HB 898

83(R) - 2013
Energy & Environment
State Affairs

Vote Recommendation

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Brandon Creighton

Bill Caption

relating to standards for power lines.

Fiscal Notes

No fiscal implication to the State is anticipated. Municipal electric utilities and electric co-ops would require minimal actions to implement the provisions of the bill. There may be significant savings, but those amounts would vary depending on current procedures, the size of the jurisdiction,and the number of lines

Bill Analysis

Summary: This legislation requires municipal electric utilities construct, operate, and maintain its transmission lines and distribution lines along highways and other places in accordance with the National Electrical Safety Code. With regard to clearances, utilities that are not municipal would be required to follow the same standards.

Analysis: Currently in Texas there are numerous and conflicting definitions of "distribution" lines.  A recent court ruling has ordered a specific height requirement be applied  to transmission lines only.  The problem is that according to Texas definitions, some distribution lines are labeled as transmission lines according to National definitions and standards.  This bill clarifies and defines "Transmission and Distribution lines", to spare very costly rate hikes to customers due to existing definitional conflict requiring certain clearance heights. All lines remain in accordance with National Safety Standards.