A bill regulating energy brokers is headed to Gov. Greg Abbott’s desk for his signature.
This week, the Texas House voted in favor of SB 1497, a bill outlining new regulations for energy brokers that would, in theory, protect the state’s ratepayers from unscrupulous or fraudulent brokers.
The move toward a more ethical broker landscape is one that The Energy Professionals of America (TEPA) is pleased with. TEPA Director Shannon McGriff and National Board President Huston Able spoke with Energy Pages in the wake of the bill’s passage in the House.
Shannon McGriff: Collaboration Led to a Solid Piece of Proposed Legislation
McGriff told Energy Pages that TEPA is happy with the final version of the bill.
“TEPA is pleased with the final version of SB 1497 approved by the Texas House of Representatives,” she said.
Part of the organization’s satisfaction lies in the collaboration it took to create SB 1497.
“We were happy to have the opportunity to collaborate with other industry stakeholders on this bill, which is very limited and simply requires those providing brokerage services in the state to register with the Public Utilities Commission of Texas,”
The bill is a one-page document at this point and, in its simplicity, gives the Public Utilities Commission (PUCT) space to nuance the regulations, a process that TEPA says they will help with.
“We look forward to working with the PUCT on the rulemaking, and will continue to serve as a resource on issues important to our industry and the broker community,” she said.
Huston Able: Bill Will Protect Ratepaying Consumers
As we reported shortly after a Senate committee approved the bill, SB 1497 includes specific instructions for how brokers conduct themselves in the state. Among other details, brokers must register with the PUC and retail electric providers can’t knowingly give bids to unregistered brokers. However, the version passed by the House is a committee substitute and has certain variations from the one passed by the Senate. The differences include how a broker is defined, disclosure requirements and other definitions.
Able said this key provision will help ensure the integrity of the relationship between brokers and ratepayers.
“TEPA is very pleased that the registration bill passed. This continues the advancement of the Texas retail energy market, and at the end of the day, protects the consumer,”
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