California Retail Suppliers, Customers Seek Modification Of New Direct Access Schedule Due To "Inadequate" Timing
June 10, 2019 Email This Story Copyright 2010-19 EnergyChoiceMatters.com
Reporting by Paul Ring • email@example.com
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A group of California retail electric suppliers and large customers have sought modification of the California PUC's recent decision setting forth the schedule for the statutorily required expansion of direct access.
Petitioners including the Alliance for Retail Energy Markets, the Direct Access Customer Coalition, Shell Energy North America (US), and various other large customers noted that, under the PUC's decision, the deadline for customers who are granted direct access space subsequent to an initial round, due to an initially awarded customer declining their awarded space, is the same date by which the originally awarded customer has to elect or decline direct access, and the date by which the utilities must inform such second-round customers of any newly opened space.
In other words, customers who are first notified of a new direct access opening on September 3 would be required to make an election to take direct access by 5:00 p.m. on September 3.
Specifically, the PUC's order provides that the Direct Access (DA) enrollment schedule to enroll 2019 and 2020 waitlist in the DA expansion is as follows: (1) the deadline for customers to submit a Notice of Intent (NOI) to participate in the DA expansion is June 14, 2019; (2) by July 29, 2019, each of Pacific Gas and Electric Company, Southern California Edison Company, and San Diego Gas & Electric Company (each an 'IOU') must complete their review, audit and confirmation of the NOI for the 2020 waitlist; (3) by August 12, 2019, each IOU must notify the eligible 2019 and 2020 waitlist customers in that IOU’s service territory that they may enroll in the DA program and direct these customers to submit their decisions regarding DA service to the IOU on or before September 3, 2019, at 5:00 p.m.; (4) if a notified customer declines the opportunity to join the DA program, the IOU must notify the next eligible customer in queue for that IOU’s service territory, and direct these customers to submit their decision regarding DA service to the IOU on or before September 3, 2019, at 5:00 p.m.; (5) if a customer who is allocated the right to take DA service from the 2019 Waitlist declines the opportunity to take DA service at or prior to December 31, 2019, at 11:59 p.m., IOUs should use the 2019 Waitlist to reallocate that customer’s load; (6) if a customer who is allocated the right to take DA service from the 2019 Waitlist declines the opportunity to take DA service after December 31, 2019, at 11:59 p.m., IOUs should use the 2020 Waitlist to reallocate that customer’s load; and (7) notified customers who chose to switch to the DA program must select an Energy Service Provider (ESP) and have that ESP submit the Direct Access Service Request form to the respective IOU by February 3, 2020 at 5:00 p.m.
In brief, a customer that is notified by August 12 of the opportunity to move to direct access has until 5:00 pm on September 3 to notify its utility that it either accepts or declines direct access service. At that point, the utility is to notify the next eligible customer in the queue. However, the same date and time, 5:00 pm on September 3, applies for the subsequently notified customer to respond to the utility notice
"This timing is clearly inadequate, as it would not allow the subsequently notified customer sufficient time – or any time -- to locate a supplier and make the necessary contractual arrangements for it to commit to direct access service," the petitioners said
The petitioners noted that, under current switching rules, customers have 15 business days, once notified that direct access cap space is available, to notify their utility
that they accept or reject the space.
"The Petitioners therefore seek to be consistent with existing
rules by modifying the Decision to provide that subsequently notified customers shall be allowed
fifteen (15) business days after notification to respond to a utility notice of available space," the petitioners said