RESA Says Consumer Counsel Interrogatories Impermissibly Seek Broad Information Concerning Retail Market, Beyond Scope Of Hardship Customer Proceeding
October 29, 2018 Email This Story Copyright 2010-17 EnergyChoiceMatters.com
Reporting by Paul Ring • email@example.com
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The Retail Energy Supply Association filed with the Connecticut PURA objections to various interrogatories expounded on the electric distribution companies by the Office of Consumer Counsel’s, as RESA said that such interrogatories went beyond the scope of a proceeding reviewing whether hardship customers should be returned to default service.
As first reported by EnergyChoiceMatters.com, the Connecticut PURA opened a Docket 18-06-02 for a review of the feasibility, costs, and benefits of placing certain customers on standard service pursuant to Conn. Gen. Stat. § 16-245o(m). The General Statutes of Connecticut §16-245o(m) permits the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (Authority) to initiate a docket to review the feasibility, costs and benefits of placing on standard service all customers of all electric suppliers (1) who are hardship cases for purpose of subdivision (3) of subsection (b) of section 16-262c, (2) having moneys due and owing deducted from such customer bills by the electric distribution company pursuant to subdivision (4) of subsection (b) of section 16-262c, (3) receiving other financial assistance from an electric distribution company, or (4) who are otherwise protected by law from shutoff of electricity services. The statute permits the Authority in a final decision to order all such customers to be placed on standard service
EnergyChoiceMatters.com was first to report that PURA, in opening the case, said it would compare the amount that hardship and other customers covered under § 16-245o(m) have paid under retail supply versus the amount the same accounts would have paid if on standard service
OCC has also issued various interrogatories to the EDCs in the proceeding.
RESA objected to various of the interrogatories as covering issues not related to hardship and other customers covered under § 16-245o(m), and thus outside the scope of the proceeding
"Non-hardship customers are not covered by Connecticut General Statutes section 16-245o(m) and, therefore, information about them is outside the scope of, and irrelevant to, the instant proceeding, and immaterial. Accordingly, the Authority should determine that the EDCs are not required to respond to any interrogatories not specifically tailored to hardship cases, and direct the EDCs not to respond to any interrogatories not so tailored," RESA said
RESA said that Interrogatories OCC-3, OCC-5, OCC-7, OCC-12, OCC-15, OCC-16, OCC-19(a), OCC-19(b), OCC-19(c), OCC-20(a), OCC-20(b), OCC-20(c), OCC-21, OCC-23(a), OCC-24(a), and OCC-25 inquire specifically about non-hardship customers or matters generally applicable to all customers, not just hardship customers
For example, RESA said that Interrogatories OCC-3(d), OCC-5, OCC-6, OCC-7, OCC-8, OCC-19(b), OCC-19(c), OCC-20(b), OCC-20(c), OCC-23(a), and OCC-24 request information by municipality, zip code, and/or rate class.
"The instant proceeding does not deal with geographic distinctions between customers. Connecticut General Statues section 16-245o(m) empowers the Authority to initiate a docket respecting all customers defined under Connecticut General Statutes section 16-245o(m) as hardship cases, not customers from a particular municipality, zip code, or rate class," RESA said
"Interrogatory OCC-20(j) requests information about customers flagged in EDC billing systems, but not mentioned elsewhere in Interrogatory OCC-20. To the extent that any of these customers are not hardship cases, information about them is not relevant to the instant proceeding and should not be provided in response to the OCC’s interrogatories," RESA said
"Interrogatories OCC-3, OCC-4, OCC-5(a), OCC-6(a), OCC-12, OCC-13, OCC-16, OCC-17, OCC-19, and OCC-21 request information to be provided on a supplier-by-supplier basis. The instant proceeding is not directed at nor does it involve specific, individual suppliers. Indeed, Connecticut General Statutes section 16-245o(m) does not authorize an inquiry into particular suppliers; it authorizes the Authority to initiate a proceeding to review whether to place a certain type of customers 'of all electric suppliers' on Standard Service. Accordingly, information specific to particular suppliers is not relevant or material to the instant proceeding and should not be provided in response to the OCC’s interrogatories. The Authority should determine that the EDCs are not required to respond to these interrogatories and direct the EDCs not to respond to these interrogatories. By doing so, the Authority also will prevent sensitive supplier-specific information from being disclosed publicly," RESA said