Laws Lawyers Find Laws Legal Forms State Laws Bills

TEXAS STATUTES AND CODES

CHAPTER 13. WATER RATES AND SERVICES

Listen
WATER CODETITLE 2. WATER ADMINISTRATIONSUBTITLE B. WATER RIGHTSCHAPTER 13. WATER RATES AND SERVICESSUBCHAPTER A. GENERAL PROVISIONSSec. 13.001.LEGISLATIVE POLICY AND PURPOSE.(a)This chapter is adopted to protect the public interest inherent in the rates and services of retail public utilities.(b)The legislature finds that:(1)retail public utilities are by definition monopolies in the areas they serve; (2)the normal forces of competition that operate to regulate prices in a free enterprise society do not operate for the reason stated in Subdivision (1) of this subsection;and(3)retail public utility rates, operations, and services are regulated by public agencies, with the objective that this regulation will operate as a substitute for competition.(c)The purpose of this chapter is to establish a comprehensive regulatory system that is adequate to the task of regulating retail public utilities to assure rates, operations, and services that are just and reasonable to the consumers and to the retail public utilities.Added by Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 795, Sec. 3.005, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.Amended by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 567, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.Sec. 13.002.DEFINITIONS.In this chapter:(1)"Affected person" means any landowner within an area for which a certificate of public convenience and necessity is filed, any retail public utility affected by any action of the regulatory authority, any person or corporation whose utility service or rates are affected by any proceeding before the regulatory authority, or any person or corporation that is a competitor of a retail public utility with respect to any service performed by the retail public utility or that desires to enter into competition.(1-a)"Landowner," "owner of a tract of land," and "owners of each tract of land" include multiple owners of a single deeded tract of land as shown on the appraisal roll of the appraisal district established for each county in which the property is located.(2)"Affiliated interest" or "affiliate" means:(A)any person or corporation owning or holding directly or indirectly five percent or more of the voting securities of a utility; (B)any person or corporation in any chain of successive ownership of five percent or more of the voting securities of a utility; (C)any corporation five percent or more of the voting securities of which is owned or controlled directly or indirectly by a utility; (D)any corporation five percent or more of the voting securities of which is owned or controlled directly or indirectly by any person or corporation that owns or controls directly or indirectly five percent or more of the voting securities of any utility or by any person or corporation in any chain of successive ownership of five percent of those utility securities; (E)any person who is an officer or director of a utility or of any corporation in any chain of successive ownership of five percent or more of voting securities of a public utility; (F)any person or corporation that the commission, after notice and hearing, determines actually exercises any substantial influence or control over the policies and actions of a utility or over which a utility exercises such control or that is under common control with a utility, such control being the possession directly or indirectly of the power to direct or cause the direction of the management and policies of another, whether that power is established through ownership or voting of securities or by any other direct or indirect means;or(G)any person or corporation that the commission, after notice and hearing, determines is exercising substantial influence over the policies and actions of the utility in conjunction with one or more persons or corporations with which they are related by ownership or blood relationship, or by action in concert, that together they are affiliated within the meaning of this section, even though no one of them alone is so affiliated.(3)"Allocations" means, for all retail public utilities, the division of plant, revenues, expenses, taxes and reserves between municipalities or between municipalities and unincorporated areas, where those items are used for providing water or sewer utility service in a municipality or for a municipality and unincorporated areas.(4)"Board" means the Texas Water Development Board.(5)"Commission" means the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.(6)"Commissioner" means a member of the commission.(7)"Corporation" means any corporation, joint-stock company, or association, domestic or foreign, and its lessees, assignees, trustees, receivers, or other successors in interest, having any of the powers or privileges of corporations not possessed by individuals or partnerships but does not include municipal corporations unless expressly provided in this chapter.(8)"Executive director" means the executive director of the commission.(9)"Facilities" means all the plant and equipment of a retail public utility, including all tangible and intangible real and personal property without limitation, and any and all means and instrumentalities in any manner owned, operated, leased, licensed, used, controlled, furnished, or supplied for, by, or in connection with the business of any retail public utility.(10)"Incident of tenancy" means water or sewer service, provided to tenants of rental property, for which no separate or additional service fee is charged other than the rental payment.(11)"Member" means a person who holds a membership in a water supply or sewer service corporation and is a record owner of a fee simple title to property in an area served by a water supply or sewer service corporation or a person who is granted a membership and who either currently receives or will be eligible to receive water or sewer utility service from the corporation.In determining member control of a water supply or sewer service corporation, a person is entitled to only one vote regardless of the number of memberships the person owns.(12)"Municipality" means cities existing, created, or organized under the general, home-rule, or special laws of this state.(13)"Municipally owned utility" means any utility owned, operated, and controlled by a municipality or by a nonprofit corporation whose directors are appointed by one or more municipalities.(14)"Order" means the whole or a part of the final disposition, whether affirmative, negative, injunctive, or declaratory in form, of the regulatory authority in a matter other than rulemaking, but including issuance of certificates of convenience and necessity and rate setting.(15)"Person" includes natural persons, partnerships of two or more persons having a joint or common interest, mutual or cooperative associations, water supply or sewer service corporations, and corporations.(16)"Proceeding" means any hearing, investigation, inquiry, or other fact-finding or decision-making procedure under this chapter and includes the denial of relief or the dismissal of a complaint.(17)"Rate" means every compensation, tariff, charge, fare, toll, rental, and classification or any of those items demanded, observed, charged, or collected whether directly or indirectly by any retail public utility for any service, product, or commodity described in Subdivision (23) of this section and any rules, regulations, practices, or contracts affecting that compensation, tariff, charge, fare, toll, rental, or classification.(18)"Regulatory authority" means, in accordance with the context in which it is found, either the commission or the governing body of a municipality.(19)"Retail public utility" means any person, corporation, public utility, water supply or sewer service corporation, municipality, political subdivision or agency operating, maintaining, or controlling in this state facilities for providing potable water service or sewer service, or both, for compensation.(20)"Retail water or sewer utility service" means potable water service or sewer service, or both, provided by a retail public utility to the ultimate consumer for compensation.(21)"Service" means any act performed, anything furnished or supplied, and any facilities or lines committed or used by a retail public utility in the performance of its duties under this chapter to its patrons, employees, other retail public utilities, and the public, as well as the interchange of facilities between two or more retail public utilities.(22)"Test year" means the most recent 12-month period for which representative operating data for a retail public utility are available.A utility rate filing must be based on a test year that ended less than 12 months before the date on which the utility made the rate filing.(23)"Water and sewer utility," "public utility," or "utility" means any person, corporation, cooperative corporation, affected county, or any combination of these persons or entities, other than a municipal corporation, water supply or sewer service corporation, or a political subdivision of the state, except an affected county, or their lessees, trustees, and receivers, owning or operating for compensation in this state equipment or facilities for the transmission, storage, distribution, sale, or provision of potable water to the public or for the resale of potable water to the public for any use or for the collection, transportation, treatment, or disposal of sewage or other operation of a sewage disposal service for the public, other than equipment or facilities owned and operated for either purpose by a municipality or other political subdivision of this state or a water supply or sewer service corporation, but does not include any person or corporation not otherwise a public utility that furnishes the services or commodity only to itself or its employees or tenants as an incident of that employee service or tenancy when that service or commodity is not resold to or used by others.(24)"Water supply or sewer service corporation" means a nonprofit corporation organized and operating under Chapter 67 that provides potable water service or sewer service for compensation and that has adopted and is operating in accordance with by-laws or articles of incorporation which ensure that it is member-owned and member-controlled.The term does not include a corporation that provides retail water or sewer service to a person who is not a member, except that the corporation may provide retail water or sewer service to a person who is not a member if the person only builds on or develops property to sell to another and the service is provided on an interim basis before the property is sold.(25)"Wholesale water or sewer service" means potable water or sewer service, or both, provided to a person, political subdivision, or municipality who is not the ultimate consumer of the service.(26)"Affected county" is a county to which Subchapter B, Chapter 232, Local Government Code, applies.Added by Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 795, Sec. 3.005, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.Amended by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 539, Sec. 1, 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1987;Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 567, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1989;Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1991;Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., 1st C.S., ch. 3, Sec. 1.058, eff. Aug. 12, 1991;Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 400, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995;Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 979, Sec. 6, eff. June 16, 1995;Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1010, Sec. 6.02, eff. Sept. 1, 1997;Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 62, Sec. 18.52, eff. Sept. 1, 1999;Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 404, Sec. 29, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.Amended by: Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 1145, Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2005.Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1430, Sec. 2.05, eff. September 1, 2007.Sec. 13.003.APPLICABILITY OF ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEDURE AND TEXAS REGISTER ACT.Chapter 2001, Government Code applies to all proceedings under this chapter except to the extent inconsistent with this chapter.Added by Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 795, Sec. 3.005, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 76, Sec. 5.95(49), eff. Sept. 1, 1995.Sec. 13.004.JURISDICTION OF COMMISSION OVER CERTAIN WATER SUPPLY OR SEWER SERVICE CORPORATIONS.(a)Notwithstanding any other law, the commission has the same jurisdiction over a water supply or sewer service corporation that the commission has under this chapter over a water and sewer utility if the commission finds that the water supply or sewer service corporation:(1)is failing to conduct annual or special meetings in compliance with Section 67.007; or(2)is operating in a manner that does not comply with the requirements for classifications as a nonprofit water supply or sewer service corporation prescribed by Sections 13.002(11) and (24).(b)If the water supply or sewer service corporation voluntarily converts to a special utility district operating under Chapter 65, the commission's jurisdiction provided by this section ends.Added by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 1057, Sec. 1.01, eff. September 1, 2005.SUBCHAPTER B. ADMINISTRATIVE PROVISIONSSec. 13.011.EMPLOYEES.(a)The executive director, subject to approval by the commission, shall employ any engineering, accounting, and administrative personnel necessary to carry out this chapter.(b)The executive director and the commission's staff are responsible for the gathering of information relating to all matters within the jurisdiction of the commission under this subchapter.The duties of the executive director and the staff include:(1)accumulation of evidence and other information from water and sewer utilities and from the commission and the board and from other sources for the purposes specified by this chapter;(2)preparation and presentation of evidence before the commission or its appointed examiner in proceedings;(3)conducting investigations of water and sewer utilities under the jurisdiction of the commission;(4)preparation of recommendations that the commission undertake an investigation of any matter within its jurisdiction;(5)preparation of recommendations and a report for inclusion in the annual report of the commission;(6)protection and representation of the public interest, together with the public interest advocate, before the commission;and(7)other activities that are reasonably necessary to enable the executive director and the staff to perform their duties.Added by Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 795, Sec. 3.005, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.Sec. 13.014.ATTORNEY GENERAL TO REPRESENT COMMISSION.The attorney general shall represent the commission under this chapter in all matters before the state courts and any court of the United States.Added by Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 795, Sec. 3.005, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.Sec. 13.015.INFORMAL PROCEEDING.A proceeding involving a retail public utility as defined by Section 13.002 of this code may be an informal proceeding, except that the proceeding is subject to the public notice requirements of this chapter and the rules and orders of the regulatory authority involved.Added by Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 795, Sec. 3.005, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.Amended by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 539, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1, 1987;Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 567, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.Sec. 13.016.RECORD OF PROCEEDINGS;RIGHT TO HEARING.A record shall be kept of all proceedings before the regulatory authority, unless all parties waive the keeping of the record, and all the parties are entitled to be heard in person or by attorney.Added by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 539, Sec. 4, eff. Sept. 1, 1987.SUBCHAPTER C. JURISDICTIONSec. 13.041.GENERAL POWER;RULES;HEARINGS.(a)The commission may regulate and supervise the business of every water and sewer utility within its jurisdiction and may do all things, whether specifically designated in this chapter or implied in this chapter, necessary and convenient to the exercise of this power and jurisdiction.(b)The commission shall adopt and enforce rules reasonably required in the exercise of its powers and jurisdiction, including rules governing practice and procedure before the commission.