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Utility ConEd Seeks To Offer Renewable Energy Supply Option To Customers

Set-up Costs Would Be Recovered Through Delivery Rates

June 17, 2019

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Copyright 2010-19
Reporting by Paul Ring •

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In an update to testimony in its current rate case before the New York PSC, Consolidated Edison (the "Company") has proposed the offering of a voluntary renewable energy supply option by ConEd to electricity customers.

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"Con Edison believes that customers and parties are interested in a 'Green Tariff' offering, which can help meet New York’s various Clean Energy related goals. As a result, the Company would like to provide customers an option to purchase, on a voluntary basis, additional renewable energy above the level they already pay for and receive through the State Clean Energy Standard," a witness for ConEd said

"The Company has developed a proposed clear and understandable structure to give mass market customers the ability to individually purchase renewable energy from in-state renewable resources," a witness for ConEd said

"The Company recently conducted a customer survey that shows that roughly 70 percent of customers would be willing to pay more for an increase in renewable energy. Furthermore, roughly 70 percent of customers believe that the Company should play a direct role in offering renewable energy to customers," a witness for ConEd said

A witness for ConEd said that the utility is considering the following structure for this proposed offering:

• Customers could enroll at any time in the Green Tariff program to purchase blocks of renewable energy in 100 kWh per month increments to start in their next billing cycle.

• Customers could remain in the program at the chosen level or adjust their subscription to a higher or lower amount, on a month-to-month basis.

• The renewable blocks would be offered at a set price per kWh which would be included as a flat monthly additional cost on the customer’s bill.

• The Company would purchase a corresponding amount of renewable energy attributes from renewable resources in New York State. Specifically, these renewable energy attributes would be Tier 2 NYSERDA Renewable Energy Credits ('RECs'), which are the equivalent of one MWh of renewable energy from an operational New York located wind, solar, or hydropower resource.

A witness for ConEd said that, "The customer price would reflect: (1) the market price of the Tier 2 RECs and (2) the Company’s administrative costs to run the program. The Company would periodically reconcile actual incurred costs with estimated costs on a going forward basis by resetting the price to green tariff program subscribers."

However, a witness for ConEd said that the Company would seek to recover costs related to the set-up of the renewable program from both full service and ESCO customers, via delivery rates

"The Company would seek to recover program set-up costs through delivery rates," a witness for ConEd said

ConEd does not propose to earn a return on the sale of the renewable energy blocks.

ConEd's witness said of the proposed program design, "The straightforward structure provides interested customers with a known monthly cost for renewable energy purchased."

"This offering would be available to all Con Edison customers, both full-service and those that choose to buy their energy from an ESCO. Participating customers would continue to be able to enroll with an ESCO for their energy supply and either stay in Con Edison’s renewable program or end their participation," ConEd's witness said

Discussing various steps that would need to be undertaken to launch the program, a witness for ConEd said, "The Company would also develop a marketing program to inform and educate customers."

A witness for ConEd noted that New York State Electric & Gas and Rochester Gas & Electric currently have a similar program that allows customers to sign-up for a desired amount of renewable energy from New York-based renewable resources.

Case 19-E-0065

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