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PUC Proposes To Prohibit (Non-POR) Utilities From Collecting Deposits On Behalf Of Retail Suppliers

Utilities Would Be Required To Collect SOS-Related Deposits Even From Customers On Competitive Supply


October 5, 2017

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

The Maine PUC has issued proposed rules which would prohibit electric and natural gas utilities from collecting customer deposits on behalf of a competitive electricity provider (CEP) or gas marketer

Regarding electric utilities, the PUC proposes amending its rules to clarify that a T&D utility may not collect a deposit from a customer on behalf of a CEP.

"The purpose of this rulemaking is to consider a requirement that electric utilities collect a deposit to cover anticipated standard offer service. If a utility were to be allowed to collect a deposit on behalf of a CEP, the deposit requirements would not only become confusing for customers, but could also create a significant barrier to obtaining service," the PUC said

The proposed rule does not, however, prohibit a CEP from obtaining a deposit directly from its customers.

Maine utilities do not currently offer purchase of receivables

Furthermore, the PUC is proposing to require that electric and gas utilities collect deposits related to potential Standard Offer service, even for customers served on competitive supply

Regarding the electric rules, "The Commission further proposes to require electric utilities to include potential standard offer charges when calculating and assessing a deposit and to separately account for deposit amounts collected to cover anticipated standard offer service from anticipated transmission and distribution charges. Regarding electric utilities, the Commission proposes that this subsection apply to all residential customers, even those who may purchase electricity from a CEP, because these customers have the right to at any point return to standard offer service, and the utility may not require a deposit as a pre-condition to obtaining standard offer service," the PUC said

A similar provision requiring the LDC to collect deposits related to the potential cost of gas (supply) would also be adopted

The default service-related deposits would first be applied for any default service charges, and, if deposit amounts remain after such application, the default service-related deposit amounts could be applied for T&D charges. The default service-related deposits would not be applied to any competitive supply charges

Dockets 2017-00253, 2017-00254

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