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Exelon Supporting Illinois Bill To Prohibit Retail Suppliers From Enrolling Assistance Program Customers, Except Where Savings Guaranteed, Or In Muni Aggregations

Bans Variable Rates Except Those Based On Wholesale-Derived Formula

Legislation Would Require $1 Million Bond For Retail Suppliers Serving Residential Customers and Marketing Door-to-Door

$500,000 For Residential Service Alone

Would Require Brokers To Disclose To Customer Amount Of Compensation Received

Would Require Price To Compare To Be Listed On All Supplier Price Advertisements

March 14, 2019

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Copyright 2010-19
Reporting by Paul Ring •

The following story is brought free of charge to readers by EC Infosystems, the exclusive EDI provider of

Exelon announced in a news release today that it is supporting legislation in Illinois called the Clean Energy Progress Act, introduced by Rep. Larry Walsh Jr. (D-Joliet)

Exelon said that the bill would, "Implement reforms to the state’s competitive retail electricity and natural gas markets that protect consumers from bad actors and misleading business practices, while maintaining the benefits of customer choice through greater oversight of the competitive energy supplier industry and protections for the most vulnerable consumers."

With respect to the retail electric market, among other things, the bill provides that, "Beginning January 1, 2020, an alternative retail electric supplier shall not knowingly submit an enrollment to change a customer's electric power and energy supplier if the electric utility's records indicate that the customer received financial assistance in the last 12 months from either the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program or the Percentage of Income Payment Plan unless: (1) the customer's change in electric power and energy supplier is pursuant to a government aggregation program adopted in accordance with Section 1-92 of the Illinois Power Agency Act; or (2) the customer's change in electric power and energy supplier is pursuant to a Commission-approved savings guarantee plan as described in subsection (b)."

A guaranteed savings product would first require approval by the ICC

The bill would require a $500,000 bond from retail suppliers to serve residential customers. A supplier engaged in door-to-door residential sales would be required to post an additional $500,000 bond

Under the bill, all advertisements with supplier prices must include the utility price to compare

All marketing and materials (including in-person and telephonic pitches) must include the following: "(Name of alternative retail electric supplier) is not the same entity as your electric utility delivery company. You are not required to enroll with (name of alternative retail electric supplier). The electric utility supply rate disclosed herein does not include the current Purchase Electricity Adjustment (PEA) that may increase or decrease your actual electric utility supply rate. For information on the PEA, as well as historical comparison rates for electric utility supply rate and understanding your electric supply choices, go to the Illinois Commerce Commission's free website at"

Under the bill, a supplier's product must have a rate that is either: (A) unchanged for no less than a term of 4 months; or (B) if a month-to-month variable or time-of-use rate, such rate must be tied to a specific formula that will allow a customer to determine the variable or time-of-use rate, and should be based on the Real Time Locational Based Marginal Price for the zone in which an account is located or a similar publicly available index. The alternative retail electric supplier may include an adder under item (B) that may increase no more than 10% during the term of the contract and which must be explicitly disclosed to the customer

As of January 1, 2020, a customer enrolled under a new contract shall not be renewed to a variable product.

The bill would require brokers to disclose, "to each customer, prior to the customer signing a contract, the amount of the compensation being charged by the agent, broker, or consultant"

The bill requires suppliers using SCB to include the PTC on bills

The bill includes similar provisions applicable to natural gas suppliers. A ban on service to assistance program natural gas customers substantially similar to the electricity ban described above is included in the bill

Referencing recent FERC PJM capacity market decisions and opt-outs, Exelon also said that, "The Clean Energy Progress Act addresses these concerns by directing the Illinois Power Agency (IPA), which already oversees power and renewable purchases for the state’s largest utilities, to take over responsibility for procuring clean generation capacity on behalf of residents in northern Illinois."

The bill is HB 2861. All information in this story is based on House amendment 1 to the bill

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