(c)The commission may call and hold hearings, administer oaths, receive evidence at hearings, issue subpoenas to compel the attendance of witnesses and the production of papers and documents, and make findings of fact and decisions with respect to administering this chapter or the rules, orders, or other actions of the commission.(d)The commission may issue emergency orders, with or without a hearing:(1)to compel a water or sewer service provider that has obtained or is required to obtain a certificate of public convenience and necessity to provide continuous and adequate water service, sewer service, or both, if the discontinuance of the service is imminent or has occurred because of the service provider's actions or failure to act;and(2)to compel a retail public utility to provide an emergency interconnection with a neighboring retail public utility for the provision of temporary water or sewer service, or both, for not more than 90 days if service discontinuance or serious impairment in service is imminent or has occurred.(e)The commission may establish reasonable compensation for the temporary service required under Subsection (d)(2) of this section and may allow the retail public utility receiving the service to make a temporary adjustment to its rate structure to ensure proper payment.(f)If an order is issued under Subsection (d) without a hearing, the order shall fix a time, as soon after the emergency order is issued as is practicable, and place for a hearing to be held before the commission.(g)The regulatory assessment required by Section 5.235(n) of this code is not a rate and is not reviewable by the commission under Section 13.043 of this code.The commission has the authority to enforce payment and collection of the regulatory assessment.Added by Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 795, Sec. 3.005, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.Amended by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 539, Sec. 5, eff. Sept. 1, 1987;Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 567, Sec. 4, eff. Sept. 1, 1989;Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., 1st C.S., ch. 3, Sec. 4.02, eff. Sept. 1, 1991.Sec. 13.042.JURISDICTION OF MUNICIPALITY;ORIGINAL AND APPELLATE JURISDICTION OF COMMISSION.(a)Subject to the limitations imposed in this chapter and for the purpose of regulating rates and services so that those rates may be fair, just, and reasonable and the services adequate and efficient, the governing body of each municipality has exclusive original jurisdiction over all water and sewer utility rates, operations, and services provided by a water and sewer utility within its corporate limits.(b)The governing body of a municipality by ordinance may elect to have the commission exercise exclusive original jurisdiction over the utility rates, operation, and services of utilities, within the incorporated limits of the municipality.(c)The governing body of a municipality that surrenders its jurisdiction to the commission may reinstate its jurisdiction by ordinance at any time after the second anniversary of the date on which the municipality surrendered its jurisdiction to the commission, except that the municipality may not reinstate its jurisdiction during the pendency of a rate proceeding before the commission.The municipality may not surrender its jurisdiction again until the second anniversary of the date on which the municipality reinstates jurisdiction.(d)The commission shall have exclusive appellate jurisdiction to review orders or ordinances of those municipalities as provided in this chapter.(e)The commission shall have exclusive original jurisdiction over water and sewer utility rates, operations, and services not within the incorporated limits of a municipality exercising exclusive original jurisdiction over those rates, operations, and services as provided in this chapter.(f)This subchapter does not give the commission power or jurisdiction to regulate or supervise the rates or service of a utility owned and operated by a municipality, directly or through a municipally owned corporation, within its corporate limits or to affect or limit the power, jurisdiction, or duties of a municipality that regulates land and supervises water and sewer utilities within its corporate limits, except as provided by this code.Added by Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 795, Sec. 3.005, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.Amended by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 539, Sec. 6, eff. Sept. 1, 1987;Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 567, Sec. 5, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.Sec. 13.0421.RATES CHARGED BY CERTAIN MUNICIPALLY OWNED UTILITIES.(a)This section applies to a municipally owned water and sewer utility that on January 1, 1989, required some or all of its wholesale customers to assess a surcharge for service against residential customers who reside outside the municipality's municipal boundaries.(b)A municipality may not require a municipal utility district to assess a surcharge against users of water or sewer service prior to the annexation of the municipal utility district.Added by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 567, Sec. 8, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.Sec. 13.043.APPELLATE JURISDICTION.(a)Any party to a rate proceeding before the governing body of a municipality may appeal the decision of the governing body to the commission.This subsection does not apply to a municipally owned utility.An appeal under this subsection must be initiated within 90 days after the date of notice of the final decision by the governing body by filing a petition for review with the commission and by serving copies on all parties to the original rate proceeding.The commission shall hear the appeal de novo and shall fix in its final order the rates the governing body should have fixed in the action from which the appeal was taken and may include reasonable expenses incurred in the appeal proceedings.The commission may establish the effective date for the commission's rates at the original effective date as proposed by the utility provider and may order refunds or allow a surcharge to recover lost revenues.The commission may consider only the information that was available to the governing body at the time the governing body made its decision and evidence of reasonable expenses incurred in the appeal proceedings.(b)Ratepayers of the following entities may appeal the decision of the governing body of the entity affecting their water, drainage, or sewer rates to the commission:(1)a nonprofit water supply or sewer service corporation created and operating under Chapter 67;(2)a utility under the jurisdiction of a municipality inside the corporate limits of the municipality;(3)a municipally owned utility, if the ratepayers reside outside the corporate limits of the municipality;(4)a district or authority created under Article III, Section 52, or Article XVI, Section 59, of the Texas Constitution that provides water or sewer service to household users;and(5)a utility owned by an affected county, if the ratepayer's rates are actually or may be adversely affected.For the purposes of this section ratepayers who reside outside the boundaries of the district or authority shall be considered a separate class from ratepayers who reside inside those boundaries.(c)An appeal under Subsection (b) of this section must be initiated by filing a petition for review with the commission and the entity providing service within 90 days after the effective day of the rate change or, if appealing under Subdivision (b)(2) or (5) of this section, within 90 days after the date on which the governing body of the municipality or affected county makes a final decision.The petition must be signed by the lesser of 10,000 or 10 percent of those ratepayers whose rates have been changed and who are eligible to appeal under Subsection (b) of this section.(d)In an appeal under Subsection (b) of this section, each person receiving a separate bill is considered a ratepayer, but one person may not be considered more than one ratepayer regardless of the number of bills the person receives.The petition for review is considered properly signed if signed by a person, or the spouse of a person, in whose name utility service is carried.(e)In an appeal under Subsection (b) of this section, the commission shall hear the appeal de novo and shall fix in its final order the rates the governing body should have fixed in the action from which the appeal was taken.The commission may establish the effective date for the commission's rates at the original effective date as proposed by the service provider, may order refunds or allow a surcharge to recover lost revenues, and may allow recovery of reasonable expenses incurred by the retail public utility in the appeal proceedings.The commission may consider only the information that was available to the governing body at the time the governing body made its decision and evidence of reasonable expenses incurred by the retail public utility in the appeal proceedings.The rates established by the commission in an appeal under Subsection (b) of this section remain in effect until the first anniversary of the effective date proposed by the retail public utility for the rates being appealed or until changed by the service provider, whichever date is later, unless the commission determines that a financial hardship exists.(f)A retail public utility that receives water or sewer service from another retail public utility or political subdivision of the state, including an affected county, may appeal to the commission a decision of the provider of water or sewer service affecting the amount paid for water or sewer service.An appeal under this subsection must be initiated within 90 days after the date of notice of the decision is received from the provider of water or sewer service by the filing of a petition by the retail public utility.(g)An applicant for service from an affected county or a water supply or sewer service corporation may appeal to the commission a decision of the county or water supply or sewer service corporation affecting the amount to be paid to obtain service other than the regular membership or tap fees.In addition to the factors specified under Subsection (j), in an appeal brought under this subsection the commission shall determine whether the amount paid by the applicant is consistent with the tariff of the water supply or sewer service corporation and is reasonably related to the cost of installing on-site and off-site facilities to provide service to that applicant.If the commission finds the amount charged to be clearly unreasonable, it shall establish the fee to be paid for that applicant.An appeal under this subsection must be initiated within 90 days after the date written notice is provided to the applicant or member of the decision of an affected county or water supply or sewer service corporation relating to the applicant's initial request for that service.A determination made by the commission on an appeal under this subsection is binding on all similarly situated applicants for service, and the commission may not consider other appeals on the same issue until the applicable provisions of the tariff of the water supply or sewer service corporation are amended.(h)The commission may, on a motion by the executive director or by the appellant under Subsection (a), (b), or (f) of this section, establish interim rates to be in effect until a final decision is made.(i)The governing body of a municipally owned utility or a political subdivision, within 30 days after the date of a final decision on a rate change, shall provide individual written notice to each ratepayer eligible to appeal who resides outside the boundaries of the municipality or the political subdivision.The notice must include, at a minimum, the effective date of the new rates, the new rates, and the location where additional information on rates can be obtained.(j)In an appeal under this section, the commission shall ensure that every rate made, demanded, or received by any retail public utility or by any two or more retail public utilities jointly shall be just and reasonable.Rates shall not be unreasonably preferential, prejudicial, or discriminatory but shall be sufficient, equitable, and consistent in application to each class of customers.The commission shall use a methodology that preserves the financial integrity of the retail public utility.For agreements between municipalities the commission shall consider the terms of any wholesale water or sewer service agreement in an appellate rate proceeding.(k)Not later than the 30th day after the date of a final decision on a rate change, the commissioners court of an affected county shall provide written notice to each ratepayer eligible to appeal.The notice must include the effective date of the new rates, the new rates, and the location where additional information on rates may be obtained.Added by Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 795, Sec. 3.005, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.Amended by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 539, Sec. 7, eff. Sept. 1, 1987;Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 567, Sec. 6, eff. Sept. 1, 1989;Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1991;Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 852, Sec. 2, eff. June 16, 1991;Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 549, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1993;Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 400, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1995;Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 979, Sec. 7, eff. June 16, 1995;Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 62, Sec. 18.53, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.Sec. 13.044.RATES CHARGED BY MUNICIPALITY TO DISTRICT.(a)This section applies to rates charged by a municipality for water or sewer service to a district created pursuant to Article XVI, Section 59, of the Texas Constitution, or to the residents of such district, which district is located within the corporate limits or the extraterritorial jurisdiction of the municipality and the resolution, ordinance, or agreement of the municipality consenting to the creation of the district requires the district to purchase water or sewer service from the municipality.(b)Notwithstanding the provisions of any resolution, ordinance, or agreement, a district may appeal the rates imposed by the municipality by filing a petition with the commission.The commission shall hear the appeal de novo and the municipality shall have the burden of proof to establish that the rates are just and reasonable.The commission shall fix the rates to be charged by the municipality and the municipality may not increase such rates without the approval of the commission.Added by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 567, Sec. 7, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.Sec. 13.045.NOTIFICATION REGARDING USE OF REVENUE.At least annually and before any rate increase, a municipality shall notify in writing each water and sewer retail customer of any service or capital expenditure not water or sewer related funded in whole or in part by customer revenue.Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1010, Sec. 6.28, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.Sec. 13.046.TEMPORARY RATES FOR SERVICES PROVIDED FOR NONFUNCTIONING SYSTEM; SANCTIONS FOR NONCOMPLIANCE.(a)The commission by rule shall establish a procedure that allows a retail public utility that takes over the provision of services for a nonfunctioning retail water or sewer utility service provider to charge a reasonable rate for the services provided to the customers of the nonfunctioning system and to bill the customers for the services at that rate immediately to recover service costs.(b)The rules must provide a streamlined process that the retail public utility that takes over the nonfunctioning system may use to apply to the commission for a ruling on the reasonableness of the rates the utility is charging under Subsection (a).The process must allow for adequate consideration of costs for interconnection or other costs incurred in making services available and of the costs that may necessarily be incurred to bring the nonfunctioning system into compliance with commission rules.(c)The commission shall provide a reasonable period for the retail public utility that takes over the nonfunctioning system to bring the nonfunctioning system into compliance with commission rules during which the commission may not impose a penalty for any deficiency in the system that is present at the time the utility takes over the nonfunctioning system.The commission must consult with the utility before determining the period and may grant an extension of the period for good cause.Added by Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 599, Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2007.SUBCHAPTER D. MUNICIPALITIES AND COUNTIESSec. 