Thursday, December 20, 2018

PUC Approves PECO Rate Settlement With Pilot Program For Fast-Charging Stations For Electric Vehicles

On December 20, the Public Utility Commission approved a partial settlement involving PECO Energy Company and various other parties that includes a pilot project to encourage installation of fast-charging stations for electric vehicles.
The settlement also substantially reduces the rate increase requested earlier this year by the utility and requires the utility to return $68 million in federal tax savings to customers.
The Commission voted 5-0 to approve a net revenue increase of $24.9 million for PECO, compared to $81.9 million increase in the utility’s initial filing with the PUC--  a reduction of approximately 70-percent in the rate increase that was sought.
Under the settlement, the average monthly bill for a residential customer using 700 kilowatt-hours per month would increase from $102.65 to $103.92 (or 1.2%), effective January 1, 2019.
In addition, the settlement requires PECO to refund $68 million in savings that resulted from the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.  Residential customers will receive a one-time bill credit in January 2019, while refunds to larger commercial and industrial customers will be spread over a one-year period.
The settlement also includes a pilot project intended to encourage the installation of fast charging stations for electric vehicles and gather data to investigate future rates for direct current fast charger systems-- a program highlighted by PUC Chairman Gladys M. Brown as an important step to stimulating the electric vehicle market and something that aligns with the Commission’s recent policy statement regarding development of EV charging infrastructure.
The Commission also addresses issued raised by NRG Energy related to default service costs and methods used by PECO to calculate their price-to-compare (used by consumers shopping for competitive energy suppliers).
PECO provides electric services to approximately 1.6 million customers within Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, Philadelphia and York counties.
The joint petition for settlement in this rate case was filed by PECO, the PUC’s independent Bureau of Investigation & Enforcement, the Pennsylvania Office of Consumer Advocate, the Office of Small Business Advocate, the Philadelphia Area Industrial Energy Users Group, the Coalition for Affordable Utility Services and Energy Efficiency in Pennsylvania, the Tenant Union Representative Network and Action Alliance of Senior Citizens of Greater Philadelphia, the Community Action Association of Pennsylvania, Tesla Inc., ChargePoint Inc., Walmart Stores East LP and Sam’s East Inc.
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