(a) The commission may retain any consultant, accountant, auditor, engineer, or attorney
the commission considers necessary to represent the commission in a proceeding before
the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, or before a court reviewing proceedings
of that federal commission, related to:
(1) the relationship of an electric utility subject to this subchapter to a power
region, regional transmission organization, or independent system operator;
(2) the approval of an agreement among the electric utility and the electric utility's
affiliates concerning the coordination of the operations of the electric utility and
the electric utility's affiliates; or
(3) other matters related to the electric utility subject to this subchapter that
may affect the ultimate rates paid by retail customers in this state.
(b) Assistance for which a consultant, accountant, auditor, engineer, or attorney
may be retained under Subsection (a) may include:
(1) conducting a study;
(2) conducting an investigation;
(3) presenting evidence;
(4) advising the commission; or
(5) representing the commission.
(c) The electric utility shall pay timely the reasonable costs of the services of
a person retained under Subsection (a), as determined by the commission. The total costs an electric utility is required to pay under this subsection may
not exceed $1.5 million in a 12-month period.
(d) The commission shall allow the electric utility to recover both the total costs
the electric utility paid under Subsection (c) and the carrying charges for those
costs through a rider established annually to recover the costs paid and carrying
charges incurred during the preceding calendar year. The rider may not be implemented before the rider is reviewed and approved by the
(e) The commission shall consult the attorney general before the commission retains
a consultant, accountant, auditor, or engineer under Subsection (a). The retention of an attorney under Subsection (a) is subject to the approval of
the attorney general under Section 402.0212, Government Code.
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