BGE Said To Reach Consensus With Parties On Most Prepaid Pilot Issues, Two Supplier Issues Sent To PSC For Disposition
July 20, 2018 Email This Story Copyright 2010-17 EnergyChoiceMatters.com
Reporting by Paul Ring • email@example.com
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Baltimore Gas & Electric has informed the Maryland PSC that it has reached consensus on most outstanding issues related to its proposed prepaid pilot for electric and dual-fuel customers, with three issues outstanding and presented to the PSC for final disposition, two of which concern retail electric suppliers.
As previously reported, the PSC generally authorized BGE's prepaid pilot, but suspended the specific tariffs implementing the program, and directed that BGE work with various parties on issues raised concerning the tariffs. The BGE prepaid pilot will be limited to 1,000 customers
BGE reported that it has reached agreement with parties concerning most issues. Two retail supplier issues remain outstanding.
Under the pilot, customers may elect prepay service but remain on competitive supply
The first issue concerns the rate used for estimating daily charges
WGL has sought that BGE use the supplier rate instead of the SOS rate for estimating daily charges
BGE opposes this request, citing implementation costs
"WGL Energy requests that, if the customer is shopping with a retail supplier, BGE use the prepaid customer’s supplier rate, rather than BGE’s proposal to use its Standard Offer Service rate, when estimating daily charges to a customer’s prepaid account prior to the monthly reconciliation, which will reconcile the charges on the customer’s prepaid account to the customer’s supplier charges. First, this accommodation would only be possible for suppliers offering 'rate-ready' billing. Second, it would require $350,000 or more in additional technical modifications to both BGE and its vendor PayGo’s processes just for the ability to use supplier rates for existing gas customers with suppliers who use 'rate-ready' billing. Given the small pilot size, the lack of 'rate-ready' service in Maryland for electric retail suppliers, and the fact that the prepaid pilot is not open to gas-only BGE customers, this would likely have a limited impact in the pilot. As for bill-ready suppliers, BGE cannot charge the supplier rate during each month because these suppliers do not submit their charges until the end of the billing cycle," BGE said
WGL also asked that BGE provide to suppliers all customer charges on the bill to enable the suppliers to verify the true-up of the payments and customer usage.
BGE opposed this request as duplicative.
"WGL Energy also asks to be provided all customer charges and payments each month, to allow them to verify the monthly reconciliations in response to any customer questions about BGE’s prepaid program. Suppliers do have access to customer billing information today. As a result, retail suppliers will already have the information needed to reconcile their own charges in response to customer questions (they have their own rate and the BGE default service rates), and BGE will be prepared to provide customers with answers to any specific billing questions they have," BGE said