Direct Energy Seeks Discussion On Schedule, Process For Proceeding Considering Return Of All Hardship Customers To Default Service
February 19, 2019 Email This Story Copyright 2010-19 EnergyChoiceMatters.com
Reporting by Paul Ring • firstname.lastname@example.org
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Direct Energy Business, LLC and Direct Energy Services, LLC submitted comments concerning the schedule and process for the Connecticut PURA proceeding in which PURA is considering the transfer of all hardship electric customers to default service
EnergyChoiceMatters.com had first exclusively reported (see story here) that 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
Direct Energy said in its filing that, "This docket was opened on the Authority’s own motion on May 15, 2018. The Office of Consumer Counsel ('OCC') issued two sets of data-intensive interrogatories in October and December 2018, and a third set in January 2019. In a letter to the Authority dated December 6, 2018, OCC also indicated its preference to use an outside consultant and submit pre-filed testimony. The current Time Schedule in the above-referenced proceeding reflects a Technical Meeting scheduled for next Thursday, February 21st, as well as a Hearing tentatively scheduled for March 6th. The Authority proposes to issue a Proposed Final Decision in April."
Direct Energy said in its filing that, "As a preliminary matter, the process and goal of this proceeding remains unclear. Direct suggests that the first matter addressed at the February 21 Technical Meeting should be a discussion of a process consistent with the stated objectives for this proceeding. In addition, Direct Energy respectfully submits that a hearing a mere three weeks after the technical meeting is inappropriate in such a data-heavy docket, especially given the potential and significant impact on the competitive retail electricity market. Furthermore, if OCC still intends to present pre-filed testimony, all participants should be given an opportunity to submit rebuttal testimony in accordance with principles of due process and adjudicatory fairness. Finally, to date, the impact of OCC’s proposal on the retail electric market as a whole and the provision of utility standard service have not been addressed."
"Docket 18-06-02 is an uncontested case and no statutory deadline exists that requires such a compacted proceeding with an accelerated timeline. Accordingly, Direct Energy requests that the Authority devote much of the February 21 Technical Meeting to a discussion of the issues for adjudication in this proceeding and establishment of the going-forward process," Direct Energy said in its filing