Is the Texas Legislature taking action that will increase what you pay for utility service? It certainly looks that way. Kate Galbraith has an interesting article in the The Texas Tribune that lists a number of big bills that will become bad news if they actually become law.
Two of those bills could come up for debate today. House Bill 2435 and Senate Bill 1309 would make it easier for gas utilities to hike bills for home heating service. Consumer groups and municipalities are united in opposition to this legislation.
“Unfortunately, these bills will make it easier for utilities to hike base rates, while at the same time avoiding substantive regulatory review,” said Jay Doegey, who co-chairs a city coalition that opposes bills. You can find a description of his remarks here.
Doegey’s group also recently released a report that shows that gas utility customers already are paying too much for service. You can find that report here.
Ms. Galbraith also describes a number of other troubling bills in her Texas Tribune article. Separately, the Texas Observer, the Houston Chronicle and the Dallas Morning News have weighed in on legislation raising concern among consumer activists.
If you’d like to email or call your local lawmaker about these bills, you can find their contact information here.
Is a policy analyst for TCAP, a coalition of cities and other political subdivisions that purchase electricity in the deregulated market for their own governmental use. 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. High energy prices also place a burden on local businesses and home consumers.