|(a) Application. This subchapter applies to aggregators
and retail electric providers (REPs). In addition, where specifically
stated, these rules apply to transmission and distribution utilities
(TDUs), the registration agent, brokers and power generation companies.
These rules specify when certain provisions are applicable only to
some, but not all, of these providers.
(1) Affiliated REP customer protection rules, to the
extent the rules differ from those applicable to all REPs or those
that apply to the provider of last resort (POLR), do not apply to
the affiliated REP when serving customers outside the geographic area
served by its affiliated transmission and distribution utility. The
affiliated REP customer protection rules apply until the price-to-beat
obligation ends in the affiliated REPs' affiliated TDU service territory.
(2) Requirements applicable to a POLR apply to a REP
only in its provision of service as a POLR.
(3) The rules in this subchapter are minimum, mandatory
requirements that must be offered to or complied with for all customers
unless otherwise specified. Except for the provisions of §25.495
of this title (relating to Unauthorized Change of Retail Electric
Provider), §25.481 of this title (relating to Unauthorized Charges), §25.485(a)
- (b) of this title (relating to Customer Access and Complaint Handling),
and §25.499 (relating to Acknowledgement of Risk Requirements
for Certain Commercial Contracts), a customer other than a residential
or small commercial class customer, or a non-residential customer
whose load is part of an aggregation in excess of 50 kilowatts, may
agree to terms of service that reflect either a higher or lower level
of customer protections than would otherwise apply under these rules.
Any agreements containing materially different protections from those
specified in these rules must be reduced to writing and provided to
the customer. Additionally, copies of such agreements must be provided
to the commission upon request.
(4) The rules of this subchapter control over any inconsistent
provisions, terms, or conditions of a REP's terms of service or other
documents describing service offerings for customers in Texas.
(5) For purposes of this subchapter, a municipally
owned utility or electric cooperative is subject to the same provisions
as a REP where the municipally owned utility or electric cooperative
sells retail electricity service outside its certificated service
(b) Purpose. The purposes of this subchapter are to:
(1) provide minimum standards for customer protection.
An aggregator or REP may adopt higher standards for customer protection,
provided that the prohibition on discrimination set forth in subsection
(c) of this section is not violated;
(2) provide customer protections and disclosures established
by other state and federal laws and rules including but not limited
to the Fair Credit Reporting Act (15 U.S.C. §1681, et seq.) and
the Truth in Lending Act (15 U.S.C. §1601, et seq.). Such protections
are applicable where appropriate, whether or not it is explicitly
stated in these rules;
(3) provide customers with sufficient information to
make informed decisions about electric service in a competitive market;
(4) prohibit fraudulent, unfair, misleading, deceptive,
or anticompetitive acts and practices by aggregators, REPs, and brokers
in the marketing, solicitation and sale of electric service, in the
administration of any terms of service for electric service and in
providing advice or procurement services to, or acting on behalf of,
a retail electric customer regarding the selection of a retail electric
provider, or a product or service offered by a retail electric provider.
(c) Prohibition against discrimination. This subchapter
prohibits REPs from unduly refusing to provide electric service or
otherwise unduly discriminating in the marketing and provision of
electric service to any customer because of race, creed, color, national
origin, ancestry, sex, marital status, lawful source of income, level
of income, disability, familial status, location of customer in an
economically distressed geographic area, or qualification for low-income
or energy efficiency services.
(d) Definitions. For the purposes of this subchapter
the following words and terms have the following meaning, unless the
context indicates otherwise:
(1) Applicant--A person who applies for electric service
via a move-in or switch with a REP that is not currently the person's
REP of record or applies for aggregation services with an aggregator
from whom the person is not currently receiving aggregation services.
(2) Burned Veteran--A customer who is a military veteran
who a medical doctor certifies has a significantly decreased ability
to regulate body temperature because of severe burns received in combat.
(3) Competitive energy services--As defined in §25.341
of this title (relating to Definitions).
(4) Customer--A person who is currently receiving retail
electric service from a REP in the person's own name or the name of
the person's spouse, or the name of an authorized representative of
a partnership, corporation, or other legal entity, including a person
who is changing premises but is not changing their REP.
(5) Electric service--Combination of the transmission
and distribution service provided by a transmission and distribution
utility, municipally owned utility, or electric cooperative, metering
service provided by a TDU or a competitive metering provider, and
the generation service provided to an end-use customer by a REP. This
term does not include optional competitive energy services, as defined
in §25.341 of this title, that are not required for the customer
to obtain service from a REP.
(6) Energy service--As defined in §25.223 of this
title (relating to Unbundling of Energy Service).
(7) Enrollment--The process of obtaining authorization
and verification for a request for service that is a move-in or switch
in accordance with this subchapter.
(8) In writing--Written words memorialized on paper
or sent electronically.
(9) Move-in--A request for service to a new premise
where a customer of record is initially established or to an existing
premise where the customer of record changes.
(10) Retail electric provider (REP)--Any entity as
defined in §25.5 of this title (relating to Definitions). For
purposes of this rule, a municipally owned utility or an electric
cooperative is only considered a REP where it sells retail electric
power and energy outside its certified service territory. An agent
of the REP may perform all or part of the REP's responsibilities pursuant
to this subchapter. For purposes of this subchapter, the REP will
be responsible for the actions of the agent.
(11) Small commercial customer--A non-residential customer
that has a peak demand of less than 50 kilowatts during any 12-month
period, unless the customer's load is part of an aggregation program
whose peak demand is in excess of 50 kilowatts during the same 12-
(12) Switch--The process by which a person changes
REPs without changing premises.
(13) Termination of service--The cancellation or expiration
of a service agreement or contract by a REP or customer.
|Source Note: The provisions of this §25.471 adopted to be effective January 15, 2001, 26 TexReg 125; amended to be effective May 19, 2004, 29 TexReg 4756; amended to be effective January 9, 2014, 39 TexReg 212; amended to be effective June 4, 2020, 45 TexReg 3627; amended to be effective January 6, 2022, 46 TexReg 9242