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RULE §25.27Retail Electric Service Switchovers

single base charge and a single base charge adder to be used by all electric utilities. Likewise, the commission may, through the issuance of an order, establish fixed dollar charges for components of the facilities recovery charge.

    (E) Payment of switchover fee and other charges. Before the connecting utility provides service, the disconnecting utility has the right to receive payment of the switchover fee and any other outstanding charges. The connecting utility shall not reimburse the consumer for the switchover fee, and may pay the switchover fee only if the consumer agrees prior to the connecting utility's payment of the fee that the consumer will reimburse the connecting utility for the fee. The agreement must contain a plan for the payment of the fee within a reasonable period of time.

  (2) Procedure for full switchover.

    (A) Notice of switchover fee and procedure. Upon receiving a request for a full switchover, the disconnecting utility must provide the consumer a document that quantifies the switchover fee within 15 working days. This document must be in 12 point, non-bold type and must itemize the base charge, base charge adder, and the facilities recovery charge of the switchover fee. In addition, the document must itemize the components of the facilities recovery charge, including a description of the idle facilities, the installation dates of the idle facilities, the original cost of the idle facilities, the accumulated depreciation associated with the idle facilities, the depreciation rates used to calculate the accumulated depreciation, transportation charges for removing the idle facilities, labor rates, labor hours for removing the idle facilities, and the gross salvage value of the idle facilities. The document must also state immediately below these itemizations, in bold, and in not less than 12 point type: "(Disconnecting utility) may not impose a facilities recovery charge under the circumstances described in Public Utility Commission of Texas Substantive Rule §25.27(f)(1)(B)(i). On request, you will be provided a copy of Rule §25.27."

    (B) Sale of both common and idle facilities. If a group of consumers request switchovers, the switchovers may necessitate that the connecting utility acquire common and idle facilities in that case. Within 15 working days of receipt of a request from the connecting utility, the disconnecting utility must provide by fax and mail a detailed, reasonable estimate of replacement cost less depreciation for the idle facilities and the common facilities used to serve the consuming facilities to be switched, but not used to serve any consuming facilities not being switched.

    (C) Offer to purchase facilities. Within five working days of receipt of an offer to purchase idle and/or common facilities under the conditions described in paragraph (1)(B)(i) of this subsection, the disconnecting utility must notify the connecting utility by fax, with copies by mail or fax to the consumers, whether it accepts or rejects the offer. If the disconnecting utility rejects the offer, it must also provide revised switchover fees that delete the facilities recovery charges, at the same time that it provides notice of rejection of the offer.

    (D) Payment of switchover fee and outstanding balances. Until the switchover fee and all outstanding balances are paid to the disconnecting utility, neither the disconnecting utility nor the connecting utility is under any obligation to take steps to make the switchover, and the connecting utility must not provide service to the consuming facility being switched until it receives notice from the disconnecting utility that the switchover can proceed. The disconnecting utility must within the following deadlines from the receipt of payment, notify the connecting utility by fax that the switchover can proceed: two working days for payment by cash, money order, cashier's check, or, if accepted by the disconnecting utility for bill payment, credit card, and five working days for payment by personal check or other forms of payment.

    (E) Deadline for full switchover. Once the disconnecting utility notifies the connecting utility that the switchover can proceed and once the connecting utility notifies the disconnecting utility by fax that the consumer has satisfied the conditions for service from the connecting utility, the switchover must be completed within ten working days unless the consumer agrees to a longer schedule, good cause exists for the disconnecting utility not being able to complete the switchover within ten working days, or the connecting utility needs more time to install facilities, so long as the connecting utility complies with the rules concerning responses to requests for service that apply regardless of whether the request relates to a switchover. If the disconnecting utility does not meet the deadline, then the disconnecting utility must notify the consumer, with copies to the commission's Office of Customer Protection and the connecting utility, providing the reasons why the switchover has been delayed and when the switchover will be completed. This notice must be provided as soon as possible, by fax to the commission's Office of Customer Protection, the connecting utility and, if possible, the consumer.

    (F) Consumer's failure to pay. The consumer may continue to incur charges for retail electric service from the disconnecting utility after the consumer pays the switchover fee and outstanding balances, and may have an unfulfilled contractual obligation that requires future payment of charges to the disconnecting utility. The disconnecting utility has the right to payment of these charges consistent with §23.45 of this title (relating to Billing). If the consumer has not paid the charges within the appropriate time, the disconnecting utility may notify the connecting utility of the consumer's failure to pay and request that the consumer be disconnected, and must at the same time provide a copy of the notice to the consumer, by fax if possible. Upon receipt of such notification and request and upon receipt from the disconnecting utility of an agreement indemnifying the connecting utility from liability for improper cause for disconnection of service, the connecting utility must disconnect the consumer's service in compliance with the procedures in §23.46 of this title (relating to Discontinuance of Service). Immediately upon verification of the consumer's correction of its failure, the disconnecting utility must notify the connecting utility by fax that the consumer's failure has been corrected, and the connecting utility must immediately reconnect service. The connecting utility shall charge a switching customer any disconnection or reconnection fee that applies to all disconnected customers, not just those who have been disconnected pursuant to this subparagraph.

(g) Complaint concerning a switchover. A consumer complaint to the commission concerning a switchover shall be handled according to §23.41(c) of this title (relating to Customer Relations), with the following modification. The commission will forward a complaint that it receives to both the disconnecting utility and the connecting utility, and both utilities must provide an initial response within the deadline specified in §23.41(c).

(h) Compliance tariff provisions. An electric utility that has the right to serve in an area for which another utility also has the right to provide retail electric service shall include in its tariff a section entitled "Retail Electric Service Switchovers". Immediately below this title, the tariff shall state: "A request to switch service to a consuming facility to another utility that has the right to serve the facility shall be handled pursuant to Public Utility Commission of Texas Substantive Rule §25.27, a copy of which will be provided upon request." Immediately below this statement, the tariff must specify the electric utility's base charge and base charge adder. The electric utility's tariff shall not include any other information addressing retail electric service switchovers.

Source Note: The provisions of this §25.27 adopted to be effective March 2, 1999, 24 TexReg 1368

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