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Relating to the regulation of certain retail electric products.
No significant fiscal implication to the State is anticipated.
HB 16 would ban variable rate wholesale electricity plans like Griddy for residential and small commercial customers.
The senate substitute would allow non-residential/small commercial customers to purchase wholesale indexed electricity plans and would also require a retail electric provider to provide a residential customer who has a
fixed rate product with at least three written notices, rather than one written
notice, of the date the fixed rate product will expire. This bill would also now require a retail electric provider, if the
customer does not select another retail electric product before the expiration of the
customer's contract term with the provider, to automatically serve the customer
through a default renewal product that the customer is authorized to cancel at any
time without a fee.
Texas Action opposes HB 16 as this bill restricts the free market, violates individual liberty, oversteps the proper role of limited government, and denies the personal responsibility of consumers. This bill would restrict a consumer's right to choose what type of plan they want and a seller's right to decide what type of plan they'd like to sell. This would limit experimentation and innovation in different pricing schemes that would lead to increased consumer choice and lower prices. It is not the Texas government's job to protect consumers from making potentially bad financial decisions. The state's role is only to make sure consumers are informed about the risks and free to make their choice without coercion.
The senate substitute made no changes to our initial vote recommendation. We opposed it on the House Floor and continue to oppose it.