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New York Utilities Seek To Offer Renewable Gas To Customers

Propose Utility Ownership Of Assets Related To Geothermal Heating

Seek Increased Marketing For Program Under Which Utilities Offer Energy Management Services To Large Customers

Seek New CIS To Support New Customer Programs And Rate Options

Consolidated Billing Charge Updated

May 1, 2019

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Copyright 2010-19
Reporting by Paul Ring •

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KeySpan New York and KeySpan Long Island (collectively, National Grid) have filed rate cases with the New York PSC

In the rate case, the KeySpan LDCs propose a "Green Gas" tariff offering that will allow customers to voluntarily purchase renewable natural gas [RNG] to meet all or a portion of their energy needs.

The offering will include four tiers, which will differ for residential and non-residential customers

For residential customers, tiers and pricing would be:

Low              $5/month
Low-Middle      $20/month
High-Middle     $25/month
High            $50/month

Specifics on the amount of RNG per tier for residential customers was not readily apparent.

For non-residential customers, customers would have the option of a percent of RNG, or paying a flat fee. The percentage tiers would be 5%, 10%, 25%, and 100%. Pricing was not readily apparent, but the KeySpan LDCs propose a RNG-specific cost of gas to maintain an accurate cost of RNG apart from the cost for traditional gas.

Concerning the flat fee, the non-residential pricing tiers would be $25/month, $50/month, $100/month, or $200/month (or $500/month). Specifics on the amount of RNG per tier for the non-residential flat rate option was not readily apparent.

Residential customers would be required to commit to the Green Gas Tariff program for twelve months, while non-residential customers must commit to a twenty-four-month term for either the flat rate or percentage of monthly consumption option.

The KeySpan LDCs also propose ownership of geothermal assets in an expansion of a pilot. "[T]he Companies propose to draw on the lessons learned from KEDLI’s current geothermal demonstration project, by expanding the offering to interested customers, giving priority to those located outside the footprint of the current and planned gas network," the LDCs said

Under the geothermal pilot, "The Companies propose to own and install the ground-loop portion of GSHP [Ground Source Heat Pumps] system in parts of KEDNY and KEDLI’s service territories. In return, geothermal customers would pay the respective company a fee for design work and company-owned equipment installed. The expanded project will prioritize LMI [low & moderate income] and C&I customers. The Companies expect the ground loop utility-ownership model will prove particularly useful, helping customers to spread costs over time and improving adoption rates."

The LDCs also propose expanded demand response programs and increased marketing expenditures for their Utility Energy Services Contract which is a program under which the LDCs and customers, typically government agencies and other large commercial entities, enter limited-source contracts for energy management services, such as energy and water improvements.

The KeySpan LDCs also propose implementing a new Customer Information System, "that will support new customer programs and rate options, incorporate digital and emerging technology solutions, improve customer choice, and reduce billing issues."

"The new CIS will provide greater adaptability to innovative services such as flexible real-time bill pay options (e.g., Venmo, ApplePay, and other cashless wallets), energy consumption data sharing (e.g., GreenButton Connect, NYSERDA’s Utility Energy Registry, and municipal exchanges), distributed generation and community distributed generation management, and energy trading through blockchain. These and other digital services offer great opportunities that the new CIS can deliver," the LDCs said

The new CIS would also provide a, "[s]ignificant gain in agility to develop and deliver new programs and services," the LDCs said

KEDNY proposes an update to the consolidated billing charge, with the updated charge being $1.31 per bill (versus the current $1.42)

KEDLI proposes an update to the consolidated billing charge, with the updated charge being $1.32 per bill (versus the current $1.76)

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