Pa. PUC Reverses Prior Direction, Finds That, In Restricting CAP Customer Shopping, Issue Of Whether Retail Supplier Rate Must Always Be Below Utility Rate Shall NOT Be Delegated To Collaborative
PUC Orders That Retail Supplier Rate Must Always Be At Or Below Utility Price To Compare
October 24, 2018 Email This Story Copyright 2010-17 EnergyChoiceMatters.com
Reporting by Paul Ring • email@example.com
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The Pennsylvania PUC this morning adopted, 5-0, a motion to grant reconsideration sought by consumer advocates concerning the PUC's recent price cap imposed on Pennsylvania Customer Assistance Program (PCAP, or CAP) customer shopping at the FirstEnergy EDCs, and ruled that, to serve a PCAP customer, the retail supplier's rate must always be at or below the utility's Price to Compare for the duration of the contract
EnergyChoiceMatters.com was first to report the PUC's adoption of the CAP "shopping program" at the FirstEnergy EDCs, under which CAP customers may only enter into a contract with an EGS (electric generation supplier) for a rate that is at or below the utility’s PTC and which does not contain an early termination or cancellation fee. As previously reported, the PUC delegated to the Office of Competitive Market Oversight (OCMO) further discussion concerning mechanics and implementation of the price cap
In delegating the issue to OCMO, the PUC ordered that the issue of whether the EGS rate must be below the PTC at the time of contracting only, or below the current PTC and below all future PTCs during the duration of the customer's contract with the EGS, is within the scope of this referral to OCMO.
As previously reported, the Pennsylvania Office of Consumer Advocate petitioned the Pennsylvania PUC to reconsider its decision, as OCA opposed including within the scope of OCMO's review the issue of how the capped EGS price relates to future Prices to Compare
OCA had requested that, "the Commission reconsider its September 4, 2018 Order and find that the issue of whether the EGS rate must be below the PTC at the time of contracting or below that and all future PTCs is not within the scope of its referral of the CAP shopping program to OCMO. It should be settled that the EGS rate must be at or below the PTC at all times."
The PUC, in granting reconsideration at its meeting today, ordered that the retail supplier rate must always be at or below the PTC for an EGS to serve a PCAP customer under the new PCAP shopping program. Accordingly, this issue will not be referred to OCMO.
The PUC denied the FirstEnergy EDCs' request for reconsideration. The EDCs had sought to require that the only authorized product under the PCAP shopping rules be a rate ready "percent-off-PTC" product
The PUC found that such a product limitation was not supported, as customers are not harmed as long as the price is at or below the PTC
The PTC did refer to OCMO the issue of whether the PCAP products should be submitted to the EDCs via rate ready or bill ready billing