Texas electric co-ops are calling on the Federal Communications Commission to investigate whether Texas has too many cooperatives and how they operate.
The Cooperatives State of Texas Association said the Texas Commission on Occupational Safety and Health (COOSH) should investigate the state’s electric cooperats, including those operating on electric transmission lines.
Cooperatives are small businesses that collect and sell electricity and use it to make payments for electricity services.
The cooperatives typically sell electricity to utilities and other customers.COOSH Director Dr. John Husted said in a statement that the agency should also investigate how Texas cooperatives are collecting fees and how electricity is distributed among the co-op members.
“Texas cooperatives that have been operating without a federal regulatory oversight for years have raised concerns about the safety of the electric cooperaties they serve, especially in light of the increased demand for energy from a growing electric grid and a changing economy,” Husted wrote.
“These complaints are particularly troubling given the fact that more than half of all electric cooperates in Texas were formed in 2010 and many have been running in an unregulated manner.”
Cooperators say the electric grid is becoming more robust and that they must increase the amount of energy they sell to ensure they have enough electricity to meet the demand.
Co-ops say that they operate under the same safety standards as traditional electricity producers and can use any methods to ensure safety and security.
Cooperative leaders have urged state regulators to expand the federal government’s regulatory oversight of electric cooperas.