Texas electric complaints down, violation rate up

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Tilford Vik, Houston-area a retiree who has complained often to the PUC about electric bills.(Chronicle/Steve Campbell)

The total number of consumer complaints about electric service in Texas dropped 7 percent in 2007 from a year earlier but the percentage of complaints that were confirmed violations of state rules was up, according to data compiled by Regulatory Compliance Service. (see list of companies below)
The Public Utility Commission of Texas received 10,609 complaints related to electric service in 2007, compared to 11,361 in 2006. The PUC investigated 8,673 of the complaints in calendar year 2007 (compared to 8,666 in 2006). Most of the investigations were related to Retail Electric Providers (REPs — thing Reliant Energy, Gexa, Green Mountain etc.), which accounted for 6,647 of the 8,673 complaints.

“Complaint volumes are well down from 2003 levels when more than 12,000 REP complaints were investigated at the PUCT. The PUCT staff determined that REPs violated commission rules on approximately 12% of the complaints investigated in 2007, up from 6% in 2005 and 10% last year.”

The kinds of complaints?
Billing issues:
4,339, a 19 percent decrease.
Percentage found to be violations: 12 percent
Slamming (unauthorized switching of service):
416, an increase of more than 60 percent.
Percentage found to be violations: 25 percnet
Here’s a partial list of companies, the number of complaint investigations conducted and the violation rate. Violation rates are calculated based on the number of PUC complaints investigated and closed, not on the number of complaints received. Only companies that had 10 or more investigations are included below.

2007_complaint_data Data courtesy of Regulatory Compliance Service.

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