AGG - Aggregator
Questions and Answers
- What should registering parties do before they file their application form?
First, they should become familiar with Senate Bill 7 and electric restructuring issues in general. In particular, registering parties must read and understand Public Utility Regulatory Act (PURA) § 39.353 and PUC Substantive Rule §25.111, and then they should prepare to operate as an aggregator within one or more of the five classifications of Aggregator under these rules. Second, registering parties should carefully consult and fill out the Instructions and Form for the Aggregators Registration.
These and most related documents can be downloaded from http://www.puc.state.tx.us/industry/electric/business/index.cfm
- How should a registering party complete its application if particular questions do not appear applicable?
- Failure to provide responsive answers to all questions may result in delay or denial in the award of the aggregator registration requested. An answer of "not applicable" or "n/a" is considered non-responsive. For clarity, the registering party should state responses in complete, declaratory sentences, even when the substance of the answer is "none." To be fully responsive, the registering party's answers should address any qualifications, clarifications, or multiple aspects related to the information requested on the form.
- Who must sign the affidavit for the application?
- An "authorized representative," who must be an owner, partner, or officer of the company doing business in Texas, must sign the application. A notary outside of Texas may notarize the application, as long as the notary's registration is current with the appropriate government authorities. BE SURE TO CHECK all applicable check-boxes on the affidavit and throughout the form. Failure to do can delay or invalidate the registration.
- How should the application for Aggregator registration be submitted to the PUC?
- The registering party must submit 7 copies (six copies and an original), along with the original, and a cover letter, to:
Filing Clerk, Central Records Division
Public Utility Commission of Texas
1701 N. Congress Avenue
PO Box 13326,
Austin, TX 78711-3326
- Is an Aggregator required to file an Annual Report with the Commission?
- Yes, an Aggregator must file such a report annually by September 1 addressing the period covered by the previous calendar year. The Commission will develop a form for use in filing the Annual Reports that are due September 1, 2002, and September 1 of each year thereafter.
- How long will it take to establish my Aggregator registration?
- Upon filing, the commission will review the registration request for completeness within 15 business days. If it is found to be incomplete, written notification will be provided to the registering party so that any defect may be cured. The commission shall determine whether to accept or reject the registration request within 60 days of receipt of a complete registration request.
- Can an Aggregator registration be suspended/revoked by the Commission?
- Yes. Pursuant to PURA §39.356, registration can be suspended or revoked for violating PURA or Commission Rules, including violation of the financial standards in the rules. See § 25.111(j). Administrative penalties can also be imposed under PURA § 15, Subchapter B.
Business and Operational Parameters
- Does it matter which "class" of aggregator that I register for?
Yes. The type of entity you are and the type of electricity customers you wish to join has bearing upon the threshold eligibility and operational requirements that must be met to qualify for registration. There are two classes of aggregators, Class I or Class II. The Class II aggregators concern the aggregation of public customers. Class II is divided into four Subclasses, each of which have specific parameters as to which kind of entity can aggregate what kinds of customers, or administer the aggregation of citizens on behalf of a political subdivision offering an aggregation program to its citizens.
Read P.U.C. Substantive Rule §25.111(d)(3)-(4) very carefully to decide which Classes or Subclasses you are eligible for and wish operational parameters you wish to meet. You may register for more than one type of aggregator, assuming you meet the respective eligibility requirements and commit to operating within the parameters defined for each of the classes for which you register. This part of the rule is derived from PURA § 39.353, 39.354, and 39.3545, combined with Local Government Code § 303.001 and § 303.002, which should also be reviewed by each registering party.
- When aggregating customers, can Aggregators take title to electricity?
- No, generally speaking, most Aggregators cannot take title to electricity and resell it to their aggregated customers. All Class I aggregators are specifically prohibited from taking title to electricity. The only aggregators that are allowed to take title to electricity are Class II.B Aggregators: political subdivision corporations, formed pursuant to PUC Subst. R. § 25.111(c)(5) and Local Government Code § 303.001, that join authorizing political subdivisions and municipal governing bodies into a single entity for the purpose of negotiating the purchase of electricity from Retail Electric Providers for the facilities of the aggregated political subdivisions or municipal governing body. See PUC Subset. R. §25.111(d)(4)(B). Local Government Code § 303.001(d) states that these aggregators can "purchase electricity" for certain purposes. No other aggregators are allowed by law to take title.
