The Public Utility Commission made the decision to focus on and address violations of electric service reliability, in regards to ongoing violation settlements.
Both Entergy Texas and CenterPoint Energy had lingering settlements for specific past violations without a clear timeline for corrective actions, as reported by The Quorum Report.
The focus of the new policy was regarding Entergy’s progress to address violations and didn’t regard the specifics of these.
Commissioner Jimmy Glotfelty was the first to give his opinion of what PUC’s response needed to be.
“All I have written in my notes is to oppose the penalty because it’s too low,” Glotfelty said, reading from his list. “Work not being completed. No timeline for completion and implementation of new measures. Eight consecutive years of duration outage problems.”
Glotfelty agreed to accept a lower fine if there was a promise of improvement, after hearing an argument made by Barksdale English – division director for compliance and enforcement.
Barksdale admitted the current system of managing electric service quality had its shortcomings, however, most of their cases are from 2019 and had been negotiated prior to the Division of Compliance and Enforcement being reconstituted.
According to The Quorum Report, Commissioner Will McAdams added it was time to enshrine some mechanisms in policy that are easy for utilities to understand and English’s division to follow so that electric reliability increases and incidents decrease over time.
The commissioners could have chosen the typical route – to remand the order back to Entergy to get a specific timeline for implementation and fold that back into the stand-alone order.
In the end, Chairman Peter Lake decided that incorporating progress in docket cases into the overall reporting structure was an “excellent idea.”
“Going forward as a commission, we will be taking a much more focused, disciplined look at these issues and be requiring a higher level of accountability,” Lake said.