Retail Suppliers Seek Conference On Regulator's New Amnesty Program
February 11, 2019 Email This Story Copyright 2010-19 EnergyChoiceMatters.com
Reporting by Paul Ring • email@example.com
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The Retail Energy Supply Association requested that the Connecticut Public Utilities Regulatory Authority convene a procedural conference, and suspend a recent procedural order, concerning PURA's amnesty program for retail suppliers that have not complied with the Next Cycle Rate requirements
In seeking the procedural conference, RESA said, "While RESA strongly supports an amnesty program as an alternative to enforcement, before such a program is implemented, various legal and factual issues should be considered to ensure that the program serves its intended purpose and adequately protects both consumers and suppliers. Full consideration of these legal and factual issues could lead to increased participation in the amnesty program to the benefit of ratepayers."
RESA said that, "the Procedural Order requires suppliers to report Next Cycle Rate 'violations.' However, as the Authority is aware, the Authority’s power to enforce the requirements of Connecticut General Statutes section 16-245d(a)(2) against suppliers has been called into question. Moreover, the admission to any violation could have legal implications beyond this proceeding and, because suppliers may have reporting obligations in other states, could have regulatory implications beyond the State of Connecticut. Since the amnesty program is the equivalent of an alternative dispute resolution process, RESA recommends that any self-reporting be treated comparably to disputed claims in a settlement rather than as an admission."
RESA further said, "Likewise, the Procedural Order does not address the ramifications of self-reporting if amnesty is not granted. For instance, the Procedural Order indicates that the Authority intends to review any self-reporting and 'to review and approve, approve with modifications, or reject any proposed plans to refund overbilled customers.' If suppliers submit plans that are approved with modification and are unwilling to accept the modification or if the Authority rejects supplier plans, will the self-reporting then be admitted as evidence in a subsequent enforcement proceeding?"
RESA also said, "In addition to these legal issues, the Procedural Order raises several factual questions. For instance, if the Authority rejects a supplier’s plan, will the supplier have the opportunity to submit a revised plan for consideration? Further, the Procedural Order provides that 'a Supplier may submit some of this information contained in this filing under seal along with a motion requesting protected treatment of information.' However, without knowing what information will be made publicly available, suppliers may be less willing to take advantage of the amnesty program because the information could be used for other purposes to the detriment of suppliers. Thus, before requiring suppliers to self-report and submit refund plans, the Authority should establish the parameters of the information that will be treated as confidential."