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Update: New York Grants Waivers To Three ESCOs To Serve Low-Income Customers, Denies Waivers Sought By Four ESCOs

October 18, 2017

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

Updated: 1:00 p.m. 10/18/17

The PSC adopted the draft orders discussed below without modification with respect to Just Energy New York Corporation, National Fuel Resources, Inc., and Zone One Energy, LLC, granting these ESCOs a waiver to serve APP customers with a GSP product under the terms described below

The PSC adopted the draft orders discussed below with respect to Stream Energy New York, LLC; Agway Energy Services, LLC; South Bay Energy Corp.; and New Wave Energy Corporation, denying these ESCOs a waiver to serve APP customers

The PSC at its meeting today did not consider the petition for a waiver filed by Utility Expense Reduction, LLC. The item was removed from the agenda

This morning, Utility Expense Reduction (UER) filed a letter with the PSC stating, "The draft Order [referenced below] incorrectly states that UER failed to provide sufficient clarity on the details of its proposal and failed to provide any calculation methodologies to show how UER would provide a true-up mechanism to ensure guaranteed savings."

UER further wrote, "On July 11, 2017, UER filed their response to DPS Staff’s information request, dated May 12, 2017, and in a series of follow up conversations with Staff via telephone, UER established that its responses to DPS Staff and to the Office of Consumer Services inquiries were sufficient. UER spoke with Staff on at least three occasions to confirm that the materials it provided to Staff were sufficiently clear and detailed, and followed up with two confirmation emails. In fact, UER’s counsel sent an email correspondence to Staff at the Office of Consumer Services on July 31, 2017 and again on October 18, 2017 to confirm that UER had provided sufficiently detailed, clear, and complete responses to Staff. UER made clear that it was willing and able to provide further documentation, analysis, or explanation to support its guaranteed savings proposal, and welcomed the opportunity to work with Staff to achieve those goals."

Earlier:

Draft discussion documents scheduled to be considered at today's New York PSC meeting would approve waivers allowing Just Energy New York Corporation, National Fuel Resources, Inc., and Zone One Energy, LLC to serve assistance program participant (APP) customers with a guaranteed savings product (GSP)

The draft discussion documents would deny waivers to serve APP customers sought by Stream Energy New York, LLC; Agway Energy Services, LLC; South Bay Energy Corp.; New Wave Energy Corporation; and Utility Expense Reduction, LLC

Regarding Just Energy New York Corporation's petition, which would be approved, the draft discussion document states that, under its petition, Just Energy will provide a monthly variable Guaranteed Savings Product that will provide a 1% savings compared to the utilities’ publicly available price, measured on an annual basis. With the understanding that the published utility rate is not all inclusive, Just Energy will utilize modeling software for determining utility prices, for comparison purposes, augmented by additional tariff requirements and other information, at each 12-month contract anniversary or when a customer terminates ESCO service.

Regarding National Fuel Resources, Inc.'s (NFR) petition, which would be approved, the draft discussion document states that NFR's existing GSP product guarantees that customers will achieve a savings each month over what they would have paid the utility for bundled service.

Regarding Zone One Energy, LLC's petition, which would be approved, the draft discussion document states Zone One’s existing GSP product guarantees that customers will achieve a savings by applying a contractually specified percent reduction to what they would have paid the utility for bundled service. The draft discussion document also states that Zone One Energy has, "shown it consistently came in under the utility price."

For each of the three ESCOs to whom waivers would be granted, the draft discussion documents state that the ESCOs adequately demonstrated how they will calculate the guaranteed savings and ensure compliance

For each of the three ESCOs to whom waivers would be granted, the draft discussion documents would limit the waiver to 24 months, with an automatic expiration at such time unless the PSC re-authorizes a waiver, consistent with prior waivers granted to other ESCOs

The draft discussion documents would deny waivers to serve APP customers sought by Stream Energy New York, LLC; Agway Energy Services, LLC; South Bay Energy Corp.; New Wave Energy Corporation; and Utility Expense Reduction, LLC

Generally, the draft discussion documents would conclude that for each of these five ESCOs, the ESCO did not definitively establish that it could provide guaranteed savings to APP customers or ensure that the APP customer would pay no more than what the customer would have paid for bundled utility service. Generally, the draft discussion documents would find that the materials submitted by such ESCOs showing how such ESCOs would calculate the savings or ensure compliance were not adequate

The ESCOs for whom the waivers were denied would be required to de-enroll APP customers within 30 days of receiving information from the electric & gas distribution utilities identifying such customers, provided that existing contracts will continue until their expiration, under the interpretation of existing contract set forth in prior PSC orders

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