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RULE §24.115 Cessation of Operations by a Retail Public Utility

Published: 2015

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(a) Any retail public utility which possesses or is
required to possess a certificate of convenience and necessity desiring
to discontinue, reduce or impair utility service, except under the
conditions listed in the TWC, §13.250(b), must file a petition
with the commission which sets out:
  (1) the action proposed by the retail public utility;
  (2) the proposed effective date of the actions which
must be at least 120 days after the petition is filed with the commission;

  (3) a concise statement of the reasons for proposing
the action; and
  (4) the area affected by the action, including maps
as described by §24.106(f)(1) of this title (relating to Notice
and Mapping Requirements for Certificate of Convenience and Necessity
(b) The retail public utility shall submit a proposed
notice to be provided to customers of the utility and other affected
parties which will include the following:
  (1) the name and business address of the retail public
utility which seeks to cease operations;
  (2) a description of the service area of the retail
public utility involved;
  (3) the anticipated effect of the cessation of operations
on the rates and services provided to the customers;
  (4) and a statement that persons who wish to intervene
or comment upon the action sought should file a request with the commission
at the commission's mailing address: Filing Clerk, Public Utility
Commission of Texas, 1701 North Congress Avenue, P.O. Box 13326, Austin,
Texas 78711-3326 within 30 days of mailing or publication of notice,
whichever occurs later.
(c) After review by the commission, the applicant shall
mail the notice to cities and neighboring retail public utilities
providing the same utility service within two miles of the petitioner's
service area and any city whose extraterritorial jurisdiction overlaps
the applicant's service area, and to the customers of the applicant
proposing to cease operations.
(d) The applicant may be required by the commission
to publish notice once each week for two consecutive weeks in a newspaper
of general circulation in the county of operation which shall include,
in addition to the information specified in subsection (b) of this
  (1) the sale price of the facilities;
  (2) the name and mailing address of the owner of the
retail public utility; and
  (3) the business telephone of the retail public utility.
(e) The commission may require the applicant to deliver
notice to other affected persons or agencies.
(f) If, 30 days after the required mailed or published
notice has been issued, whichever occurs later, no hearing is requested,
the commission may consider the application for final decision without
further hearing.
(g) If a hearing is requested, the application will
be processed in accordance with Chapter 22 of this title (relating
to Procedural Rules).
(h) In no circumstance may a retail public utility
which possesses or is required to possess a certificate of convenience
and necessity, a person who possesses facilities used to provide utility
service, or a water utility or water supply corporation with less
than 15 connections that is operating without a certificate of convenience
and necessity pursuant to §24.103 of this title (relating to
Certificates Not Required) cease operations without commission authorization.

(i) In determining whether to grant authorization to
the retail public utility for discontinuation, reduction, or impairment
of utility service, the commission shall consider, but is not limited
to, the following factors:
  (1) the effect on the customers and landowners;
  (2) the costs associated with bringing the system into
  (3) the applicant's diligence in locating alternative
sources of service;
  (4) the applicant's efforts to sell the system, such
as running advertisements, contacting similar adjacent retail public
utilities, or discussing cooperative organization with the customers;
  (5) the asking price for purchase of the system as
it relates to the undepreciated original cost of the system for ratemaking
  (6) the relationship between the applicant and the
original developer of the area served;
  (7) the availability of alternative sources of service,
such as adjacent retail public utilities or groundwater; and
  (8) the feasibility of customers and landowners obtaining
service from alternative sources, considering the costs to the customer,
quality of service available from the alternative source, and length
of time before full service can be provided.
(j) If a utility does abandon operation of its facilities
without commission authorization, the commission may appoint a temporary
manager to take over operations of the facilities to ensure continuous
and adequate service.

Source Note: The provisions of this §24.115 adopted to be effective September 1, 2014, 39 TexReg 5903