PSC Reverses Course, Keeps Default Service Adder, For Now, In Rehearing Order
September 14, 2017 Email This Story Copyright 2010-17 EnergyChoiceMatters.com
Reporting by Paul Ring • firstname.lastname@example.org
The District of Columbia PSC, in a rehearing order, has reversed its earlier July order which was to have required that the bypassable adder to electricity SOS be eliminated effective June 1, 2018.
Instead, the PSC will maintain the bypassable adder, part of the SOS admin. charge, while the issue is reviewed as part of the next biennial SOS review, to be initiated next year
Removal of the bypassable adder had been part of a wide-ranging SOS order that contained numerous policy choices that will negatively impact retail suppliers (see details here)
"After reconsidering this matter further, the Commission agrees that the better course of action would be to defer this issue [the adder] to the upcoming Biennial Review where we could explore it in more depth and develop a more complete record before making a decision that could negatively impact competition. We, therefore, grant RESA’s request to reconsider and reinstate the adder provision," the PSC said
RESA, in a rehearing request, had noted that D.C. Code § 34-1509(d)(1)(A) mandates that the SOS price "not hinder" the development of the District’s competitive electricity market. RESA had stated that absent a full unbundling of Pepco’s costs to provide SOS, the adder helps to level the playing field for competitive energy suppliers.
RESA cited the PSC's conclusions from its July order, in which, while eliminating the adder, the PSC said that, since the adder is so small, its elimination would, "only result in minimal harm to the development of competitive energy suppliers."
RESA stressed that Section 34-1509(d)(1)(A), "does not provide that the price for SOS may hinder development of the competitive electricity market, as long as it is only a slight hindrance."
The PSC also clarified the consumer protection rules applicable to small commercial customers
The PSC clarified that the Consumer Bill of Rights (Chapter 3 of Title 15 of the D.C. Municipal Regulations) only applies to residential customers, and that the Consumer Bill of Rights superseded, for residential customers only, the Interim Electric Consumer Protection Standard (Interim Standards) adopted on September 18, 2000.
The Interim Standards as adopted applied to both residential and small commercial customers, and the PSC clarified that the Interim Standards remain applicable to small commercial customers of competitive electricity suppliers.
The PSC denied rehearing of its decision maintaining a 12-month minimum stay (with a grace period of 3 billing cycles) for commercial customers who return to SOS. The PSC said that the issue could be revisited in the next biennial SOS review