more competitive electric market:
Promote Private-Public Generation Partnerships
Small-scale power plants have the potential to lower electric expenses for your municipality. That’s why TCAP wants cities and aggregation groups to have the right to pursue small-scale generation projects, just so long as they enhance economic development and produce affordable power for municipal use. Such public-private partnerships are also a cost-effective way to help address the state’s long-term generation challenges.
Facilitate Net Metering
Are there rooftop solar panels installed in your community? TCAP proposes legislation that will ensure that residential or small commercial customers that produce excess power at their homes or business receive a fair price for it.
No “Get Out of Jail Free” Plans for Big Generation Companies
Under Texas law, big generation companies can obtain advanced regulatory protections against future prosecution for anti-competitive behavior. TCAP proposes reforms to ensure that these advanced protections are fair, and don’t become “Get Out Of Jail Free” cards for market abusers.
Updating Market Protections in the Lone Star State
Where appropriate, anti-competitive behavior prohibited in other states should also be prohibited in Texas. Texas regulators should also have the same power to assess penalties as regulators overseeing other states. Legal loopholes that exempt some generators from prosecution should be closed.
Reduce Confusion in the Retail Electricity Market
Texas electricity consumers should have access to uniform, standard-offer products. These will help reduce confusion in the retail electricity market and allow for apples-to-apples comparisons in pricing deals.
The powertochoose.com website is financed with money from ratepayers and intended for their use. That’s why it should be as up-to-date and user-friendly as possible. TCAP proposes several website improvements, plus a reinstatement of previous law that required retail electric providers to promote it on customer bills. Texans paid for the website and should have easy access to it.
The Public Utility Commission has created a useful website that explains how Texans can save money by reducing demand during peak periods. All retail electric providers should promote this website on their bills.
Keeping an even playing field for consumers
Cities have a long history representing the interests of their citizens at the Texas Legislature. But big electric companies would like to undercut those safeguards through legislation that undermines city authority. TCAP opposes such legislation, and will also work to exempt non-profit political subdivision corporations from state and local taxes and from filing reports to the Comptroller.
Avoid Changes in the Market Structure that will Increase Wholesale Costs
Policymakers should look for ways to stimulate growth in generation resources while avoiding unnecessary price supports and subsidies that are inconsistent with the principles of competition and that will increase electricity prices. Policymakers should reject all proposals for “capacity markets,” in which generators get paid even when they do not operate. This will only add to consumer bills.