Public Utility Commission
The Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUC) regulates the state's electric, telecommunication, and water and sewer utilities, implements respective legislation, and offers customer assistance in resolving consumer complaints. It does so while working to protect customers, foster competition, and promote high quality infrastructure. The PUC was born in 1975 when the Texas Legislature enacted the Public Utility Regulatory Act (PURA) and charged the agency with providing statewide regulation of the rates and services of electric and telecommunications utilities. As a result of deregulation and the institution of a competitive energy market, the PUC's mission and focus 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, focused on ensuring 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. In 2013, the Texas Legislature transferred the economic regulation of water and sewer utilities to the PUC. This transfer involved the functions with respect to the regulation of water and sewer rates and services, Certificates of Convenience and Necessity (CCNs) and Sale/Transfer/Mergers from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) to the PUC.