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TITLE 16ECONOMIC REGULATION
PART 2PUBLIC UTILITY COMMISSION OF TEXAS
CHAPTER 25SUBSTANTIVE RULES APPLICABLE TO ELECTRIC SERVICE PROVIDERS
SUBCHAPTER BCUSTOMER SERVICE AND PROTECTION
RULE §25.41Price to Beat

(a) Applicability. This section applies to all affiliated retail electric providers (REPs) and transmission and distribution utilities, except river authorities. This section does not apply to an electric utility subject to Public Utility Regulatory Act (PURA) §39.102(c) until the end of the utility's rate freeze.

(b) Purpose. The purpose of this section is to promote the competitiveness of the retail electric market through the establishment of the price to beat that affiliated REPs must offer to retail customers beginning on January 1, 2002 pursuant to PURA §39.202.

(c) Definitions. The following words and terms, when used in this section, shall have the following meanings, unless the context indicates otherwise:

  (1) Affiliated electric utility--The electric utility from which an affiliated REP was unbundled in accordance with PURA §39.051.

  (2) Competitive retailer--A REP or a municipally owned utility or distribution cooperative that offers customer choice in the restructured competitive electric power market or any other entity authorized to sell electric power and energy at retail in Texas.

  (3) Headroom--The difference between the average price to beat (in cents per kilowatt hour (kWh)) and the sum of the average non-bypassable charges or credits approved by the commission in a proceeding pursuant to PURA §39.201, or PURA Subchapter G (in cents per kWh) and the representative power price (in cents per kWh). Headroom may be a positive or negative number. A separate headroom number shall be calculated for the typical residential customer and the typical small commercial customer. The calculation for the typical residential customer shall assume 1,000 kWh per month in usage. The calculation of the typical small commercial customer shall assume 35 kilowatts (kW) of demand and 15,000 kWh per month in usage.

  (4) Nonaffiliated REP--Any competitive retailer conducting business in a transmission and distribution utility's (TDU's) certificated service territory that is not affiliated with that TDU unless the competitive retailer is a successor in interest to a retail electric provider affiliated with that TDU.

  (5) Peak demand--The highest 15-minute or 30-minute demand recorded during a 12-month period.

  (6) Price to beat period--The price to beat period shall be from January 1, 2002 to January 1, 2007. In a power region outside the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) if customer choice is introduced before the date the commission certifies the power region pursuant to PURA §39.152(a) are met, the price to beat period continues, unless changed by the commission in accordance with PURA Chapter 39, until the later of 60 months after the date customer choice is introduced in the power region or the date the commission certifies the power region as a qualified power region.

  (7) Provider of last resort (POLR)--As defined in §25.43 of this title (relating to Provider of Last Resort).

  (8) Representative power price--The simple average of the results of:

    (A) a request for proposals (RFP) for full-requirements service of 10% of price to beat load for a duration of three years expressed in cents per kWh; and

    (B) the price resulting from the capacity auctions of the affiliated power generation company (PGC) required by §25.381 of this title (relating to Capacity Auctions) for baseload capacity entitlements auctioned in the ERCOT zone where the majority of price to beat customers reside, expressed in cents per kWh. The calculation of the price resulting from the capacity auctions shall assume dispatch of 100% of the entitlement and shall use the most recent auction of a 12-month forward strip of entitlements, or the most recent aggregated forward 12 months of entitlements. The affiliated REP, at its option, may conduct an RFP or purchase auction for an amount equivalent to the amount, in MWs, of the affiliated PGC's capacity auction for the September 2001 12-month forward strip baseload entitlements.

  (9) Residential customer--Retail customers classified as residential by the applicable transmission and distribution utility tariff or, in the absence of classification under a residential rate class, those retail customers that are primarily end users consuming electricity for personal, family or household purposes and who are not resellers of electricity.

  (10) Small commercial customer--A non-residential retail customer having a peak demand of 1,000 kilowatts (kW) or less. For purposes of this section, the term small commercial customer refers to a metered point of delivery. Additionally, any non-residential, non-metered point of delivery with peak demand of less than 1,000 kW shall also be considered a small commercial customer. For purposes of subsection (i) of this section, unmetered guard and security lights are not considered small commercial customers unless such an account has historically been treated as a separate customer for billing purposes.

  (11) Transmission and distribution utility--As defined in §25.5 of this title (relating to Definitions), except for purposes of this section, this term does not include a river authority.

(d) Price to beat offer.

  (1) Beginning with the first billing cycle of the price to beat period and continuing through the last billing cycle of the price to beat period, an affiliated REP shall make available to residential and small commercial customers of its affiliated transmission and distribution utility rates that, subject to the exception listed in subsection (f)(2)(A) of this section, on a bundled basis, are 6.0% less than the affiliated electric utility's corresponding average residential and small commercial rates that were in effect on January 1, 1999, adjusted to reflect the fuel factor determined in accordance with subsection (f)(3)(D) of this section and adjusted for any base rate reduction as stipulated to by an electric utility in a proceeding for which a final order had not been issued by January 1, 1999.

  (2) Unless specifically required by commission rule, an affiliated REP may only sell electricity to price to beat customers labeled or marketed as "green," "renewable," "interruptible," "experimental," "time of use," "curtailable," or "real time," if and only if such a tariff option existed on January 1, 1999 and only for service under the price to beat rate that was developed from that tariff.

