Don’t ask Brian Lloyd a question in public about cases before the Texas Public Utility Commission unless you want him to share details of your own company’s problems first. At least that’s what Lloyd, the PUC’s director of Retail Market Oversight, told attendees at the Gulf Coast Power Association’s Spring conference in the Woodlands Thursday.
“Having former commissioners call me to talk about your case also isn’t going to help,” Lloyd joked as he gave a nod to Pat Wood, the former chairman of the PUC and former head of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, who was one of several former commissioners at the event.
While PUC staff generally don’t comment on the legislative process, Lloyd answered a couple of questions related to a story the Chronicle ran this week about proposed legislation that would take the PUC out of the equation when it came to disputes between retail electric companies and businesses. (note: that language has since been changed but it’s not clear what the final bill will look like).
Q: About 10 percent of the electric complaints the PUC had last year were from companies (vs. residential customers), but does that mean enforcement staff only spent 10 percent of their time/efforts on those cases?
A: All enforcement actions are labor intensive but whether they come from residential or commercial customers isn’t a good determinant of the amount of time they will take. Some of the commercial cases can be more complicated, but not always.
Lloyd also said he was concerned not being allowed to intervene in certain cases would prevent his staff from looking the full range of issues in the state’s electric markets, “… but there are plenty of issues to look at just on the residential side, too.”