In 1975, the Texas Legislature enacted the Public Utility Regulatory Act (PURA) and created the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUC) to provide statewide regulation of the rates and services of electric and telecommunications utilities. Although the PUC originally regulated water utilities, jurisdiction was transferred to the Texas Water Commission in 1986. Significant legislation enacted by the Texas Legislature in 1995, along with the Federal Telecommunications Act of 1996 (FTA), dramatically changed the PUC’s role by allowing for competition in telecommunications wholesale and retail services, and by creating a competitive electric wholesale market. In 1999, the Texas Legislature provided for the restructuring of the electric utility industry, allowing certain customers electric choice.
The PUC’s mission and focus have shifted from regulation of rates and services to oversight of competitive markets and compliance enforcement of statutes and rules for the electric and telecommunication industries. Effective oversight of competitive wholesale and retail markets for electric and telecommunication is necessary to ensure that customers receive the benefits of competition. For water and sewer utility service, however, the focus remains on the regulation of rates and services.
The PUC continues to perform its traditional regulatory function for electric transmission and distribution utilities across the state. Additionally, while integrated electric utilities outside of the ERCOT power grid remain fully regulated by the PUC, the PUC is increasingly involved in multi-state efforts to implement wholesale electric competitive market structures and transmission planning in the Southwest Power Pool (SPP) and Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) areas.
For more information, visit the Public Utility Commission of Texas website.