Texas Complainant Appeals Case Over TDU Rate Class Change, Retail Provider Pricing To Supreme Court
A customer (Nawaid Isa) has appealed to the Texas Supreme Court a suit alleging deceptive practices by a TDU and REP due to the TDU rate classification change resulting from installation of lights for a cricket field, and attendant REP price change, and any notices related thereto
A Texas Court of Appeals had last year dismissed the suit, citing a lack of jurisdiction as all remedies before the Texas PUC had not been exhausted
Among the questions presented on appeal is whether "lawsuit for damages supported by agency’s decision" constitutes an "appeal for judicial review of agency’s decision where a motion for rehearing is mandatory"?
The case was ultimately dismissed by the PUC, with no precedential findings related to REPs' obligation to notify customers of TDU rate class changes (and therefore price changes), because the REP credited the customer for the disputed charges and there was no remaining relief which the customer could receive from litigating the case before the PUCT (see story here).
However, earlier in the case, SOAH Order No. 7 had concluded that the Commission's Customer Protection Rule regarding "Unauthorized Charges" imposes an additional requirement on REPs to provide explicit advanced notice and to obtain prior consent before passing through any changes in TDU charges. The order did so by determining that P.U.C. SUBST. R. 25.481(b)(1) applies to changes in TDU charges resulting from TDU Rate Schedule changes and "requires a REP to 'explicitly inform the customer' of any charges before those charges appear on the customer's electric bill." (see story here)