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District court sides with LCRA in customer dispute


A Travis County district court judge has granted the Lower Colorado River Authority's motion for partial summary judgment and determined that LCRA had not violated wholesale power agreements with four of its customers.
District Judge Scott Jenkins entered the order Jan. 24. He declared that LCRA "has not materially breached the Uniform Rate Clause of its Wholesale Power Agreements (WPAs) with Defendants and . . . Defendants' attempted termination of their WPAs based on a breach of the Uniform Rate Clause was improper." The defendants are the City of Seguin, Central Texas Electric Cooperative, San Bernard Electric Cooperative and Fayette Electric Cooperative.
Those defendants, along with the cities of Georgetown, Kerrville and Boerne, complained last June that LCRA had breached the uniform rate provision by allowing customers who signed amended, long-term agreements to purchase some power from other sources. LCRA has argued, and the judge agreed, that LCRA was not in breach because it charges all of its customers the same rate.
"We have said all along that LCRA did not breach its contracts with those customers because they are all charged the same rate," said LCRA General Manager Becky Motal. "This was a rash, expensive and unnecessary move for those electric retail providers whose customers must now pay the bills."
While there are other issues still to be resolved with the four customers, the court's decision that the customers' termination of their contract with LCRA was not justified validates LCRA's decision to seek relief in court. Similar cases involving Georgetown, Kerrville and Boerne are pending in other courts.