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Regulatory Staff Propose Prioritizing Several Issues In Broad Retail Energy Market Investigation (Auto-renewals, Supplier Conduct Among Top Priorities)

Addresses "Do Not Switch" Mechanism

June 4, 2019

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Copyright 2010-19
Reporting by Paul Ring •

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In advance of a June 6 technical session, Staff of the Massachusetts DPU have proposed a tiered approach to addressing issues raised in the DPU's wide ranging investigation of the retail electric market (Docket 19-07) was first to report on the opening of the DPU's new retail market investigation in January. Among other things, the DPU is considering expanding marketing rules, expansion of the rules to small C&Is and the gas market, placing more supplier contract info on utility bills, a "Do Not Switch" list, and various other customer protections and retail market enhancements

Staff have proposed addressing the issues in a tiered fashion, as follows:

A. Tier One - Initiatives that Staff believes can be resolved in the timeliest manner, thus, providing customers with the 'biggest bang for the buck'

B. Tier Two - Initiatives that Staff believes require more information before Staff can determine how best to proceed

C. Tier Three - Initiatives that would require fundamental changes to the way in which the retail competitive market currently operates, and thus significant more discussion before adoption.

Staff identified Tier One issues as follows:

A. Notification of automatic renewals

B. Customer complaint data

C. Standards of conduct

D. Supplier enrollment reports

E. Energy Switch website (electric only)


Staff identified Tier Two issues as follows:

• "Do not switch" mechanism

• Third Party Verification (TPV)

• Enrollments - Timing

• Enrollments - Account #

• Customer information

• General education


Staff identified Tier Three issues as follows:

• Billing


Staff's proposed tiered approach and Tier One issues are to be discussed at the June 6 technical session.

The session will also discuss stakeholder working groups and inclusion of the natural gas market in the electric market rules.

"Next Steps" after the session include working group tasks and Tier Two issues

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