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PURA Declines To Suspend Procedural Schedule, Move Hearing Date In Proceeding Reviewing Transferring All Hardship Customers To Default Service

Does Grant More Time For Interrogatories

March 29, 2019

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Copyright 2010-19
Reporting by Paul Ring •

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The Connecticut PURA has declined a request from Direct Energy to suspend the procedural schedule and hold a status conference in PURA's proceeding reviewing whether to transfer all hardship customers to standard service

PURA also declined to adjust the hearing date, but did grant additional time for discovery 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 had requested a suspension of the procedural schedule and status conference for the reasons stated in our prior story on Direct's request (see story here)

"The Authority believes the current schedule allows 'for sufficient time to gather and review the evidence necessary for the participants to effectively prepare and the Authority to effectively adjudicate the issues that are the basis for the proceeding.' The current schedule, however, allows for modifications that maintain the current hearing date while affording additional time for discovery," PURA said

To that end, the Authority issued a revised schedule with this ruling that will reflect the following:

Interrogatories sent: April 4, 2019

Interrogatories due: April 18, 2019

Rebuttal testimony due: April 25, 2019

Final set of interrogatories sent: May 2, 2019

Final set of interrogatories due: May 16, 2019

Hearing: May 21, 2019

"While the Authority agrees with OCC’s argument that more than one month is sufficient time to formulate rebuttal testimony based on data readily available in interrogatory responses, this revision allows Direct more time to gain information from an additional set of discovery and an additional three weeks to formulate its rebuttal testimony," PURA said

"The Authority sees no benefit to holding a status conference at this time. A technical meeting was held in this docket in February 21, 2019, during which the parties addressed scheduling issues. Circumstances have not changed in the intervening month to warrant suspension of the docket for another meeting regarding scheduling. The amended schedule sufficiently addresses the concerns Direct has raised," PURA said

Docket No. 18-06-02

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