- Do subcontractors or consultants of Aggregators also need to be registered as Aggregators?
- No. However, Aggregators are responsible for the actions of their consultants and subcontractors. Review § 25.111(b) carefully in regard to the functional role of Aggregators in the market. If an Aggregator subcontracts any part of the function of aggregating electricity, the Aggregators is held liable for the subcontractor's compliance with any applicable standards, such as customer protection standards established in P.U.C. Substantive Rules § 25, Subchapter R. Remember, if electric loads are being aggregated across multiple customers (as opposed to just across multiple locations for one customer), then someone in the chain of activity must be a registered aggregator.
- In a landlord-tenant situation, who is the "customer" that chooses which REP to use?
Senate Bill 7, the 1999 electric restructuring legislation in Texas, specifically addressed landlord-tenant situations in the following way:
PURA § 39.107(c): Beginning on the date of introduction of customer choice in a service area, tenants of leased or rented property that is separately metered shall have the right to choose a retail electric provider, an electric cooperative offering customer choice, or a municipally owned utility offering customer choice, and the owner of the property must grant reasonable and nondiscriminatory access to transmission and distribution utilities, retail electric providers, electric cooperatives, and municipally owned utilities for metering purposes.
Standard and Alternative Limited Registration Matters
- Is all the information in Attachment C required for the Standard Registration?
- Yes. Provide fully responsive answers, as discussed in Question 2 above. Answers must be written on a separate Attachment C, not on page 3 of 6 of the application.
- Does the registering party need to be registered with the Secretary of State and the Comptroller's Office?
- Registration with these other offices of the State of Texas depends on the business structure of the entity (e.g., incorporation status) and whether or not business operations are subject to paying taxes. The Commission rules do not make specific requirements for registration in addition to the rules of those offices, but they do require registering parties to provide sufficient information to access records on file with those offices, if any. This includes the addresses and phone numbers of the registering party's affiliates, if any. Such information allows the Commission to determine the validity of the registering party's operating name(s) and the registering party's tax delinquency status, among other considerations.
- Is a minimum amount or type of prior experience required to be an aggregator?
- No, but a registering party must describe the nature and extent of their prior experience that is relevant to providing aggregation services. This may or may not involve electric aggregation, and may consist of experience outside the usual utility industries, but it should clearly demonstrate what direct or transferable skills the registering party brings to the task of electric aggregation.
- If a party registers under the Alternative Limited Registration provisions, and is therefore limited to serving named customers, what information is required for Attachment D?
- In exchange for limiting its aggregation activity to customers that swear their consent to be served by the aggregator that has not made full registration disclosures to the Commission, the prospective Limited Aggregator is allowed a lesser registration burden. Specifically, the prospective Limited Aggregator does not have to provide information concerning its affiliate relationships, activities in other states, compensation sources, or complaint history. However, it still must provide the remainder of information that is required for the Standard Registration. That means the prospective Limited Aggregator must submit, in Attachment D, the information required of Standard Registration components (a), (b), (c), (g), (h), (i) and (k), but not components (d), (e), (f) and (j).
- Do Aggregators need to meet any financial standards for registration?
- It depends: 1) No, if the aggregator does not collect any payments for aggregation services in advance of providing those services. 2) Yes, if the aggregator takes any type of prepayments from its clients. If the applicant, or its consultants, plan to take customer prepayments, the Q&A list for REPs on the Commission's Internet site may offer further information on matters pertaining to financial evidence requirements.
Links to Related Electric Restructuring Matters on the PUC Site
Commission's Home Page www.puc.state.tx.us
Text of Senate Bill 7, the electric restructuring law.
Project 22255-Customer Protection Rules (many of your questions are answered in these rules)
Project 22187--Terms and Conditions of Transmission and Distribution Utilities
ERCOT-Protocols - Can also download approved protocols in Control number 23220 from the "Filings" section on the PUC