13.081.FRANCHISES.This chapter may not be construed as in any way limiting the rights and powers of a municipality to grant or refuse franchises to use the streets and alleys within its limits and to make the statutory charges for their use, but no provision of any franchise agreement may limit or interfere with any power conferred on the commission by this chapter.If a municipality performs regulatory functions under this chapter, it may make such other charges as may be provided in the applicable franchise agreement, together with any other charges permitted by this chapter.Added by Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 795, Sec. 3.005, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.Sec. 13.082.LOCAL UTILITY SERVICE;EXEMPT AND NONEXEMPT AREAS.(a)Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, municipalities shall continue to regulate each kind of local utility service inside their boundaries until the commission has assumed jurisdiction over the respective utility pursuant to this chapter.(b)If a municipality does not surrender its jurisdiction, local utility service within the boundaries of the municipality shall be exempt from regulation by the commission under this chapter to the extent that this chapter applies to local service, and the municipality shall have, regarding service within its boundaries, the right to exercise the same regulatory powers under the same standards and rules as the commission or other standards and rules not inconsistent with them. The commission's rules relating to service and response to requests for service for utilities operating within a municipality's corporate limits apply unless the municipality adopts its own rules.(c)Notwithstanding any election, the commission may consider water and sewer utilities' revenues and return on investment in exempt areas in fixing rates and charges in nonexempt areas and may also exercise the powers conferred necessary to give effect to orders under this chapter for the benefit of nonexempt areas.Likewise, in fixing rates and charges in the exempt area, the governing body may consider water and sewer utilities' revenues and return on investment in nonexempt areas.(d)Utilities serving exempt areas are subject to the reporting requirements of this chapter.Those reports and tariffs shall be filed with the governing body of the municipality as well as with the commission.(e)This section does not limit the duty and power of the commission to regulate service and rates of municipally regulated water and sewer utilities for service provided to other areas in Texas.Added by Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 795, Sec. 3.005, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.Amended by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 567, Sec. 9, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.Sec. 13.083.RATE DETERMINATION.A municipality regulating its water and sewer utilities under this chapter shall require from those utilities all necessary data to make a reasonable determination of rate base, expenses, investment, and rate of return within the municipal boundaries.The standards for this determination shall be based on the procedures and requirements of this chapter, and the municipality shall retain any personnel necessary to make the determination of reasonable rates required under this chapter.Added by Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 795, Sec. 3.005, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.Sec. 13.084.AUTHORITY OF GOVERNING BODY;COST REIMBURSEMENT.The governing body of any municipality or the commissioners court of an affected county shall have the right to select and engage rate consultants, accountants, auditors, attorneys, engineers, or any combination of these experts to conduct investigations, present evidence, advise and represent the governing body, and assist with litigation on water and sewer utility ratemaking proceedings.The water and sewer utility engaged in those proceedings shall be required to reimburse the governing body or the commissioners court for the reasonable costs of those services and shall be allowed to recover those expenses through its rates with interest during the period of recovery.Added by Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 795, Sec. 3.005, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.Amended by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 567, Sec. 10, eff. Sept. 1, 1989;Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 979, Sec. 9, eff. June 16, 1995.Sec. 13.085.ASSISTANCE BY COMMISSION.On request, the commission may advise and assist municipalities and affected counties in connection with questions and proceedings arising under this chapter.This assistance may include aid to municipalities or an affected county in connection with matters pending before the commission, the courts, the governing body of any municipality, or the commissioners court of an affected county, including making members of the staff available to them as witnesses and otherwise providing evidence.Added by Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 795, Sec. 3.005, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 979, Sec. 10, eff. June 16, 1995.Sec. 13.086.FAIR WHOLESALE RATES FOR WHOLESALE WATER SALES TO A WATER DISTRICT.(a)A municipality that makes a wholesale sale of water to a special district created under Section 52, Article III, or Section 59, Article XVI, Texas Constitution, and that operates under Title 4 or under Chapter 36 shall determine the rates for that sale on the same basis as for other similarly situated wholesale purchasers of the municipality's water.(b)This section does not apply to a sale of water under a contract executed before the effective date of this section.Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1010, Sec. 6.29, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.Sec. 13.087.MUNICIPAL RATES FOR CERTAIN RECREATIONAL VEHICLE PARKS.(a)In this section:(1)"Nonsubmetered master metered utility service" means potable water service that is master metered but not submetered and wastewater service that is based on master metered potable water service.(2)"Recreational vehicle" includes a:(A)"house trailer" as that term is defined by Section 501.002, Transportation Code; and(B)"towable recreational vehicle" as that term is defined by Section 541.201, Transportation Code.(3)"Recreational vehicle park" means a commercial property on which service connections are made for recreational vehicle transient guest use and for which fees are paid at intervals of one day or longer.(b)A municipally owned utility that provides nonsubmetered master metered utility service to a recreational vehicle park shall determine the rates for that service on the same basis the utility uses to determine the rates for other commercial businesses, including hotels and motels, that serve transient customers and receive nonsubmetered master metered utility service from the utility.(c)Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, the commission has jurisdiction to enforce this section.Added by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 523, Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2005.SUBCHAPTER E. RECORDS, REPORTS, INSPECTIONS, RATES, AND SERVICESSec. 13.131.RECORDS OF UTILITY;RATES, METHODS, AND ACCOUNTS.(a)Every water and sewer utility shall keep and render to the regulatory authority in the manner and form prescribed by the commission uniform accounts of all business transacted.The commission may also prescribe forms of books, accounts, records, and memoranda to be kept by those utilities, including the books, accounts, records, and memoranda of the rendition of and capacity for service as well as the receipts and expenditures of money, and any other forms, records, and memoranda that in the judgment of the commission may be necessary to carry out this chapter.(b)In the case of a utility subject to regulation by a federal regulatory agency, compliance with the system of accounts prescribed for the particular class of utilities by that agency may be considered a sufficient compliance with the system prescribed by the commission.However, the commission may prescribe forms of books, accounts, records, and memoranda covering information in addition to that required by the federal agency.The system of accounts and the forms of books, accounts, records, and memoranda prescribed by the commission for a utility or class of utilities may not conflict or be inconsistent with the systems and forms established by a federal agency for that utility or class of utilities.(c)The commission shall fix proper and adequate rates and methods of depreciation, amortization, or depletion of the several classes of property of each utility and shall require every utility to carry a proper and adequate depreciation account in accordance with those rates and methods and with any other rules the commission prescribes.Rules adopted under this subsection must require the book cost less net salvage of depreciable utility plant retired to be charged in its entirety to the accumulated depreciation account in a manner consistent with accounting treatment of regulated electric and gas utilities in this state.Those rates, methods, and accounts shall be utilized uniformly and consistently throughout the rate-setting and appeal proceedings.(d)Every utility shall keep separate accounts to show all profits or losses resulting from the sale or lease of appliances, fixtures, equipment, or other merchandise.A profit or loss may not be taken into consideration by the regulatory authority in arriving at any rate to be charged for service by a utility to the extent that the merchandise is not integral to the provision of utility service.(e)Every utility is required to keep and render its books, accounts, records, and memoranda accurately and faithfully in the manner and form prescribed by the commission and to comply with all directions of the regulatory authority relating to those books, accounts, records, and memoranda.The regulatory authority may require the examination and audit of all accounts.(f)In determining the allocation of tax savings derived from application of methods such as liberalized depreciation and amortization and the investment tax credit, the regulatory authority shall equitably balance the interests of present and future customers and shall apportion those benefits between consumers and the utilities accordingly.If any portion of the investment tax credit has been retained by a utility, that amount shall be deducted from the original cost of the facilities or other addition to the rate base to which the credit applied to the extent allowed by the Internal Revenue Code.(g)Repealed by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 539, Sec. 32, eff. Sept. 1, 1987.Added by Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 795, Sec. 3.005, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.Amended by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 539, Sec. 32, eff. Sept. 1, 1987.Amended by: Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1242, Sec. 1, eff. June 19, 2009.Sec. 13.132.POWERS OF COMMISSION.(a)The commission may:(1)require that water and sewer utilities report to it any information relating to themselves and affiliated interests both inside and outside this state that it considers useful in the administration of this chapter;(2)establish forms for all reports;(3)determine the time for reports and the frequency with which any reports are to be made;(4)require that any reports be made under oath;(5)require that a copy of any contract or arrangement between any utility and any affiliated interest be filed with it and require that such a contract or arrangement that is not in writing be reduced to writing;(6)require that a copy of any report filed with any federal agency or any governmental agency or body of any other state be filed with it;and(7)require that a copy of annual reports showing all payments of compensation, other than salary or wages subject to the withholding of federal income tax, made to residents of Texas, or with respect to legal, administrative, or legislative matters in Texas, or for representation before the Texas Legislature or any governmental agency or body be filed with it.(b)On the request of the governing body of any municipality, the commission may provide sufficient staff members to advise and consult with the municipality on any pending matter.Added by Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 795, Sec. 3.005, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.Sec. 13.133.INSPECTIONS;EXAMINATION UNDER OATH;COMPELLING PRODUCTION OF RECORDS;INQUIRY INTO MANAGEMENT AND AFFAIRS.(a)Any regulatory authority and, when authorized by the regulatory authority, its counsel, agents, and employees may, at reasonable times and for reasonable purposes, inspect and obtain copies of the papers, books, accounts, documents, and other business records and inspect the plant, equipment, and other property of any utility within its jurisdiction.The regulatory authority may examine under oath or may authorize the person conducting the investigation to examine under oath any officer, agent, or employee of any utility in connection with the investigation.(b)The regulatory authority may require, by order or subpoena served on any utility, the production within this state at the time and place it may designate of any books, accounts, papers, or records kept by that utility outside the state or verified copies of them if the commission so orders.A utility failing or refusing to comply with such an order or subpoena violates this chapter.(c)A member, agent, or employee of the regulatory authority may enter the premises occupied by a utility to make inspections, examinations, and tests and to exercise any authority provided by this chapter.(d)A member, agent, or employee of the regulatory authority may act under this section only during reasonable hours and after giving reasonable notice to the utility.(e)The utility is entitled to be represented when inspections, examinations, and tests are made on its premises.Reasonable time for the utility to secure a representative shall be allowed before beginning an inspection, examination, or test.(f)The regulatory authority may inquire into the management and affairs of all utilities and shall keep itself informed as to the manner and method in which they are conducted and may obtain all information to enable it to perform management audits.The utility shall report to the regulatory authority on the status of the implementation of the recommendations of the audit and shall file subsequent reports at the times the regulatory authority considers appropriate.Added by Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 795, Sec. 3.005, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.Amended by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 567, Sec. 11, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.Sec. 13.134.REPORT OF ADVERTISING OR PUBLIC RELATIONS EXPENSES.(a)The regulatory authority may require an annual report from each utility company of all its expenditures for business gifts and entertainment and institutional, consumption-inducing, and other advertising or public relations expenses.(b)The regulatory authority shall not allow as costs or expenses for ratemaking purposes any of the expenditures that the regulatory authority determines not to be in the public interest.The cost of legislative advocacy expenses shall not in any case be allowed as costs or expenses for ratemaking purposes.(c)Reasonable charitable or civic contributions may be allowed not to exceed the amount approved by the regulatory authority.Added by Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 795, Sec. 3.005, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.Sec. 13.135.UNLAWFUL RATES, RULES, AND REGULATIONS.A utility may not charge, collect, or receive any rate for utility service or impose any rule or regulation other than as provided in this chapter.Added by Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 795, Sec. 3.005, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.Sec. 13.136.FILING TARIFFS OF RATES, RULES, AND REGULATIONS;ANNUAL FINANCIAL REPORT.(a)Every utility shall file with each regulatory authority tariffs showing all rates that are subject to the original or appellate jurisdiction of the regulatory authority and that are in force at the time for any utility service, product, or commodity offered.Every utility shall file with and as a part of those tariffs all rules and regulations relating to or affecting the rates, utility service, product, or commodity furnished.(b)Each utility annually shall file a service and financial report in a form and at times specified by commission rule.