RRC Follows Up on Recommendation to Temporarily Halt Gas Disconnections

April 08, 2020

AUSTIN – A few weeks ago the Railroad Commission of Texas recommended that gas utilities temporarily suspend disconnecting residents facing financial constraints during the current COVID-19 State of Disaster.

Gas utilities have taken that very important step of voluntarily suspending disconnections, and today the RRC made another announcement in the process.

In a Notice to Operators, the RRC authorized utilities to create accounting mechanisms to track COVID-19 related expenses including, but not limited to, uncollected debt, employee personal protective equipment, occupational health costs and cleaning supplies.

“We will continue to work with utilities to help provide relief to residents facing hardships across Texas,” said Mark Evarts, RRC Market Oversight Section Director. “If utilities come to the RRC for rate change hearings in the future, we will thoroughly review the accounting of expenses accrued due to COVID-19 and determine whether they can recover those costs when their rates are set.”

The notice sent to gas utilities can be found on the RRC website at nto-state-disaster-waiver-gas-utility-asset-accounting_04-08-2020.pdf.

About the Railroad Commission:
Our mission is to serve Texas by our stewardship of natural resources and the environment, our concern for personal and community safety, and our support of enhanced development and economic vitality for the benefit of Texans. The Commission has a long and proud history of service to both Texas and to the nation, including almost 100 years regulating the oil and gas industry. The Commission also has jurisdiction over alternative fuels safety, natural gas utilities, surface mining and intrastate pipelines. Established in 1891, the Railroad Commission of Texas is the oldest regulatory agency in the state. To learn more, please visit http://www.rrc.texas.gov/about-us/.