Retail VP: Indiana Retail Choice Effort Killed By Suppliers Charging Polar Vortex Pass-Throughs
October 30, 2015 Email This Story Copyright 2010-15 EnergyChoiceMatters.com
Reporting by Karen Abbott • firstname.lastname@example.org
Efforts to introduce retail choice in Indiana were killed by the actions of certain retail suppliers which passed-through unexpected polar vortex costs to customers, Graham Leith, Vice President of Sales for GDF SUEZ Energy Resources NA, told attendees at The Energy Professionals Association (TEPA) annual conference in Dallas.
"Indiana was relatively close to passing some legislation," concerning retail choice introduction, Leith told TEPA attendees. "It was the polar vortex, frankly, and some of the things that were happening in both Ohio and Pennsylvania around suppliers passing through costs, that started to pull that back. We saw legislators nervous about what a liberalized market might look like," Leith said
Now the Indiana "choice" debate is centering mainly around large C&I customers being able to take advantage of cogeneration, not true commodity supply choice.
Leith did not name any specific supplier engaged in such behavior. However, EnergyChoiceMatters.com itself observes that, by far, the most negative media attention was attracted by FirstEnergy Solutions' attempts to pass-through certain PJM polar vortex costs to customers on fixed rate contracts. Another representative from GDF Suez Energy Resources NA had previously been quoted as stating that FirstEnergy Solutions' "irresponsible" pricing strategy (which included customer-angering pass-through clauses on ostensibly fixed contracts), "ruined the market."
Noting the lack of any substantive expansion of retail choice since Enron, Leith noted, "Every time we seem to make progress [in moving choice forward], we as an industry, whether it's the suppliers or the partners, don't do the right things, frankly, in some other markets, and it makes legislators very nervous, and suddenly the regulations get pulled back."