(c)Every water supply or sewer service corporation shall file with the commission tariffs showing all rates that are subject to the appellate jurisdiction of the commission and that are in force at the time for any utility service, product, or commodity offered.Every water supply or sewer service corporation shall file with and as a part of those tariffs all rules and regulations relating to or affecting the rates, utility service, product, or commodity furnished.The filing required under this subsection shall be for informational purposes only.Added by Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 795, Sec. 3.005, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.Amended by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 539, Sec. 8, eff. Sept. 1, 1987;Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 567, Sec. 12, eff. Sept. 1, 1989;Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1, 1991.Sec. 13.137.OFFICE AND OTHER BUSINESS LOCATIONS OF UTILITY;RECORDS;REMOVAL FROM STATE.(a)Every utility shall:(1)make available and notify its customers of a business location where its customers may make payments to prevent disconnection of or to restore service:(A)in each county in which the utility provides service;or(B)not more than 20 miles from the residence of any residential customer if there is no location to receive payments in the county;and(2)have an office in a county of this state or in the immediate area in which its property or some part of its property is located in which it shall keep all books, accounts, records, and memoranda required by the commission to be kept in this state.(b)The commission by rule may provide for waiving the requirements of Subsection (a)(1) for a utility for which meeting those requirements would cause a rate increase or otherwise harm or inconvenience customers.The rules must provide for an additional 14 days to be given for a customer to pay before a utility that is granted a waiver may disconnect service for late payment.(c)Books, accounts, records, or memoranda required by the regulatory authority to be kept in the state may not be removed from the state, except on conditions prescribed by the commission.Added by Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 795, Sec. 3.005, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.Amended by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 567, Sec. 13, eff. Sept. 1, 1989;Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 966, Sec. 10.01, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.Sec. 13.138.COMMUNICATIONS BY UTILITIES WITH REGULATORY AUTHORITY;REGULATIONS AND RECORDS.The regulatory authority may prescribe regulations governing communications by utilities and their affiliates and their representatives with the regulatory authority or any member or employee of the regulatory authority.Added by Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 795, Sec. 3.005, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.Amended by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 567, Sec. 14, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.Sec. 13.139.STANDARDS OF SERVICE.(a)Every retail public utility that possesses or is required to possess a certificate of public convenience and necessity and every district and affected county that furnishes retail water or sewer utility service, shall furnish the service, instrumentalities, and facilities as are safe, adequate, efficient, and reasonable.(b)The governing body of a municipality, as the regulatory authority for public utilities operating within its corporate limits, and the commission as the regulatory authority for public utilities operating outside the corporate limits of any municipality, after reasonable notice and hearing on its own motion, may:(1)ascertain and fix just and reasonable standards, classifications, regulations, service rules, minimum service standards or practices to be observed and followed with respect to the service to be furnished; (2)ascertain and fix adequate and reasonable standards for the measurement of the quantity, quality, pressure, or other condition pertaining to the supply of the service; (3)prescribe reasonable regulations for the examination and testing of the service and for the measurement of service;and(4)establish or approve reasonable rules, regulations, specifications, and standards to secure the accuracy of all meters, instruments, and equipment used for the measurement of any utility service.(c)Any standards, classifications, regulations, or practices observed or followed by any utility may be filed by it with the regulatory authority and shall continue in force until amended by the utility or until changed by the regulatory authority in accordance with this section.(d)Not later than the 90th day after the date on which a retail public utility that has a certificate of public convenience and necessity reaches 85 percent of its capacity, as compared to the commission's minimum capacity requirements for a public drinking water system, the retail public utility shall submit to the executive director a planning report that includes details on how the retail public utility will provide the expected service to the remaining areas within the boundaries of its certificated area.The executive director may waive the reporting requirement if the executive director finds that the projected growth of the area will not require the utility to exceed its capacity.The commission by rule may require the submission of revised reports at specified intervals.Added by Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 795, Sec. 3.005, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.Amended by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 567, Sec. 15, eff. Sept. 1, 1989;Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 4, eff. Sept. 1, 1991;Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 76, Sec. 11.285, eff. Sept. 1, 1995;Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 400, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1, 1995;Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 979, Sec. 11, eff. June 16, 1995.Sec. 13.1395.STANDARDS OF EMERGENCY OPERATIONS.(a)In this section:(1)"Affected utility" means a retail public utility, exempt utility, or provider or conveyor of potable or raw water service that furnishes water service to more than one customer:(A)in a county with a population of 3.3 million or more; or(B)in a county with a population of 400,000 or more adjacent to a county with a population of 3.3 million or more.(2)"Emergency operations" means the operation of a water system during an extended power outage at a minimum water pressure of 35 pounds per square inch.(3)"Extended power outage" means a power outage lasting for more than 24 hours.(b)An affected utility shall:(1)ensure the emergency operation of its water system during an extended power outage as soon as safe and practicable following the occurrence of a natural disaster; and(2)adopt and submit to the commission for its approval an emergency preparedness plan that demonstrates the utility's ability to provide emergency operations.(c)The commission shall review an emergency preparedness plan submitted under Subsection (b).If the commission determines that the plan is not acceptable, the commission shall recommend changes to the plan.The commission must make its recommendations on or before the 90th day after the commission receives the plan.In accordance with commission rules, an emergency preparedness plan shall provide for one of the following:(1)the maintenance of automatically starting auxiliary generators;(2)the sharing of auxiliary generator capacity with one or more affected utilities;(3)the negotiation of leasing and contracting agreements, including emergency mutual aid agreements with other retail public utilities, exempt utilities, or providers or conveyors of potable or raw water service, if the agreements provide for coordination with the division of emergency management in the governor's office;(4)the use of portable generators capable of serving multiple facilities equipped with quick-connect systems;(5)the use of on-site electrical generation or distributed generation facilities;(6)hardening the electric transmission and distribution system serving the water system;(7)for existing facilities, the maintenance of direct engine or right angle drives; or(8)any other alternative determined by the commission to be acceptable.(d)Each affected utility that supplies, provides, or conveys surface water shall include in its emergency preparedness plan under Subsection (b) provisions for the actual installation and maintenance of automatically starting auxiliary generators or distributive generation facilities for each raw water intake pump station, water treatment plant, pump station, and pressure facility necessary to provide water to its wholesale customers.(e)The commission shall adopt rules to implement this section as an alternative to any rule requiring elevated storage.(f)The commission shall provide an affected utility with access to the commission's financial, managerial, and technical contractors to assist the utility in complying with the applicable emergency preparedness plan submission deadline.(g)The commission by rule shall create an emergency preparedness plan template for use by an affected utility when submitting a plan under this section.The emergency preparedness plan template shall contain:(1)a list and explanation of the preparations an affected utility may make under Subsection (c) for the commission to approve the utility's emergency preparedness plan; and(2)a list of all commission rules and standards pertaining to emergency preparedness plans.(h)An emergency generator used as part of an approved emergency preparedness plan under Subsection (c) must be operated and maintained according to the manufacturer's specifications.(i)The commission shall inspect each utility to ensure that the utility complies with the approved plan.(j)The commission may grant a waiver of the requirements of this section to an affected utility if the commission determines that compliance with this section will cause a significant financial burden on customers of the affected utility.(k)An affected utility may adopt and enforce limitations on water use while the utility is providing emergency operations.(l)Except as specifically required by this section, information provided by an affected utility under this section is confidential and is not subject to disclosure under Chapter 552, Government Code.Added by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1349, Sec. 1, eff. June 19, 2009.Sec. 13.1396.COORDINATION OF EMERGENCY OPERATIONS.(a)In this section:(1)"Affected utility" has the meaning assigned by Section 13.1395.(2)"County judge" means a county judge or the person designated by a county judge.(3)"Electric utility" means the electric transmission and distribution utility providing electric service to the water and wastewater facilities of an affected utility.(4)"Retail electric provider" has the meaning assigned by Section 31.002, Utilities Code.(b)An affected utility shall submit to the county judge, the office of emergency management of each county in which the utility has more than one customer, the Public Utility Commission of Texas, and the office of emergency management of the governor, a copy of:(1)the affected utility's emergency preparedness plan approved under Section 13.1395; and(2)the commission's notification to the affected utility that the plan is accepted.(c)Each affected utility shall submit to the county judge and the office of emergency management of each county in which the utility has water and wastewater facilities that qualify for critical load status under rules adopted by the Public Utility Commission of Texas, and to the Public Utility Commission of Texas and the division of emergency management of the governor:(1)information identifying the location and providing a general description of all water and wastewater facilities that qualify for critical load status; and(2)emergency contact information for the affected utility, including:(A)the person who will serve as a point of contact and the person's telephone number;(B)the person who will serve as an alternative point of contact and the person's telephone number; and(C)the affected utility's mailing address.(d)An affected utility shall immediately update the information provided under Subsection (c) as changes to the information occur.(e)Not later than February 1 of each year, the county judge of each county that receives the information required by Subsections (c) and (d) shall:(1)submit the information for each affected utility to each retail electric provider that sells electric power to an affected utility and each electric utility that provides transmission and distribution service to an affected utility; and(2)in cooperation with the affected utility, submit for each affected utility any forms reasonably required by an electric utility or retail electric provider for determining critical load status, including a critical care eligibility determination form or similar form.(f)Not later than May 1 of each year, each electric utility and each retail electric provider shall determine whether the facilities of the affected utility qualify for critical load status under rules adopted by the Public Utility Commission of Texas.(g)If an electric utility determines that an affected utility's facilities do not qualify for critical load status, the electric utility and the retail electric provider, not later than the 30th day after the date the electric utility or retail electric provider receives the information required by Subsections (c) and (d), shall provide a detailed explanation of the electric utility's determination to each county judge that submitted the information.Added by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1349, Sec. 1, eff. June 19, 2009.Sec. 13.140.EXAMINATION AND TEST OF EQUIPMENT.(a)The regulatory authority may examine and test any meter, instrument, or equipment used for the measurement of service of any utility and may enter any premises occupied by any utility for the purpose of making the examinations and tests and exercising any power provided for in this chapter and may set up and use on those premises any apparatus and appliances necessary for those purposes.The utility may be represented at the making of the examinations, tests, and inspections.(b)The utility and its officers and employees shall facilitate the examinations, tests, and inspections by giving every reasonable aid to the regulatory authority and any person or persons designated by the regulatory authority for those duties.(c)Any consumer or user may have a meter or measuring device tested by the utility once without charge after a reasonable period to be fixed by the regulatory authority by rule and at shorter intervals on payment of reasonable fees fixed by the regulatory authority.The regulatory authority shall declare and establish reasonable fees to be paid for other examining and testing of those meters and other measuring devices on the request of the consumer.(d)If the test is requested to be made within the period of presumed accuracy as fixed by the regulatory authority since the last test of the same meter or other measuring device, the fee to be paid by the consumer or user at the time of his request shall be refunded to the consumer or user if the meter or measuring device is found unreasonably defective or incorrect to the substantial disadvantage of the consumer or user.If the consumer's request is made at a time beyond the period of presumed accuracy fixed by the regulatory authority since the last test of the same meter or measuring device, the utility shall make the test without charge to the consumer or user.Added by Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 795, Sec. 3.005, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.Sec. 13.141.BILLING FOR SERVICE TO STATE.A utility, utility owned by an affected county, or municipally owned utility may not bill or otherwise require the state or a state agency or institution to pay for service before the service is rendered.Added by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 660, Sec. 7, eff. Sept. 1, 1993.Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 979, Sec. 12, eff. June 16, 1995.Sec. 13.142.TIME OF PAYMENT OF UTILITY BILLS BY STATE.(a)In this section, "utility" includes a municipally owned utility.(b)
Loading...
  • Play
  • Pause
  • Volume:
  • Mute
  • Half
  • Max
  • WATER CODETITLE 2. WATER ADMINISTRATIONSUBTITLE B. WATER RIGHTSCHAPTER 13. WATER RATES AND SERVICESSUBCHAPTER A. GENERAL PROVISIONSSec. 13.001. LEGISLATIVE POLICY AND PURPOSE. (a) This chapter is adopted to protect the public interest inherent in the rates and services of retail public utilities.(b) The legislature finds that:(1) retail public utilities are by definition monopolies in the areas they serve; (2) the normal forces of competition that operate to regulate prices in a free enterprise society do not operate for the reason stated in Subdivision (1) of this subsection; and(3) retail public utility rates, operations, and services are regulated by public agencies, with the objective that this regulation will operate as a substitute for competition.(c) The purpose of this chapter is to establish a comprehensive regulatory system that is adequate to the task of regulating retail public utilities to assure rates, operations, and services that are just and reasonable to the consumers and to the retail public utilities.

