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ESCOs Seek Initiation Of Settlement Discussions in New York Evidentiary Mass Market Review

Cite "Considerable Common Ground" On Key Areas


October 27, 2017

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

A group of ESCOs have asked the New York PSC to initiate confidential settlement discussions among parties in the New York PSC's evidentiary review of the retail energy mass markets

Joining the motion were the Retail Energy Supply Association (“RESA”), the National Energy Marketers Association (“NEMA”), Agway Energy Services, LLC, Constellation Energy Gas Choice, LLC, Direct Energy Services, LLC, Drift Marketplace, Inc., ENGIE Resources LLC, Great Eastern Energy, the Impacted ESCO Coalition, Infinite Energy, Inc., and Robison Energy, LLC and Robison Energy (Commercial), LLC ("Movants" or "ESCOs").

As an initial step, the ESCOs asked the ALJs to schedule a procedural conference immediately following the filing of rebuttal testimony in the above-referenced dockets, and include within that conference a, "purposeful dialogue regarding the mechanics of commencing meaningful confidential settlement negotiations among the parties pursuant to the Commission’s Rules and Regulations under 16 N.Y.C.R.R. § 3.9."

"With the filing of rebuttal testimony within the next twenty four hours, the Movants believe the parties have arrived at a crossroads that calls for the parties to consider an agreed upon joint proposal to address the substantive issues in the Evidentiary Proceeding. Based upon all of the direct testimony filed to date, there is considerable common ground in a number of key areas on which the parties may potentially cultivate a proposal. The ongoing Evidentiary Proceeding is both costly and disruptive to all parties and, with the evident agreement on many issues in the direct testimonies, it is in the public interest for the parties to engage in meaningful settlement discussions at this time. And even if the parties reach only a partial agreement, that will still narrow the scope of the contested matters in these dockets, conserving the Commission’s scarce administrative resources. In all events, it would be beneficial to grant the parties room to work toward settlement," the ESCOs said

Specifically, the ESCOs said that a review of the direct testimony revealed that, "all of the parties believe that there is room for improvement in each of the following areas:"

• Raising standards for market participation;

• Increasing market transparency and accountability, including with respect to variable pricing offers;

• Enhancing consumer protection, including with respect to the door-to-door sales channels; and

• Providing further opportunities for product innovation.

"Although there are obviously details for discussion and potential agreement, these topics create a platform upon which to build consensus. Where past 'collaboratives' between the parties did not resolve the parties’ differences, the Movants firmly believe that confidential settlement negotiations will provide the parties with the appropriate venue to freely discuss and resolve those differences with finality," the ESCOs said

"The Movants, therefore, respectfully request that Your Honors convene a procedural conference to discuss the mechanics of setting up a settlement process, including a schedule, that will provide the parties adequate opportunity to discuss a settlement without unnecessarily delaying a final resolution of the issues in these proceedings," the ESCOs said

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