AUSTIN, Texas — AARP Texas issued the following statements regarding two upcoming meetings – today’s Texas Sunset Advisory Commission meeting involving the Public Utility Commission and Thursday’s Open Meeting of the PUC.
The remarks are attributed to Tim Morstad, senior associate state director of advocacy at AARP Texas.
“The Sunset Advisory Commission is voting today (Wednesday) on the core components of the Public Utility Commission Sunset bill. AARP commends Chairman Charles Schwertner and Sunset Advisory Commission members for pursuing proposals that will make the PUC more efficient and effective in serving Texans,” Morstad said. “Unfortunately, the absence of proposals to better protect medically vulnerable Texans during extended power outages leaves important work to be done by the 88th Legislature. Texans who rely on electrically-powered devices are uniquely threatened by loss of power. Current law and PUC rules do little to nothing to protect this at-risk population during outages.”
Meanwhile, at its next regularly scheduled Open Meeting on Thursday, the Public Utility Commission is expected to vote on a “market redesign” proposal that would permanently increase consumers' power costs by hundreds of millions of dollars per year.
Morstad said: “AARP remains deeply concerned about the ability of Texas consumers to shoulder additional charges on their electricity bills. Consumers have already paid over a billion dollars of additional costs related to changes the PUC has already made to the electric market in 2022. Texans are also paying off billions in utility company liabilities created during Winter Storm Uri in 2021. These high prices for essential services will have a dire impact on consumers.”
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