    Added by Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 795, Sec. 3.005, eff. Sept. 1, 1985. Amended by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 567, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.

    Sec. 13.002. DEFINITIONS. In this chapter:(1) "Affected person" means any landowner within an area for which a certificate of public convenience and necessity is filed, any retail public utility affected by any action of the regulatory authority, any person or corporation whose utility service or rates are affected by any proceeding before the regulatory authority, or any person or corporation that is a competitor of a retail public utility with respect to any service performed by the retail public utility or that desires to enter into competition.(1-a) "Landowner," "owner of a tract of land," and "owners of each tract of land" include multiple owners of a single deeded tract of land as shown on the appraisal roll of the appraisal district established for each county in which the property is located.(2) "Affiliated interest" or "affiliate" means:(A) any person or corporation owning or holding directly or indirectly five percent or more of the voting securities of a utility; (B) any person or corporation in any chain of successive ownership of five percent or more of the voting securities of a utility; (C) any corporation five percent or more of the voting securities of which is owned or controlled directly or indirectly by a utility; (D) any corporation five percent or more of the voting securities of which is owned or controlled directly or indirectly by any person or corporation that owns or controls directly or indirectly five percent or more of the voting securities of any utility or by any person or corporation in any chain of successive ownership of five percent of those utility securities; (E) any person who is an officer or director of a utility or of any corporation in any chain of successive ownership of five percent or more of voting securities of a public utility; (F) any person or corporation that the commission, after notice and hearing, determines actually exercises any substantial influence or control over the policies and actions of a utility or over which a utility exercises such control or that is under common control with a utility, such control being the possession directly or indirectly of the power to direct or cause the direction of the management and policies of another, whether that power is established through ownership or voting of securities or by any other direct or indirect means; or(G) any person or corporation that the commission, after notice and hearing, determines is exercising substantial influence over the policies and actions of the utility in conjunction with one or more persons or corporations with which they are related by ownership or blood relationship, or by action in concert, that together they are affiliated within the meaning of this section, even though no one of them alone is so affiliated.(3) "Allocations" means, for all retail public utilities, the division of plant, revenues, expenses, taxes and reserves between municipalities or between municipalities and unincorporated areas, where those items are used for providing water or sewer utility service in a municipality or for a municipality and unincorporated areas.(4) "Board" means the Texas Water Development Board.(5) "Commission" means the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.(6) "Commissioner" means a member of the commission.(7) "Corporation" means any corporation, joint-stock company, or association, domestic or foreign, and its lessees, assignees, trustees, receivers, or other successors in interest, having any of the powers or privileges of corporations not possessed by individuals or partnerships but does not include municipal corporations unless expressly provided in this chapter.(8) "Executive director" means the executive director of the commission.(9) "Facilities" means all the plant and equipment of a retail public utility, including all tangible and intangible real and personal property without limitation, and any and all means and instrumentalities in any manner owned, operated, leased, licensed, used, controlled, furnished, or supplied for, by, or in connection with the business of any retail public utility.(10) "Incident of tenancy" means water or sewer service, provided to tenants of rental property, for which no separate or additional service fee is charged other than the rental payment.(11) "Member" means a person who holds a membership in a water supply or sewer service corporation and is a record owner of a fee simple title to property in an area served by a water supply or sewer service corporation or a person who is granted a membership and who either currently receives or will be eligible to receive water or sewer utility service from the corporation. In determining member control of a water supply or sewer service corporation, a person is entitled to only one vote regardless of the number of memberships the person owns.(12) "Municipality" means cities existing, created, or organized under the general, home-rule, or special laws of this state.(13) "Municipally owned utility" means any utility owned, operated, and controlled by a municipality or by a nonprofit corporation whose directors are appointed by one or more municipalities.(14) "Order" means the whole or a part of the final disposition, whether affirmative, negative, injunctive, or declaratory in form, of the regulatory authority in a matter other than rulemaking, but including issuance of certificates of convenience and necessity and rate setting.(15) "Person" includes natural persons, partnerships of two or more persons having a joint or common interest, mutual or cooperative associations, water supply or sewer service corporations, and corporations.(16) "Proceeding" means any hearing, investigation, inquiry, or other fact-finding or decision-making procedure under this chapter and includes the denial of relief or the dismissal of a complaint.(17) "Rate" means every compensation, tariff, charge, fare, toll, rental, and classification or any of those items demanded, observed, charged, or collected whether directly or indirectly by any retail public utility for any service, product, or commodity described in Subdivision (23) of this section and any rules, regulations, practices, or contracts affecting that compensation, tariff, charge, fare, toll, rental, or classification.(18) "Regulatory authority" means, in accordance with the context in which it is found, either the commission or the governing body of a municipality.(19) "Retail public utility" means any person, corporation, public utility, water supply or sewer service corporation, municipality, political subdivision or agency operating, maintaining, or controlling in this state facilities for providing potable water service or sewer service, or both, for compensation.(20) "Retail water or sewer utility service" means potable water service or sewer service, or both, provided by a retail public utility to the ultimate consumer for compensation.(21) "Service" means any act performed, anything furnished or supplied, and any facilities or lines committed or used by a retail public utility in the performance of its duties under this chapter to its patrons, employees, other retail public utilities, and the public, as well as the interchange of facilities between two or more retail public utilities.(22) "Test year" means the most recent 12-month period for which representative operating data for a retail public utility are available. A utility rate filing must be based on a test year that ended less than 12 months before the date on which the utility made the rate filing.(23) "Water and sewer utility," "public utility," or "utility" means any person, corporation, cooperative corporation, affected county, or any combination of these persons or entities, other than a municipal corporation, water supply or sewer service corporation, or a political subdivision of the state, except an affected county, or their lessees, trustees, and receivers, owning or operating for compensation in this state equipment or facilities for the transmission, storage, distribution, sale, or provision of potable water to the public or for the resale of potable water to the public for any use or for the collection, transportation, treatment, or disposal of sewage or other operation of a sewage disposal service for the public, other than equipment or facilities owned and operated for either purpose by a municipality or other political subdivision of this state or a water supply or sewer service corporation, but does not include any person or corporation not otherwise a public utility that furnishes the services or commodity only to itself or its employees or tenants as an incident of that employee service or tenancy when that service or commodity is not resold to or used by others.(24) "Water supply or sewer service corporation" means a nonprofit corporation organized and operating under Chapter 67 that provides potable water service or sewer service for compensation and that has adopted and is operating in accordance with by-laws or articles of incorporation which ensure that it is member-owned and member-controlled. The term does not include a corporation that provides retail water or sewer service to a person who is not a member, except that the corporation may provide retail water or sewer service to a person who is not a member if the person only builds on or develops property to sell to another and the service is provided on an interim basis before the property is sold.(25) "Wholesale water or sewer service" means potable water or sewer service, or both, provided to a person, political subdivision, or municipality who is not the ultimate consumer of the service.(26) "Affected county" is a county to which Subchapter B, Chapter 232, Local Government Code, applies.

    Added by Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 795, Sec. 3.005, eff. Sept. 1, 1985. Amended by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 539, Sec. 1, 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1987; Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 567, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1989; Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1991; Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., 1st C.S., ch. 3, Sec. 1.058, eff. Aug. 12, 1991; Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 400, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995; Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 979, Sec. 6, eff. June 16, 1995; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1010, Sec. 6.02, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 62, Sec. 18.52, eff. Sept. 1, 1999; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 404, Sec. 29, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.Amended by: Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 1145, Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2005.Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1430, Sec. 2.05, eff. September 1, 2007.

    Sec. 13.003. APPLICABILITY OF ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEDURE AND TEXAS REGISTER ACT. Chapter 2001, Government Code applies to all proceedings under this chapter except to the extent inconsistent with this chapter.

    Added by Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 795, Sec. 3.005, eff. Sept. 1, 1985. Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 76, Sec. 5.95(49), eff. Sept. 1, 1995.

    Sec. 13.004. JURISDICTION OF COMMISSION OVER CERTAIN WATER SUPPLY OR SEWER SERVICE CORPORATIONS. (a) Notwithstanding any other law, the commission has the same jurisdiction over a water supply or sewer service corporation that the commission has under this chapter over a water and sewer utility if the commission finds that the water supply or sewer service corporation:(1) is failing to conduct annual or special meetings in compliance with Section 67.007; or(2) is operating in a manner that does not comply with the requirements for classifications as a nonprofit water supply or sewer service corporation prescribed by Sections 13.002(11) and (24).(b) If the water supply or sewer service corporation voluntarily converts to a special utility district operating under Chapter 65, the commission's jurisdiction provided by this section ends.

    Added by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 1057, Sec. 1.01, eff. September 1, 2005.

    SUBCHAPTER B. ADMINISTRATIVE PROVISIONSSec. 13.011. EMPLOYEES. (a) The executive director, subject to approval by the commission, shall employ any engineering, accounting, and administrative personnel necessary to carry out this chapter.(b) The executive director and the commission's staff are responsible for the gathering of information relating to all matters within the jurisdiction of the commission under this subchapter. The duties of the executive director and the staff include:(1) accumulation of evidence and other information from water and sewer utilities and from the commission and the board and from other sources for the purposes specified by this chapter;(2) preparation and presentation of evidence before the commission or its appointed examiner in proceedings;(3) conducting investigations of water and sewer utilities under the jurisdiction of the commission;(4) preparation of recommendations that the commission undertake an investigation of any matter within its jurisdiction;(5) preparation of recommendations and a report for inclusion in the annual report of the commission;(6) protection and representation of the public interest, together with the public interest advocate, before the commission; and(7) other activities that are reasonably necessary to enable the executive director and the staff to perform their duties.

    Added by Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 795, Sec. 3.005, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

    Sec. 13.014. ATTORNEY GENERAL TO REPRESENT COMMISSION. The attorney general shall represent the commission under this chapter in all matters before the state courts and any court of the United States.

    Added by Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 795, Sec. 3.005, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

    Sec. 13.015. INFORMAL PROCEEDING. A proceeding involving a retail public utility as defined by Section 13.002 of this code may be an informal proceeding, except that the proceeding is subject to the public notice requirements of this chapter and the rules and orders of the regulatory authority involved.

    Added by Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 795, Sec. 3.005, eff. Sept. 1, 1985. Amended by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 539, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1, 1987; Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 567, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.

    Sec. 13.016. RECORD OF PROCEEDINGS; RIGHT TO HEARING. A record shall be kept of all proceedings before the regulatory authority, unless all parties waive the keeping of the record, and all the parties are entitled to be heard in person or by attorney.

    Added by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 539, Sec. 4, eff. Sept. 1, 1987.

    SUBCHAPTER C. JURISDICTIONSec. 13.041. GENERAL POWER; RULES; HEARINGS. (a) The commission may regulate and supervise the business of every water and sewer utility within its jurisdiction and may do all things, whether specifically designated in this chapter or implied in this chapter, necessary and convenient to the exercise of this power and jurisdiction.(b) The commission shall adopt and enforce rules reasonably required in the exercise of its powers and jurisdiction, including rules governing practice and procedure before the commission.(c) The commission may call and hold hearings, administer oaths, receive evidence at hearings, issue subpoenas to compel the attendance of witnesses and the production of papers and documents, and make findings of fact and decisions with respect to administering this chapter or the rules, orders, or other actions of the commission.(d) The commission may issue emergency orders, with or without a hearing:(1) to compel a water or sewer service provider that has obtained or is required to obtain a certificate of public convenience and necessity to provide continuous and adequate water service, sewer service, or both, if the discontinuance of the service is imminent or has occurred because of the service provider's actions or failure to act; and(2) to compel a retail public utility to provide an emergency interconnection with a neighboring retail public utility for the provision of temporary water or sewer service, or both, for not more than 90 days if service discontinuance or serious impairment in service is imminent or has occurred.(e) The commission may establish reasonable compensation for the temporary service required under Subsection (d)(2) of this section and may allow the retail public utility receiving the service to make a temporary adjustment to its rate structure to ensure proper payment.(f) If an order is issued under Subsection (d) without a hearing, the order shall fix a time, as soon after the emergency order is issued as is practicable, and place for a hearing to be held before the commission.(g) The regulatory assessment required by Section 5.235(n) of this code is not a rate and is not reviewable by the commission under Section 13.043 of this code. The commission has the authority to enforce payment and collection of the regulatory assessment.

