Thursday, February 28, 2019

Public Comments Invited On A Proposed PUC Policy On Electric Customer Assistance Program Shopping

On February 28, the Public Utility Commission approved an Order requesting comments on a proposed policy statement designed to strengthen consumer protections for Customer Assistance Program (CAP) customers participating in the state’s retail electric market.
The Commission voted 5-0 to solicit comments on the proposed policy which would establish uniform guidelines for electric distribution companies’ (EDCs’) CAP shopping programs.  
In designing future CAP shopping programs, EDCs should include the following provisions:
-- A requirement that the CAP shopping product has a rate that is always at or below the EDCs’ PTC(s) over the duration of the contract between the EGS and the CAP participant.
-- A provision that the contract between the EGS and the CAP participant contains no early termination or cancellation fees.
-- A provision that, at the end of the contract, the CAP participant may re-enroll with the EGS at a product that meets the same requirements as outlined in numbers 1 and 2 above, switch to another EGS offering a product that meets those requirements or be returned to default service.
Additionally, the Commission asks whether any party believes that it can show that there is a reasonable alternative to the program described above, where harm will not be incurred by either CAP or non-CAP customers, they are free to propose such a model.
Interested parties have 45 days from the publication of the Order in the Pennsylvania Bulletin to provide written comments to Secretary Rosemary Chiavetta, Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, 400 North St., Harrisburg, PA  17120. Written replies to filed comments must be submitted with 60 days of the date of publication. Comments may alternatively be filed electronically through the Commission’s e-File system.
In a related matter, the Commission voted 5-0 to set rules and procedures for the CAP shopping program and scripting for the FirstEnergy Customer Referral Program (CRP).  Prior to issuing today’s proposed policy statement, the Commission had ordered modifications to FirstEnergy’s CAP shopping program to be implemented on or before June 1, 2019.  
Modifications to FirstEnergy’s CAP shopping program are consistent with the proposed policy statement issued for comment.
Legere: PUC Imposes Limits After Electricity Shopping Cost Low-Income Customers Millions

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