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Nevada PUC Assigns Docket For Investigation On Retail Choice, Committee Had Asked For Review Of Retail Market Structure (Including Default Service), Timeline

October 4, 2017

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Copyright 2010-17
Reporting by Paul Ring •

At the request of the Governor's Committee on Energy Choice, the Nevada PUC has assigned Docket 17-10001 for an investigation regarding the Energy Choice Initiative.

No substantive filings are yet available electronically in the proceeding

The Governor's Committee on Energy Choice at a recent meeting voted to request the PUCN open an investigatory docket on the following electric choice issues:

1. Develop timeline for implementation

   a. What needs to occur first?

   b. What are the long lead time issues?

2. Identify which programs/statutes need to be revised and how that should be accomplished

   a. Low-income assistance

   b. Renewable portfolio standards (RPS)

3. Market Structures:

   a. Wholesale markets

      i. Qualitative and quantitative analysis (to the degree possible) of the following options:

        • Existing bi-lateral market (is it sufficient)

        • Full participation in an existing ISO/RTO

        • Contractual relationship with ISO/RTO

        • Other options ???

4. Retail markets:

    a. Qualitative analysis of existing competitive retail markets:

      i. Relative pros/cons

      ii. Identify best practices/structures for Nevada

      iii. Provider of last resort options

During the committee's meeting, there was discussion concerning whether the PUCN's review would include costs of transitioning to electric choice, including the impact from existing "704B" customers, who are large customers who have left the utility for competitive supply. One of the proposed items for the investigation, which was not included in the committee's ultimate request, was potential costs of transitioning to choice as well as treatment of 704B customers

According to draft minutes from the meeting, while the committee did not specifically include these two items in its request, PUCN Chair Joe Reynolds, an Ex Officio member of the committee, said that he does not want the PUCN to look at the 704B issues and feels that this is not an appropriate item to have on the request

However, per the draft minutes, Reynolds stated that if he is opening an investigatory docket then the PUCN will be looking at the costs to the consumers as it is a number one question, and the PUCN cannot do half of their job by not looking at the costs and only giving half of the data. Per the draft minutes, Reynolds stated that regardless of whether the committee asked for costs or not, the PUCN will review 704B customers and costs and if the committee does not want the PUCN to look at that then the committee should not proceed with the request of opening an investigatory docket.

According to draft minutes, Reynolds said that once the docket is opened, the PUCN will look at any items that need to be reviewed in order to provide the investigatory docket as required by statute, and that the PUCN will not be micromanaged and will do the job as required by them.

Per the draft minutes, Reynolds also stated that the PUCN will not be making any recommendations on the ballot initiative. Per the draft minutes, Reynolds stated that the docket is an opportunity to create a cornerstone report for the committee, legislature and public to review and assist in moving the conversation forward with a road map of the choices available

The PUCN docket was proposed since it would be an open, public, transparent process of data gathering, allowing all stakeholders the same option to speak on these matters

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