    Added by Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 795, Sec. 3.005, eff. Sept. 1, 1985. Amended by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 539, Sec. 5, eff. Sept. 1, 1987; Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 567, Sec. 4, eff. Sept. 1, 1989; Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., 1st C.S., ch. 3, Sec. 4.02, eff. Sept. 1, 1991.

    Sec. 13.042. JURISDICTION OF MUNICIPALITY; ORIGINAL AND APPELLATE JURISDICTION OF COMMISSION. (a) Subject to the limitations imposed in this chapter and for the purpose of regulating rates and services so that those rates may be fair, just, and reasonable and the services adequate and efficient, the governing body of each municipality has exclusive original jurisdiction over all water and sewer utility rates, operations, and services provided by a water and sewer utility within its corporate limits.(b) The governing body of a municipality by ordinance may elect to have the commission exercise exclusive original jurisdiction over the utility rates, operation, and services of utilities, within the incorporated limits of the municipality.(c) The governing body of a municipality that surrenders its jurisdiction to the commission may reinstate its jurisdiction by ordinance at any time after the second anniversary of the date on which the municipality surrendered its jurisdiction to the commission, except that the municipality may not reinstate its jurisdiction during the pendency of a rate proceeding before the commission. The municipality may not surrender its jurisdiction again until the second anniversary of the date on which the municipality reinstates jurisdiction.(d) The commission shall have exclusive appellate jurisdiction to review orders or ordinances of those municipalities as provided in this chapter.(e) The commission shall have exclusive original jurisdiction over water and sewer utility rates, operations, and services not within the incorporated limits of a municipality exercising exclusive original jurisdiction over those rates, operations, and services as provided in this chapter.(f) This subchapter does not give the commission power or jurisdiction to regulate or supervise the rates or service of a utility owned and operated by a municipality, directly or through a municipally owned corporation, within its corporate limits or to affect or limit the power, jurisdiction, or duties of a municipality that regulates land and supervises water and sewer utilities within its corporate limits, except as provided by this code.

    Added by Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 795, Sec. 3.005, eff. Sept. 1, 1985. Amended by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 539, Sec. 6, eff. Sept. 1, 1987; Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 567, Sec. 5, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.

    Sec. 13.0421. RATES CHARGED BY CERTAIN MUNICIPALLY OWNED UTILITIES. (a) This section applies to a municipally owned water and sewer utility that on January 1, 1989, required some or all of its wholesale customers to assess a surcharge for service against residential customers who reside outside the municipality's municipal boundaries.(b) A municipality may not require a municipal utility district to assess a surcharge against users of water or sewer service prior to the annexation of the municipal utility district.

    Added by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 567, Sec. 8, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.

    Sec. 13.043. APPELLATE JURISDICTION. (a) Any party to a rate proceeding before the governing body of a municipality may appeal the decision of the governing body to the commission. This subsection does not apply to a municipally owned utility. An appeal under this subsection must be initiated within 90 days after the date of notice of the final decision by the governing body by filing a petition for review with the commission and by serving copies on all parties to the original rate proceeding. The commission shall hear the appeal de novo and shall fix in its final order the rates the governing body should have fixed in the action from which the appeal was taken and may include reasonable expenses incurred in the appeal proceedings. The commission may establish the effective date for the commission's rates at the original effective date as proposed by the utility provider and may order refunds or allow a surcharge to recover lost revenues. The commission may consider only the information that was available to the governing body at the time the governing body made its decision and evidence of reasonable expenses incurred in the appeal proceedings.(b) Ratepayers of the following entities may appeal the decision of the governing body of the entity affecting their water, drainage, or sewer rates to the commission:(1) a nonprofit water supply or sewer service corporation created and operating under Chapter 67;(2) a utility under the jurisdiction of a municipality inside the corporate limits of the municipality;(3) a municipally owned utility, if the ratepayers reside outside the corporate limits of the municipality;(4) a district or authority created under Article III, Section 52, or Article XVI, Section 59, of the Texas Constitution that provides water or sewer service to household users; and(5) a utility owned by an affected county, if the ratepayer's rates are actually or may be adversely affected. For the purposes of this section ratepayers who reside outside the boundaries of the district or authority shall be considered a separate class from ratepayers who reside inside those boundaries.(c) An appeal under Subsection (b) of this section must be initiated by filing a petition for review with the commission and the entity providing service within 90 days after the effective day of the rate change or, if appealing under Subdivision (b)(2) or (5) of this section, within 90 days after the date on which the governing body of the municipality or affected county makes a final decision. The petition must be signed by the lesser of 10,000 or 10 percent of those ratepayers whose rates have been changed and who are eligible to appeal under Subsection (b) of this section.(d) In an appeal under Subsection (b) of this section, each person receiving a separate bill is considered a ratepayer, but one person may not be considered more than one ratepayer regardless of the number of bills the person receives. The petition for review is considered properly signed if signed by a person, or the spouse of a person, in whose name utility service is carried.(e) In an appeal under Subsection (b) of this section, the commission shall hear the appeal de novo and shall fix in its final order the rates the governing body should have fixed in the action from which the appeal was taken. The commission may establish the effective date for the commission's rates at the original effective date as proposed by the service provider, may order refunds or allow a surcharge to recover lost revenues, and may allow recovery of reasonable expenses incurred by the retail public utility in the appeal proceedings. The commission may consider only the information that was available to the governing body at the time the governing body made its decision and evidence of reasonable expenses incurred by the retail public utility in the appeal proceedings. The rates established by the commission in an appeal under Subsection (b) of this section remain in effect until the first anniversary of the effective date proposed by the retail public utility for the rates being appealed or until changed by the service provider, whichever date is later, unless the commission determines that a financial hardship exists.(f) A retail public utility that receives water or sewer service from another retail public utility or political subdivision of the state, including an affected county, may appeal to the commission a decision of the provider of water or sewer service affecting the amount paid for water or sewer service. An appeal under this subsection must be initiated within 90 days after the date of notice of the decision is received from the provider of water or sewer service by the filing of a petition by the retail public utility.(g) An applicant for service from an affected county or a water supply or sewer service corporation may appeal to the commission a decision of the county or water supply or sewer service corporation affecting the amount to be paid to obtain service other than the regular membership or tap fees. In addition to the factors specified under Subsection (j), in an appeal brought under this subsection the commission shall determine whether the amount paid by the applicant is consistent with the tariff of the water supply or sewer service corporation and is reasonably related to the cost of installing on-site and off-site facilities to provide service to that applicant. If the commission finds the amount charged to be clearly unreasonable, it shall establish the fee to be paid for that applicant. An appeal under this subsection must be initiated within 90 days after the date written notice is provided to the applicant or member of the decision of an affected county or water supply or sewer service corporation relating to the applicant's initial request for that service. A determination made by the commission on an appeal under this subsection is binding on all similarly situated applicants for service, and the commission may not consider other appeals on the same issue until the applicable provisions of the tariff of the water supply or sewer service corporation are amended.(h) The commission may, on a motion by the executive director or by the appellant under Subsection (a), (b), or (f) of this section, establish interim rates to be in effect until a final decision is made.(i) The governing body of a municipally owned utility or a political subdivision, within 30 days after the date of a final decision on a rate change, shall provide individual written notice to each ratepayer eligible to appeal who resides outside the boundaries of the municipality or the political subdivision. The notice must include, at a minimum, the effective date of the new rates, the new rates, and the location where additional information on rates can be obtained.(j) In an appeal under this section, the commission shall ensure that every rate made, demanded, or received by any retail public utility or by any two or more retail public utilities jointly shall be just and reasonable. Rates shall not be unreasonably preferential, prejudicial, or discriminatory but shall be sufficient, equitable, and consistent in application to each class of customers. The commission shall use a methodology that preserves the financial integrity of the retail public utility. For agreements between municipalities the commission shall consider the terms of any wholesale water or sewer service agreement in an appellate rate proceeding.(k) Not later than the 30th day after the date of a final decision on a rate change, the commissioners court of an affected county shall provide written notice to each ratepayer eligible to appeal. The notice must include the effective date of the new rates, the new rates, and the location where additional information on rates may be obtained.

    Added by Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 795, Sec. 3.005, eff. Sept. 1, 1985. Amended by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 539, Sec. 7, eff. Sept. 1, 1987; Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 567, Sec. 6, eff. Sept. 1, 1989; Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1991; Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 852, Sec. 2, eff. June 16, 1991; Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 549, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1993; Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 400, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1995; Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 979, Sec. 7, eff. June 16, 1995; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 62, Sec. 18.53, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

    Sec. 13.044. RATES CHARGED BY MUNICIPALITY TO DISTRICT. (a) This section applies to rates charged by a municipality for water or sewer service to a district created pursuant to Article XVI, Section 59, of the Texas Constitution, or to the residents of such district, which district is located within the corporate limits or the extraterritorial jurisdiction of the municipality and the resolution, ordinance, or agreement of the municipality consenting to the creation of the district requires the district to purchase water or sewer service from the municipality.(b) Notwithstanding the provisions of any resolution, ordinance, or agreement, a district may appeal the rates imposed by the municipality by filing a petition with the commission. The commission shall hear the appeal de novo and the municipality shall have the burden of proof to establish that the rates are just and reasonable. The commission shall fix the rates to be charged by the municipality and the municipality may not increase such rates without the approval of the commission.

    Added by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 567, Sec. 7, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.

    Sec. 13.045. NOTIFICATION REGARDING USE OF REVENUE. At least annually and before any rate increase, a municipality shall notify in writing each water and sewer retail customer of any service or capital expenditure not water or sewer related funded in whole or in part by customer revenue.

    Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1010, Sec. 6.28, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

    Sec. 13.046. TEMPORARY RATES FOR SERVICES PROVIDED FOR NONFUNCTIONING SYSTEM; SANCTIONS FOR NONCOMPLIANCE. (a) The commission by rule shall establish a procedure that allows a retail public utility that takes over the provision of services for a nonfunctioning retail water or sewer utility service provider to charge a reasonable rate for the services provided to the customers of the nonfunctioning system and to bill the customers for the services at that rate immediately to recover service costs.(b) The rules must provide a streamlined process that the retail public utility that takes over the nonfunctioning system may use to apply to the commission for a ruling on the reasonableness of the rates the utility is charging under Subsection (a). The process must allow for adequate consideration of costs for interconnection or other costs incurred in making services available and of the costs that may necessarily be incurred to bring the nonfunctioning system into compliance with commission rules.(c) The commission shall provide a reasonable period for the retail public utility that takes over the nonfunctioning system to bring the nonfunctioning system into compliance with commission rules during which the commission may not impose a penalty for any deficiency in the system that is present at the time the utility takes over the nonfunctioning system. The commission must consult with the utility before determining the period and may grant an extension of the period for good cause.

    Added by Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 599, Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2007.

    SUBCHAPTER D. MUNICIPALITIES AND COUNTIESSec. 13.081. FRANCHISES. This chapter may not be construed as in any way limiting the rights and powers of a municipality to grant or refuse franchises to use the streets and alleys within its limits and to make the statutory charges for their use, but no provision of any franchise agreement may limit or interfere with any power conferred on the commission by this chapter. If a municipality performs regulatory functions under this chapter, it may make such other charges as may be provided in the applicable franchise agreement, together with any other charges permitted by this chapter.

    Added by Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 795, Sec. 3.005, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

    Sec. 13.082. LOCAL UTILITY SERVICE; EXEMPT AND NONEXEMPT AREAS. (a) Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, municipalities shall continue to regulate each kind of local utility service inside their boundaries until the commission has assumed jurisdiction over the respective utility pursuant to this chapter.(b) If a municipality does not surrender its jurisdiction, local utility service within the boundaries of the municipality shall be exempt from regulation by the commission under this chapter to the extent that this chapter applies to local service, and the municipality shall have, regarding service within its boundaries, the right to exercise the same regulatory powers under the same standards and rules as the commission or other standards and rules not inconsistent with them. The commission's rules relating to service and response to requests for service for utilities operating within a municipality's corporate limits apply unless the municipality adopts its own rules.(c) Notwithstanding any election, the commission may consider water and sewer utilities' revenues and return on investment in exempt areas in fixing rates and charges in nonexempt areas and may also exercise the powers conferred necessary to give effect to orders under this chapter for the benefit of nonexempt areas. Likewise, in fixing rates and charges in the exempt area, the governing body may consider water and sewer utilities' revenues and return on investment in nonexempt areas.(d) Utilities serving exempt areas are subject to the reporting requirements of this chapter. Those reports and tariffs shall be filed with the governing body of the municipality as well as with the commission.(e) This section does not limit the duty and power of the commission to regulate service and rates of municipally regulated water and sewer utilities for service provided to other areas in Texas.

