Risk & Compliance

TXU Accused of ”Market Power Abuse”

Texas utility commission asserts that the state's largest supplier of electric power caused the price of electricity to rise 15.5 percent between J...
Stephen TaubMarch 13, 2007

Texas regulators have accused TXU of manipulating the Texas electric market, costing consumers $70 million and generating $20 million in extra profits for the state’s largest supplier of electric power, reported the Associated Press.

A report prepared by Potomac Economics and released by the state Public Utility Commission alleged that TXU caused the price of electricity to rise 15.5 percent between June and September 2005, according to the AP. “TXU’s behavior constitutes market power abuse,” the utility commission reported asserted.

TXU could be fined as much as $25,000 per day per violation, commission spokesman Terry Hadley told the wire service.

“I am personally outraged that TXU would intentionally manipulate prices in the wholesale market to create higher profits,” said state senator Troy Fraser at a news conference in Austin, according to the AP. “Consumers of this state deserve to be treated fairly, and for a company that delivers an essential service to millions of Texans, this behavior is unacceptable.”

The wire service suggested that the report could make it more difficult for a group of private equity funds to complete their proposed $32 billion purchase of the company.

TXU spokeswoman Lisa Singleton told the AP that the company was “obviously disappointed” in the findings. She added that TXU has thoroughly reviewed its conduct during the period in question and believes that it followed Public Utility Commission rules. “We are eager and open to discussing this matter further with commission staff,” Singleton told the wire service.