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Public Information Act Requests

Chapter 552 of the Texas Government Code, also known as the Public Information Act or PIA, gives the public the right to access certain government records. The PIA also establishes procedures that governmental bodies must follow when responding to requests for public information.

What's Available on the Website?

Complaint Statistics
Retail Electric Provider (REP) Complaint Scorecards and REP Complaint Histories are available on the PUC's Power To Choose website.
REP Information
REP business organization and financial qualification information, contact information, and information regarding a REP's rates, plans, terms of service, renewable energy content, sources of power generation, and emissions and waste are also available at www.powertochoose.org.
Utility Directories
Searchable databases of the electric and telecommunications utilities that serve Texas are located on our website under the Telecommunications and Electric headings. These databases include mailing addresses and other contact information, certificate numbers, docket numbers for various filings, and associated company names. View the PUC Market Directories and Utilities: Electric Companies Serving Texas or Utility Directories: Communications Companies Serving Texas.
Official Filings/Rulemakings
Documents that are filed in Central Records, such as docketed cases and ongoing agency projects, are available for downloading through the PUC Interchange. A daily list of new filings is also available by looking under the List of New Filings. For a list and description of current PUC rulemaking activities, go to our Rulemaking Projects pages.
Reports
Various Electric Reports and Communications Reports are also available on our website.

For other information related to the electric grid and the deregulated market in Texas, please visit the Electric Reliability Council of Texas's website at www.ercot.com.


Don't See What You're Looking For?

If you still can't find what you are looking for, submit a PIA request.

To assist us in handling your request as accurately and efficiently as possible, keep in mind the following tips:

  • Your request must be in writing. The PIA does not apply to oral requests for information.
  • Include your full name and contact information, including e-mail address if you have one.
  • There are no special words required for a PIA request. We ask that your request be as specific as possible in describing the information you are seeking. Include date ranges if applicable. We will work with you to narrow or clarify your request to locate the records you are seeking.
  • Your request must be for records or information that already exists - the PIA does not require us to answer questions, perform legal research, or continue to provide records as they are created in the future.
  • If you want to send your request by fax or e-mail, you must send it to the fax and e-mail addresses below in order to receive the full benefits of the PIA. We recommend all requests be addressed to the PUC's Public Information Coordinator, regardless of how they are submitted to the PUC.
  • If you submit your request by e-mail, you will receive an auto-reply message that summarizes some of the relevant information from this webpage.
  • By law, a request is considered to be received during regular business hours (between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.) on a regular business day (not a state holiday or skeleton crew day).
  • To expedite the PUC's response to your request, you may ask that the PUC redact confidential information.

What's Not Available?

Here are a few examples of the types of information you will not be able to get with a PIA request either because we do not have it or the PIA does not apply to it:

  • Information that does not already exist - the PIA does not require us to create new information in response to a request.
  • Answers to general questions - the PIA does not require us to answer questions or do research to respond to a PIA request.
  • Opinions - the PUC is not in the position to endorse any one company over another or give an opinion as to a company's reliability or reputation.
  • Information related to water or natural gas.
  • Electricity usage and billing history for residences or commercial operations.
  • Franchise agreements between cable companies and municipalities.

How to Submit Your Request

By e-mail to:

open.records@puc.texas.gov

By mail to:

Public Information Coordinator
Public Utility Commission of Texas
P.O. Box 13326
Austin, Texas 78711-3326

By fax to:

Public Information Coordinator
512-936-7058

In person at:

Public Utility Commission of Texas
1701 N. Congress Avenue
Austin, Texas 78701
7th Floor, Main Reception


What Happens After you Submit a Request?

The PUC responds to requests in the order in which they are received. The PIA allows agencies up to ten business days to respond to a request. Records rarely exist in just one place. Depending on the scope of your request, we may need to contact various parts of the agency asking several different employees to locate and compile responsive records. Sometimes PUC employees have questions about a request that must be resolved before they begin locating and compiling records. If records can be located and compiled more quickly, we will reply as soon as possible. However, keep in mind that it sometimes takes the full ten business-day period to locate all records, especially when a request is large in scope.


What is Public Information?

"Public Information" is information that is collected, assembled, or maintained under a law or ordinance or in connection with the transaction of official business by the governmental body, or for the governmental body if the governmental body owns or has a right of access to the information. For example, certain information held by a contractor of a governmental body could be considered "public information" if the information is maintained for the governmental body and the governmental body owns or has a right of access to it.

Although information in the possession of a governmental body is presumed public, some of this information may be subject to one or more exceptions to disclosure. Some types of information in the PUC's possession that the PIA or the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) has said are confidential include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Account numbers (e.g., utility accounts)
  • E-mail addresses of members of the public
  • Private, personal information such as certain financial or medical information
  • Home addresses, phone numbers, and family member information of government employees
  • Certain business information submitted by an entity such as a utility or contractor

Other information in the PUC's possession that may not be subject to release includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Privileged attorney-client communications
  • Information relating to pending or anticipated litigation
  • Interagency communications consisting of advice, opinion, or recommendations on policymaking matters of the agency

What Happens if the Information you Have Requested is Privileged or Confidential?

Although the law presumes that all information in the possession of a governmental body is available to the public, exceptions exist that may limit the public disclosure of certain types of confidential, privileged, or sensitive information. Governmental bodies must promptly release requested information that is not confidential or that does not fall within one of the exceptions of the PIA. If a governmental body believes that the requested information is confidential or falls within one of the PIA's exceptions, it must request a ruling from the OAG within 10 business days of receiving the request. The OAG will determine in a letter ruling whether information is excepted from public disclosure or whether it must be released.

This notice from the OAG contains information on the rights of requestors and responsibilities of governmental bodies as well as procedural information regarding the PIA: Public Information Act Notice

If we believe that requested information might be privileged, confidential, or excepted from public disclosure, we submit the records to the OAG to get a ruling on the records' status. We will send you a copy of the ruling request without the records. When we receive the OAG's ruling, we will notify you of the ruling and either withhold or release the records as directed by the OAG.


Are There Charges for Requesting Public Information?

The PUC uses the cost rules established by the OAG for responding to PIA requests. Documents officially filed at the PUC may be downloaded at no cost by using the PUC Interchange.

The PUC will work to minimize costs. For example, in many cases we can scan and attach records to an e-mail to save duplication charges.

Our Central Records Office is open to the public Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., excluding holidays. Documents that are filed in Central Records may be inspected or copied during those hours. A public copy machine is located in Central Records; the cost is $0.10 per printed page.