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Reliant Energy waits for compensation from LMISD - The Galveston County Daily News : Local News

November 27, 2014

Reliant Energy waits for compensation from LMISD

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Posted: Sunday, August 17, 2014 12:00 am

LA MARQUE — Reliant Energy is waiting to see what compensation, if any, the La Marque school district will offer for backing out of a contract, a spokesperson said.

The La Marque school district somehow signed a contract with Reliant Energy in May after it had an approved a contract with the state-backed Energy for Schools program.

The five-year contract with Reliant Energy began in June. At the same time, a three-year contract with Energy for Schools was set to begin.

The Reliant contract committed the district to a higher per kilowatt-hour cost than the original contract, according to contract documents.

Reliant began to supply energy to the school district’s meters in June; but on Aug. 4, school board trustees approved switching back to Energy for Schools.

On the advice of the school district’s attorney, district officials are not speaking about the situation.

At a board meeting Thursday night, board President Nakisha Paul said there were no updates on the energy contracts.

Veronica Adamcik, a Reliant Energy spokesperson, said the company was notified about the overlapping contracts on July 15 and received confirmation last week that all meters had been switched back. The question now is what the school district will pay for backing out of its contract.

“Reliant has not yet determined the amount, if any, of its contractual damages for LMISD’s breach of the agreement,” Adamcik said.

“(Reliant Energy) does not know if LMISD intends to compensate Reliant for those damages.”

Documents provided in response to a request under the Texas Public Information Act show that the school district approved a contract renewal with Energy for Schools, a nonprofit retail electric provider managed by the Texas General Land Office, in 2012.

Somehow the school board approved a separate contract with Reliant on May 20.

The documents do not say how the sales pitch made it to the board or how the board managed to approve overlapping contracts.

The Reliant Energy contract states that the price per kilowatt-hour would be 5.927 cents — 0.517 cents higher than the Energy for Schools’ price.

A spokesperson for the General Land Office said things are back to “business as usual.”

Contact reporter Christopher Smith Gonzalez at 409-683-5314 or chris.gonzalez@galvnews.com.