Archive

Daily Email

Events

 

 

 

About/Contact

Search

Utility Says PUC Should Study Expanding Eligibility For Assistance Program Whose Participants Are Prohibited From Retail Choice

Retail Supplier Seeks Change In Light Of SCB


July 23, 2019

Email This Story
Copyright 2010-19 EnergyChoiceMatters.com
Reporting by Paul Ring • ring@energychoicematters.com

The following story is brought free of charge to readers by EC Infosystems, the exclusive EDI provider of EnergyChoiceMatters.com

In comments in a Public Utilities Commission of Ohio rulemaking, Columbia Gas of Ohio has recommended that PUCO study an expansion of the eligibility criteria for the Percentage of Income Payment Plan (PIPP) program

PIPP customers are not eligible to participate in either electric choice or natural gas choice

The PIPP program is currently available to customers with incomes at or below150% of the federal poverty guidelines.

"Columbia recommends, in the interim period between this rulemaking and the next rulemaking for Chapters 4901:1-17 and 4901:1-18, that the Commission hold a workshop with all utilities, including electric and gas, to determine whether it is feasible and reasonable to increase the PIPP plus customer eligibility standard to 175% of the federal poverty guidelines," Columbia said

"Columbia is recommending further investigation and consideration of this program’s eligibility requirements primarily because it would allow additional customers to participate in the benefits of this program," Columbia said

Separately, IGS Energy sought modifications to the PIPP rule due to the commitment of two EDCs to implement supplier consolidated billing (SCB).

"While the implementation of SCB will leave a majority of the PIPP program unaffected, the change in the billing and collection role will shift the holder of the customer’s pre-PIPP arrearages. Therefore, IGS recommends an addition to the PIPP rules to acknowledge this scenario," IGS noted

IGS said that currently, if a shopping customer becomes a PIPP customer, upon enrollment, the EDU seeks reimbursement from the Universal Service Fund (USF) for both the EDU’s and the CRES provider’s pre-PIPP arrearages associated with that customer. Once the EDU receives the funds from the USF, the EDU transfers, to the CRES provider, its portion of the funds except in instances where the EDU is purchasing the receivables of the CRES provider.

"Under SCB, because the responsibility of billing has changed, so has the entity which holds the pre-PIPP arrearages. To complement the law that requires disbursements from the USF to any supplier that provides retail electric services to customers participating in low-income assistance programs, IGS recommends incorporating a process into the rules for the reimbursement of pre-PIPP arrearages in the narrow instance of SCB," IGS said

IGS recommended adding the following language to the rule, "For those customers served by an electric services company prior to enrollment in the PIPP plus program and who received a single electric bill sent by the electric services company for services from both an electric utility and the electric services company, the electric services company shall receive reimbursement from the fund for the customer’s pre-PIPP arrearages. The electric services company shall seek reimbursement in the form and substance as required by the director. When the electric services company is not purchasing the receivables of the affected electric utility, the electric services company will transfer the pre-PIPP arrearages of the electric utility received from the fund to the electric utility, unless otherwise agreed to by the electric services company and the electric utility."

"The proposed language ensures that all pre- PIPP arrearages will be collected from the USF, and not from the customers themselves through a formal collections process," IGS said

Case No. 19-52-AU-ORD

ADVERTISEMENT
NEW Jobs on RetailEnergyJobs.com:
NEW! -- Senior Counsel - Regulatory - Retail Supplier
NEW! -- Sales Representative -- Retail Supplier
NEW! -- Energy Contracts Counsel -- Retail Supplier
NEW! -- Senior Natural Gas Energy Trader -- Retail Supplier
Operations Manager -- Retail Supplier
Quality Assurance and Customer Service Manager -- Retail Supplier

Email This Story

HOME

Copyright 2010-16 Energy Choice Matters.  If you wish to share this story, please email or post the website link; unauthorized copying, retransmission, or republication prohibited.

 

Archive

Daily Email

Events

 

 

 

About/Contact

Search