Friday, December 21, 2018

PUC Looks To Clarify Procedures For Electric Supplier Shopping Under Utility Customer Assistance Programs

On December 20, the Public Utility Commission approved a motion from Commissioner David W. Sweet seeking to provide more uniform retail electric shopping standards for customers participating in electric distribution companies’ (EDCs) Customer Assistance Programs (CAPs).  CAPs are intended to provide eligible low-income customers with lower monthly payments and arrearage forgiveness.
EDCs periodically submit default service plans (DSPs) to the Commission outlining their electric generation procurement processes and associated programs tied to their provision of default service for customers, including those in CAPs, who have not switched to competitive suppliers.
The Commission voted 5-0 to adopt the motion, which proposes certain criteria all EDCs with CAP requirements should follow in their future DSPs to better ensure CAP customers switching to a competitive supplier do not pay higher rates for electric generation and to keep down costs ultimately paid by all customers.
The motion directs the PUC’s Law Bureau to prepare a Proposed Policy Statement for the Commission’s consideration no later than Feb. 28, 2019, setting forth specific areas of uniformity in CAP shopping practices that EDCs with CAP requirements should have in future DSPs, including:
-- A requirement that the CAP shopping product have a rate that is at or below the EDC’s Price to Compare (PTC) at all time periods of the contract between the EGS and the customer;
-- A provision that the contract between the EGS and the CAP customer contains no early termination or cancellation fees; and
-- A provision that, at the end of the contract, the CAP customer may reenroll with the EGS at a product that meets the same requirements as outlined above, switch to another EGS offering a product that meets those requirements or be returned to default service.
Click Here for a copy of Commissioner Sweet’s motion.

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