    Added by Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 795, Sec. 3.005, eff. Sept. 1, 1985. Amended by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 567, Sec. 9, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.

    Sec. 13.083. RATE DETERMINATION. A municipality regulating its water and sewer utilities under this chapter shall require from those utilities all necessary data to make a reasonable determination of rate base, expenses, investment, and rate of return within the municipal boundaries. The standards for this determination shall be based on the procedures and requirements of this chapter, and the municipality shall retain any personnel necessary to make the determination of reasonable rates required under this chapter.

    Added by Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 795, Sec. 3.005, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

    Sec. 13.084. AUTHORITY OF GOVERNING BODY; COST REIMBURSEMENT. The governing body of any municipality or the commissioners court of an affected county shall have the right to select and engage rate consultants, accountants, auditors, attorneys, engineers, or any combination of these experts to conduct investigations, present evidence, advise and represent the governing body, and assist with litigation on water and sewer utility ratemaking proceedings. The water and sewer utility engaged in those proceedings shall be required to reimburse the governing body or the commissioners court for the reasonable costs of those services and shall be allowed to recover those expenses through its rates with interest during the period of recovery.

    Added by Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 795, Sec. 3.005, eff. Sept. 1, 1985. Amended by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 567, Sec. 10, eff. Sept. 1, 1989; Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 979, Sec. 9, eff. June 16, 1995.

    Sec. 13.085. ASSISTANCE BY COMMISSION. On request, the commission may advise and assist municipalities and affected counties in connection with questions and proceedings arising under this chapter. This assistance may include aid to municipalities or an affected county in connection with matters pending before the commission, the courts, the governing body of any municipality, or the commissioners court of an affected county, including making members of the staff available to them as witnesses and otherwise providing evidence.

    Added by Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 795, Sec. 3.005, eff. Sept. 1, 1985. Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 979, Sec. 10, eff. June 16, 1995.

    Sec. 13.086. FAIR WHOLESALE RATES FOR WHOLESALE WATER SALES TO A WATER DISTRICT. (a) A municipality that makes a wholesale sale of water to a special district created under Section 52, Article III, or Section 59, Article XVI, Texas Constitution, and that operates under Title 4 or under Chapter 36 shall determine the rates for that sale on the same basis as for other similarly situated wholesale purchasers of the municipality's water.(b) This section does not apply to a sale of water under a contract executed before the effective date of this section.

    Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1010, Sec. 6.29, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

    Sec. 13.087. MUNICIPAL RATES FOR CERTAIN RECREATIONAL VEHICLE PARKS. (a) In this section:(1) "Nonsubmetered master metered utility service" means potable water service that is master metered but not submetered and wastewater service that is based on master metered potable water service.(2) "Recreational vehicle" includes a:(A) "house trailer" as that term is defined by Section 501.002, Transportation Code; and(B) "towable recreational vehicle" as that term is defined by Section 541.201, Transportation Code.(3) "Recreational vehicle park" means a commercial property on which service connections are made for recreational vehicle transient guest use and for which fees are paid at intervals of one day or longer.(b) A municipally owned utility that provides nonsubmetered master metered utility service to a recreational vehicle park shall determine the rates for that service on the same basis the utility uses to determine the rates for other commercial businesses, including hotels and motels, that serve transient customers and receive nonsubmetered master metered utility service from the utility.(c) Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, the commission has jurisdiction to enforce this section.

    Added by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 523, Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2005.

    SUBCHAPTER E. RECORDS, REPORTS, INSPECTIONS, RATES, AND SERVICESSec. 13.131. RECORDS OF UTILITY; RATES, METHODS, AND ACCOUNTS. (a) Every water and sewer utility shall keep and render to the regulatory authority in the manner and form prescribed by the commission uniform accounts of all business transacted. The commission may also prescribe forms of books, accounts, records, and memoranda to be kept by those utilities, including the books, accounts, records, and memoranda of the rendition of and capacity for service as well as the receipts and expenditures of money, and any other forms, records, and memoranda that in the judgment of the commission may be necessary to carry out this chapter.(b) In the case of a utility subject to regulation by a federal regulatory agency, compliance with the system of accounts prescribed for the particular class of utilities by that agency may be considered a sufficient compliance with the system prescribed by the commission. However, the commission may prescribe forms of books, accounts, records, and memoranda covering information in addition to that required by the federal agency. The system of accounts and the forms of books, accounts, records, and memoranda prescribed by the commission for a utility or class of utilities may not conflict or be inconsistent with the systems and forms established by a federal agency for that utility or class of utilities.(c) The commission shall fix proper and adequate rates and methods of depreciation, amortization, or depletion of the several classes of property of each utility and shall require every utility to carry a proper and adequate depreciation account in accordance with those rates and methods and with any other rules the commission prescribes. Rules adopted under this subsection must require the book cost less net salvage of depreciable utility plant retired to be charged in its entirety to the accumulated depreciation account in a manner consistent with accounting treatment of regulated electric and gas utilities in this state.

    Those rates, methods, and accounts shall be utilized uniformly and consistently throughout the rate-setting and appeal proceedings.(d) Every utility shall keep separate accounts to show all profits or losses resulting from the sale or lease of appliances, fixtures, equipment, or other merchandise. A profit or loss may not be taken into consideration by the regulatory authority in arriving at any rate to be charged for service by a utility to the extent that the merchandise is not integral to the provision of utility service.(e) Every utility is required to keep and render its books, accounts, records, and memoranda accurately and faithfully in the manner and form prescribed by the commission and to comply with all directions of the regulatory authority relating to those books, accounts, records, and memoranda. The regulatory authority may require the examination and audit of all accounts.(f) In determining the allocation of tax savings derived from application of methods such as liberalized depreciation and amortization and the investment tax credit, the regulatory authority shall equitably balance the interests of present and future customers and shall apportion those benefits between consumers and the utilities accordingly. If any portion of the investment tax credit has been retained by a utility, that amount shall be deducted from the original cost of the facilities or other addition to the rate base to which the credit applied to the extent allowed by the Internal Revenue Code.(g) Repealed by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 539, Sec. 32, eff. Sept. 1, 1987.

    Added by Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 795, Sec. 3.005, eff. Sept. 1, 1985. Amended by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 539, Sec. 32, eff. Sept. 1, 1987.Amended by: Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1242, Sec. 1, eff. June 19, 2009.

    Sec. 13.132. POWERS OF COMMISSION. (a) The commission may:(1) require that water and sewer utilities report to it any information relating to themselves and affiliated interests both inside and outside this state that it considers useful in the administration of this chapter;(2) establish forms for all reports;(3) determine the time for reports and the frequency with which any reports are to be made;(4) require that any reports be made under oath;(5) require that a copy of any contract or arrangement between any utility and any affiliated interest be filed with it and require that such a contract or arrangement that is not in writing be reduced to writing;(6) require that a copy of any report filed with any federal agency or any governmental agency or body of any other state be filed with it; and(7) require that a copy of annual reports showing all payments of compensation, other than salary or wages subject to the withholding of federal income tax, made to residents of Texas, or with respect to legal, administrative, or legislative matters in Texas, or for representation before the Texas Legislature or any governmental agency or body be filed with it.(b) On the request of the governing body of any municipality, the commission may provide sufficient staff members to advise and consult with the municipality on any pending matter.

    Added by Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 795, Sec. 3.005, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

    Sec. 13.133. INSPECTIONS; EXAMINATION UNDER OATH; COMPELLING PRODUCTION OF RECORDS; INQUIRY INTO MANAGEMENT AND AFFAIRS. (a) Any regulatory authority and, when authorized by the regulatory authority, its counsel, agents, and employees may, at reasonable times and for reasonable purposes, inspect and obtain copies of the papers, books, accounts, documents, and other business records and inspect the plant, equipment, and other property of any utility within its jurisdiction. The regulatory authority may examine under oath or may authorize the person conducting the investigation to examine under oath any officer, agent, or employee of any utility in connection with the investigation.(b) The regulatory authority may require, by order or subpoena served on any utility, the production within this state at the time and place it may designate of any books, accounts, papers, or records kept by that utility outside the state or verified copies of them if the commission so orders. A utility failing or refusing to comply with such an order or subpoena violates this chapter.(c) A member, agent, or employee of the regulatory authority may enter the premises occupied by a utility to make inspections, examinations, and tests and to exercise any authority provided by this chapter.(d) A member, agent, or employee of the regulatory authority may act under this section only during reasonable hours and after giving reasonable notice to the utility.(e) The utility is entitled to be represented when inspections, examinations, and tests are made on its premises. Reasonable time for the utility to secure a representative shall be allowed before beginning an inspection, examination, or test.(f) The regulatory authority may inquire into the management and affairs of all utilities and shall keep itself informed as to the manner and method in which they are conducted and may obtain all information to enable it to perform management audits. The utility shall report to the regulatory authority on the status of the implementation of the recommendations of the audit and shall file subsequent reports at the times the regulatory authority considers appropriate.

    Added by Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 795, Sec. 3.005, eff. Sept. 1, 1985. Amended by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 567, Sec. 11, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.

    Sec. 13.134. REPORT OF ADVERTISING OR PUBLIC RELATIONS EXPENSES. (a) The regulatory authority may require an annual report from each utility company of all its expenditures for business gifts and entertainment and institutional, consumption-inducing, and other advertising or public relations expenses.(b) The regulatory authority shall not allow as costs or expenses for ratemaking purposes any of the expenditures that the regulatory authority determines not to be in the public interest. The cost of legislative advocacy expenses shall not in any case be allowed as costs or expenses for ratemaking purposes.(c) Reasonable charitable or civic contributions may be allowed not to exceed the amount approved by the regulatory authority.

    Added by Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 795, Sec. 3.005, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

    Sec. 13.135. UNLAWFUL RATES, RULES, AND REGULATIONS. A utility may not charge, collect, or receive any rate for utility service or impose any rule or regulation other than as provided in this chapter.

    Added by Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 795, Sec. 3.005, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

    Sec. 13.136. FILING TARIFFS OF RATES, RULES, AND REGULATIONS; ANNUAL FINANCIAL REPORT. (a) Every utility shall file with each regulatory authority tariffs showing all rates that are subject to the original or appellate jurisdiction of the regulatory authority and that are in force at the time for any utility service, product, or commodity offered. Every utility shall file with and as a part of those tariffs all rules and regulations relating to or affecting the rates, utility service, product, or commodity furnished.(b) Each utility annually shall file a service and financial report in a form and at times specified by commission rule.(c) Every water supply or sewer service corporation shall file with the commission tariffs showing all rates that are subject to the appellate jurisdiction of the commission and that are in force at the time for any utility service, product, or commodity offered. Every water supply or sewer service corporation shall file with and as a part of those tariffs all rules and regulations relating to or affecting the rates, utility service, product, or commodity furnished. The filing required under this subsection shall be for informational purposes only.

    Added by Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 795, Sec. 3.005, eff. Sept. 1, 1985. Amended by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 539, Sec. 8, eff. Sept. 1, 1987; Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 567, Sec. 12, eff. Sept. 1, 1989; Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1, 1991.

    Sec. 13.137. OFFICE AND OTHER BUSINESS LOCATIONS OF UTILITY; RECORDS; REMOVAL FROM STATE. (a) Every utility shall:(1) make available and notify its customers of a business location where its customers may make payments to prevent disconnection of or to restore service:(A) in each county in which the utility provides service; or(B) not more than 20 miles from the residence of any residential customer if there is no location to receive payments in the county; and(2) have an office in a county of this state or in the immediate area in which its property or some part of its property is located in which it shall keep all books, accounts, records, and memoranda required by the commission to be kept in this state.(b) The commission by rule may provide for waiving the requirements of Subsection (a)(1) for a utility for which meeting those requirements would cause a rate increase or otherwise harm or inconvenience customers. The rules must provide for an additional 14 days to be given for a customer to pay before a utility that is granted a waiver may disconnect service for late payment.(c) Books, accounts, records, or memoranda required by the regulatory authority to be kept in the state may not be removed from the state, except on conditions prescribed by the commission.

