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Regulator Changes Default View Of State-Run Retail Supply Rate Board To List Lowest Offers First

Proposes Other Changes To Retail Shopping Website


August 21, 2017

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Copyright 2010-17 EnergyChoiceMatters.com
Reporting by Paul Ring • ring@energychoicematters.com

The Massachusetts DPU has issued for comment several proposed changes to the DPU's retail electricity shopping website and rate board, and in doing so noted that it has changed the default view of offers listed on the site (Energy Switch Massachusetts).

Originally, the rate board's default view listed offers on a random basis.

The DPU noted that the default view has changed such that the site now defaults to listing supply products by average monthly cost, from low to high. Customers may continue to sort offers by average monthly cost, contract length, or renewable content.

The DPU proposes that, in applicable utility service areas (Nstar and Mass. Electric [National Grid]), retail suppliers shall be required to list the applicable ISO-NE load zones for which a product is offered, when listed on the rate board

The DPU proposes that suppliers be allowed to list products that are available to new customers only. Under the current rules, offers on the DPU's rate board must be offered to all customers in a respective customer class.

The DPU proposes to allow, but not require, suppliers to list a telephone number with an offer that is specific to that particular supply product, in order to improve the experience of customers purchasing products through the Website. The DPU also proposes to modify how information concerning products eligible to be classified as renewable (at least 50% renewable, when including any state RPS mandates) would be displayed. The new provisions would be as follows:

A. The website will display the percentage of each electric supply product that is composed of renewable energy resources. This includes the percentage required by RPS and the percentage that exceeds the RPS requirement (the website will display the percentage that exceeds the RPS requirement as the "voluntary" component of the product).

B. For products that are composed of at least 50 percent renewable energy resources, the website will:

   1. display those renewable resource types (e.g., wind, solar) that comprise at least 50 percent of the product’s voluntary renewable resources; and

   2. identify whether all of the product’s voluntary renewable resources are RPS Class I resources (the website refers to these resources as "new regional resources").

Docket 14-140

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