(e) Eligibility for the price to beat. The following criteria shall be used in determining eligibility for the price to beat:

  (1) Residential customers. All current and future residential customers, as defined by this section, shall be eligible for the price to beat rate(s) for which they meet the eligibility criteria in the applicable price to beat tariffs for the duration of the price to beat period. An affiliated REP may not refuse service under the price to beat to a residential customer except as provided by §25.477 of this title (relating to Refusal of Service). An affiliated REP may not require residential customers to enter into service agreements with a term of service as a condition of obtaining service under the price to beat, nor may an affiliated REP provide any inducements to encourage customers to agree to a term of service in conjunction with service under the price to beat.

  (2) Small commercial customers.

    (A) A non-residential customer taking service from the affiliated electric utility on December 31, 2001, shall be considered a small commercial customer under this section and shall be eligible for service under price to beat tariffs if that customer's peak demand during the 12 consecutive months ending on September 30, 2001, does not exceed 1,000 kilowatts (kW). A non-residential customer with a peak demand in excess of 1,000 kW during the 12 months ending September 30, 2001, or during the price to beat period, shall no longer be considered a small commercial customer under this section. However, any non-residential customer whose peak demand does not exceed 1,000 kW for any period of 12 consecutive months after it became ineligible to be a small commercial customer under this section shall be considered a small commercial customer for billing periods going forward for purposes of this section.

    (B) All small commercial customers, as defined by this section, shall be eligible for the price to beat rate(s) for which they meet the eligibility criteria in the applicable price to beat tariffs for the duration of the price to beat period. An affiliated REP may not refuse service under the price to beat to a small commercial customer, except as provided by §25.477 of this title. An affiliated REP may not require small commercial customers to enter into service agreements with a term of service as a condition to obtaining service under the price to beat, nor may an affiliated REP provide any inducements to encourage customers to agree to a term of service in conjunction with service under the price to beat.

(f) Calculation of the price to beat.

  (1) Rates to be used for price to beat calculation. The following criteria shall be used in determining the rates to be used for the price to beat calculation.

    (A) Residential. A price to beat rate shall be calculated for each rate and service rider under which a residential customer was taking service on January 1, 1999, except as approved by the commission pursuant to subparagraph (C) of this paragraph. A price to beat rate shall not be calculated for any new service or tariff option granted to an affiliated electric utility pursuant to PURA §39.054, or any other rate or tariff option not in effect on January 1, 1999.

      (i) Beginning with the first full billing cycle of the price to beat period, residential customers served by the affiliated REP shall be placed on the price to beat rate derived from the rate under which they were taking service on December 31, 2001.

      (ii) Beginning with the first full billing cycle of the price to beat period, residential customers served by the affiliated REP who were taking service under a rate for which a price to beat rate was not developed, shall be placed on the price to beat rate derived from any eligible residential rate that was or would have been available to the customer on January 1, 1999.

      (iii) New residential customers after December 31, 2001, may choose any price to beat rate for which they meet the eligibility requirements as detailed in the applicable price to beat tariff.

      (iv) Residential customers who return to the affiliated REP after being served by a non-affiliated REP may choose any price to beat for which they meet the eligibility requirements as detailed in the applicable price to beat tariff(s).

      (v) Notwithstanding clauses (i)-(iv) of this subparagraph, residential customers may request service under any price to beat rate for which they are eligible. Selection of the most advantageous rate shall be the sole responsibility of the residential customer.

    (B) Small commercial. A price to beat rate shall be calculated for each rate and service rider under which a small commercial customer was taking service on January 1, 1999, except as approved by the commission pursuant to subparagraph (C) of this paragraph. A price to beat rate shall not be calculated for any new service or tariff option granted to an affiliated electric utility pursuant to PURA §39.054, or for any rate of tariff option not in effect on January 1, 1999.

      (i) Beginning with the first full billing cycle of the price to beat period, small commercial customers served by the affiliated REP shall be placed on the price to beat rate derived from the rate under which they were taking service on December 31, 2001.

      (ii) Beginning with the first full billing cycle of the price to beat period, small commercial customers served by the affiliated REP beginning in January of 2002, who were taking service under a rate for which a price to beat rate was not developed, shall be placed on a price to beat rate derived from an eligible rate that was or would have been available to the customer on January 1, 1999.

      (iii) New small commercial customers after December 31, 2001, may choose any price to beat rate for which they meet the eligibility requirements as detailed in the applicable price to beat tariff.

      (iv) Small commercial customers who return to the affiliated REP after being served by a non-affiliated REP may choose any price to beat rate for which they meet the eligibility requirements as detailed in the price to beat tariff(s).

      (v) Notwithstanding clauses (i)-(iv) of this subparagraph, small commercial customers may request service under any price to beat tariff for which they are eligible. Selection of the most advantageous rate shall be the sole responsibility of the small commercial customer.

    (C) An electric utility, on behalf of its future affiliated REP, shall file within 60 days of the effective date of this section, price to beat tariffs and supporting workpapers for the price to beat rates developed in accordance with subparagraphs (A) and (B) of this paragraph. At the time of this filing, the affiliated REP may request that a price to beat rate not be developed from a particular rate of service rider along with justification for the request. The electric utility shall provide notice to all customers currently taking service under such rates or service riders of the utility's request.

Cont'd...

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