    Added by Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 795, Sec. 3.005, eff. Sept. 1, 1985. Amended by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 567, Sec. 13, eff. Sept. 1, 1989; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 966, Sec. 10.01, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

    Sec. 13.138. COMMUNICATIONS BY UTILITIES WITH REGULATORY AUTHORITY; REGULATIONS AND RECORDS. The regulatory authority may prescribe regulations governing communications by utilities and their affiliates and their representatives with the regulatory authority or any member or employee of the regulatory authority.

    Added by Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 795, Sec. 3.005, eff. Sept. 1, 1985. Amended by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 567, Sec. 14, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.

    Sec. 13.139. STANDARDS OF SERVICE. (a) Every retail public utility that possesses or is required to possess a certificate of public convenience and necessity and every district and affected county that furnishes retail water or sewer utility service, shall furnish the service, instrumentalities, and facilities as are safe, adequate, efficient, and reasonable.(b) The governing body of a municipality, as the regulatory authority for public utilities operating within its corporate limits, and the commission as the regulatory authority for public utilities operating outside the corporate limits of any municipality, after reasonable notice and hearing on its own motion, may:(1) ascertain and fix just and reasonable standards, classifications, regulations, service rules, minimum service standards or practices to be observed and followed with respect to the service to be furnished; (2) ascertain and fix adequate and reasonable standards for the measurement of the quantity, quality, pressure, or other condition pertaining to the supply of the service; (3) prescribe reasonable regulations for the examination and testing of the service and for the measurement of service; and(4) establish or approve reasonable rules, regulations, specifications, and standards to secure the accuracy of all meters, instruments, and equipment used for the measurement of any utility service.(c) Any standards, classifications, regulations, or practices observed or followed by any utility may be filed by it with the regulatory authority and shall continue in force until amended by the utility or until changed by the regulatory authority in accordance with this section.(d) Not later than the 90th day after the date on which a retail public utility that has a certificate of public convenience and necessity reaches 85 percent of its capacity, as compared to the commission's minimum capacity requirements for a public drinking water system, the retail public utility shall submit to the executive director a planning report that includes details on how the retail public utility will provide the expected service to the remaining areas within the boundaries of its certificated area. The executive director may waive the reporting requirement if the executive director finds that the projected growth of the area will not require the utility to exceed its capacity. The commission by rule may require the submission of revised reports at specified intervals.

    Added by Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 795, Sec. 3.005, eff. Sept. 1, 1985. Amended by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 567, Sec. 15, eff. Sept. 1, 1989; Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 4, eff. Sept. 1, 1991; Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 76, Sec. 11.285, eff. Sept. 1, 1995; Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 400, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1, 1995; Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 979, Sec. 11, eff. June 16, 1995.

    Sec. 13.1395. STANDARDS OF EMERGENCY OPERATIONS. (a) In this section:(1) "Affected utility" means a retail public utility, exempt utility, or provider or conveyor of potable or raw water service that furnishes water service to more than one customer:(A) in a county with a population of 3.3 million or more; or(B) in a county with a population of 400,000 or more adjacent to a county with a population of 3.3 million or more.(2) "Emergency operations" means the operation of a water system during an extended power outage at a minimum water pressure of 35 pounds per square inch.(3) "Extended power outage" means a power outage lasting for more than 24 hours.(b) An affected utility shall:(1) ensure the emergency operation of its water system during an extended power outage as soon as safe and practicable following the occurrence of a natural disaster; and(2) adopt and submit to the commission for its approval an emergency preparedness plan that demonstrates the utility's ability to provide emergency operations.(c) The commission shall review an emergency preparedness plan submitted under Subsection (b). If the commission determines that the plan is not acceptable, the commission shall recommend changes to the plan. The commission must make its recommendations on or before the 90th day after the commission receives the plan. In accordance with commission rules, an emergency preparedness plan shall provide for one of the following:(1) the maintenance of automatically starting auxiliary generators;(2) the sharing of auxiliary generator capacity with one or more affected utilities;(3) the negotiation of leasing and contracting agreements, including emergency mutual aid agreements with other retail public utilities, exempt utilities, or providers or conveyors of potable or raw water service, if the agreements provide for coordination with the division of emergency management in the governor's office;(4) the use of portable generators capable of serving multiple facilities equipped with quick-connect systems;(5) the use of on-site electrical generation or distributed generation facilities;(6) hardening the electric transmission and distribution system serving the water system;(7) for existing facilities, the maintenance of direct engine or right angle drives; or(8) any other alternative determined by the commission to be acceptable.(d) Each affected utility that supplies, provides, or conveys surface water shall include in its emergency preparedness plan under Subsection (b) provisions for the actual installation and maintenance of automatically starting auxiliary generators or distributive generation facilities for each raw water intake pump station, water treatment plant, pump station, and pressure facility necessary to provide water to its wholesale customers.(e) The commission shall adopt rules to implement this section as an alternative to any rule requiring elevated storage.(f) The commission shall provide an affected utility with access to the commission's financial, managerial, and technical contractors to assist the utility in complying with the applicable emergency preparedness plan submission deadline.(g) The commission by rule shall create an emergency preparedness plan template for use by an affected utility when submitting a plan under this section. The emergency preparedness plan template shall contain:(1) a list and explanation of the preparations an affected utility may make under Subsection (c) for the commission to approve the utility's emergency preparedness plan; and(2) a list of all commission rules and standards pertaining to emergency preparedness plans.(h) An emergency generator used as part of an approved emergency preparedness plan under Subsection (c) must be operated and maintained according to the manufacturer's specifications.(i) The commission shall inspect each utility to ensure that the utility complies with the approved plan.(j) The commission may grant a waiver of the requirements of this section to an affected utility if the commission determines that compliance with this section will cause a significant financial burden on customers of the affected utility.(k) An affected utility may adopt and enforce limitations on water use while the utility is providing emergency operations.(l) Except as specifically required by this section, information provided by an affected utility under this section is confidential and is not subject to disclosure under Chapter 552, Government Code.

    Added by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1349, Sec. 1, eff. June 19, 2009.

    Sec. 13.1396. COORDINATION OF EMERGENCY OPERATIONS. (a) In this section:(1) "Affected utility" has the meaning assigned by Section 13.1395.(2) "County judge" means a county judge or the person designated by a county judge.(3) "Electric utility" means the electric transmission and distribution utility providing electric service to the water and wastewater facilities of an affected utility.(4) "Retail electric provider" has the meaning assigned by Section 31.002, Utilities Code.(b) An affected utility shall submit to the county judge, the office of emergency management of each county in which the utility has more than one customer, the Public Utility Commission of Texas, and the office of emergency management of the governor, a copy of:(1) the affected utility's emergency preparedness plan approved under Section 13.1395; and(2) the commission's notification to the affected utility that the plan is accepted.(c) Each affected utility shall submit to the county judge and the office of emergency management of each county in which the utility has water and wastewater facilities that qualify for critical load status under rules adopted by the Public Utility Commission of Texas, and to the Public Utility Commission of Texas and the division of emergency management of the governor:(1) information identifying the location and providing a general description of all water and wastewater facilities that qualify for critical load status; and(2) emergency contact information for the affected utility, including:(A) the person who will serve as a point of contact and the person's telephone number;(B) the person who will serve as an alternative point of contact and the person's telephone number; and(C) the affected utility's mailing address.(d) An affected utility shall immediately update the information provided under Subsection (c) as changes to the information occur.(e) Not later than February 1 of each year, the county judge of each county that receives the information required by Subsections (c) and (d) shall:(1) submit the information for each affected utility to each retail electric provider that sells electric power to an affected utility and each electric utility that provides transmission and distribution service to an affected utility; and(2) in cooperation with the affected utility, submit for each affected utility any forms reasonably required by an electric utility or retail electric provider for determining critical load status, including a critical care eligibility determination form or similar form.(f) Not later than May 1 of each year, each electric utility and each retail electric provider shall determine whether the facilities of the affected utility qualify for critical load status under rules adopted by the Public Utility Commission of Texas.(g) If an electric utility determines that an affected utility's facilities do not qualify for critical load status, the electric utility and the retail electric provider, not later than the 30th day after the date the electric utility or retail electric provider receives the information required by Subsections (c) and (d), shall provide a detailed explanation of the electric utility's determination to each county judge that submitted the information.

    Added by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1349, Sec. 1, eff. June 19, 2009.

    Sec. 13.140. EXAMINATION AND TEST OF EQUIPMENT. (a) The regulatory authority may examine and test any meter, instrument, or equipment used for the measurement of service of any utility and may enter any premises occupied by any utility for the purpose of making the examinations and tests and exercising any power provided for in this chapter and may set up and use on those premises any apparatus and appliances necessary for those purposes. The utility may be represented at the making of the examinations, tests, and inspections.(b) The utility and its officers and employees shall facilitate the examinations, tests, and inspections by giving every reasonable aid to the regulatory authority and any person or persons designated by the regulatory authority for those duties.(c) Any consumer or user may have a meter or measuring device tested by the utility once without charge after a reasonable period to be fixed by the regulatory authority by rule and at shorter intervals on payment of reasonable fees fixed by the regulatory authority. The regulatory authority shall declare and establish reasonable fees to be paid for other examining and testing of those meters and other measuring devices on the request of the consumer.(d) If the test is requested to be made within the period of presumed accuracy as fixed by the regulatory authority since the last test of the same meter or other measuring device, the fee to be paid by the consumer or user at the time of his request shall be refunded to the consumer or user if the meter or measuring device is found unreasonably defective or incorrect to the substantial disadvantage of the consumer or user. If the consumer's request is made at a time beyond the period of presumed accuracy fixed by the regulatory authority since the last test of the same meter or measuring device, the utility shall make the test without charge to the consumer or user.

    Added by Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 795, Sec. 3.005, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

    Sec. 13.141. BILLING FOR SERVICE TO STATE. A utility, utility owned by an affected county, or municipally owned utility may not bill or otherwise require the state or a state agency or institution to pay for service before the service is rendered.

    Added by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 660, Sec. 7, eff. Sept. 1, 1993. Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 979, Sec. 12, eff. June 16, 1995.

    Sec. 13.142. TIME OF PAYMENT OF UTILITY BILLS BY STATE. (a) In this section, "utility" includes a municipally owned utility.(b)

    Texas Forms by Issue

    Texas Court Forms
    >
    >
    >
    >
    >

    Texas Law

    Texas State Laws
        > Hazelwood Act
        > Texas Attorney General Child Support
        > Texas Child Support
        > Texas Child Support Interactive
        > Texas Penal Code
        > Texas Statutes
    Texas State
        > Food Stamps Texas
        > Texas Cities
        > Texas State
        > Texas Zip Codes
    Texas Tax
        > Texas Franchise Tax
        > Texas Sales Tax
        > Texas State Tax
    Texas Court
        > Lawrence v. Texas
        > Texas Attorney General
        > Texas Public Records
        > Texas Supreme Court
        > Texas v. Johnson
    Texas Labor Laws
        > Minimum Wage in Texas
        > Texas Unemployment
        > Texas Unemployment Benefits
    Texas Agencies
        > Better Business Bureau Texas
        > Texas Commission on Fire Protection
        > Texas Department of Criminal Justice
        > Texas Department of Education
        > Texas Department of Health
        > Texas Department of Health and Human Services
        > Texas Department of Insurance
        > Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation
        > Texas Department of State Health Services
        > Texas Department of Transportation
        > Texas DMV
        > Texas Film Commission
        > Texas Historical Commission
        > Texas Legislature
        > Texas Medicaid
        > Texas Real Estate Commission
        > Texas Secretary of State
        > Texas Secretary of State Corporations
        > Texas State Board of Public Accountancy
        > Texas Workforce Commssion

    Texas Court Map

    Tips