Stipulation In Utility Expenditure Case Includes Retail Market Provisions
October 29, 2018 Email This Story Copyright 2010-17 EnergyChoiceMatters.com
Reporting by Paul Ring • firstname.lastname@example.org
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A stipulation among several parties in a Public Utility Commission of Ohio proceeding addressing a proposed Capital Expenditure Program (CEP) at Columbia Gas of Ohio includes several provisions related to the retail natural gas market
Under the stipulation, Columbia agrees to meet with interested signatory parties to determine the feasibility and cost effectiveness of implementing information technology system enhancements related to commercial and industrial choice customers which shall include, but are not limited to:
1. An electronic portal that provides historic usage data of commercial and industrial CHOICE customers and can be accessed by CRNGS providers with proper authorization from customers.
2. A mechanism that allows a CRNGS provider to provide uninterrupted and continuous service to commercial and industrial customers’ premises (without being reverted back to the SSO for one billing cycle) in the event of a customer name or ownership change; provided that the CRNGS provider provides proper and timely notice to Columbia of consent by the customer.
Under the stipulation, Columbia shall use "good faith" efforts to implement the information technology system enhancements related to commercial and industrial choice customers identified above if the enhancements have been determined to be feasible and cost effective prior to its 2021 base rate case filing.
Under the stipulation, Columbia agrees to file an application to adjust its base rates with a test period of calendar year 2021
The stipulation was signed by, among others, Columbia Gas, PUCO Staff, the Ohio Consumers' Counsel, various large customers, and Interstate Gas Supply
The Retail Energy Supply Association did not sign the stipulation, and sought that a new procedural schedule be established, citing new matters covered by the stipulation.
RESA said that the stipulation now contains multiple terms, "well beyond the recovery of historical, deferred CEP-related costs and expenses." For example, RESA said that the stipulation includes:
• A new proposal, including rates and terms, for collection of future CEP costs and expenses for years through a new expedited review process;
• New proposed terms for adjusting Columbia's distribution rates to reflect the impact of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017;
• Provisions directed at information technology programs that directly related to large commercial and industrial Choice customers; and
• Proposed details for a future base rate case filing.
"RESA did not sign the stipulation and must now seek to protect its interests that were affected not only by the application in this proceeding, but now are affected by the stipulation which now includes new cost recoveries and issues not in the application," RESA said