News Release From the Office of State Senator Wendy Davis

May 26, 2009
Contact: Bernie Scheffler, (512) 463-0110

Davis Passes Amendment to Protect Consumers from Unexpected Electricity Rate Hikes

AUSTIN — Freshman Senator Wendy Davis today earned a major victory for consumers in advancing legislation designed to help Texas families cope with the state's higher-than-average electricity rates.

"It has been an uphill battle with some powerful interests, but I am very proud to have passed some legislation today that will have a very real, very positive impact on Texas families and their pocketbooks," Senator Davis said.

With the deadline for bills to be heard in the Senate rapidly approaching, Senator Davis won passage of an amendment that would require retail electricity providers to give their customers at least 30 days written notice before their fixed-price contracts expire. The legislation was inspired by concerns voiced by homeowners last summer, when many were shocked to see their electric bills double from one month to the next after their contracts expired.

The amendment was based on language included in Senator Davis' Senate Bill 1468, which was filed in March and given a public hearing, but never scheduled for a committee vote. An identical bill, H.B. 995, was carried in the House by Representative Chris Turner and died in the Calendars Committee.

"This is a common-sense measure that will give people an opportunity to shop around and secure the best electricity rates available, taking advantage of the competition among electricity retailers," Senator Davis said.

The vehicle bill, House Bill 1822, was authored in the by Rep. Burt Solomons, and sponsored in the Senate by Sen. Troy Fraser.