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Under Draft Order, D.C. PSC Would Create New Retail Energy Shopping Website With Supplier Offers Listed

Marketing Campaign Would Support New Site

Draft Would Require Pepco To Submit Strawman For Residential Dynamic Pricing Program

Grid Mod. Draft Addresses DER, Storage Ownership

August 2, 2019

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Copyright 2010-19
Reporting by Paul Ring •

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Staff of the District of Columbia PSC have issued a proposed order in the PSC's Modernizing the Energy Delivery System for Increased Sustainability (MEDSIS) proceeding, with the grid modernization efforts now being branded Power Path DC.

The draft order would require Pepco to file a strawman dynamic pricing proposal for residential customers, and would reconvene a dynamic pricing working group.

The draft states, "The Commission agrees with the RDWG’s [rate design work group] recommendation to convene a Dynamic Pricing Working Group to begin work in the fourth quarter of calendar year 2019 for a period not to exceed 12 months."

"To facilitate the Working Group’s efforts, the Commission directs Pepco to file with the Commission a strawman residential dynamic pricing proposal (e.g., Critical Peak Rebate like in Pepco MD or other forms of dynamic pricing, including time-of-use rates), along with an explanation of all identified benefits and costs, as well as any PJM market revenue concerns, within 60 days of the date of this Order," the draft states

"Pepco should also identify how its proposal compares to dynamic pricing programs at other Exelon utilities. Interested persons should file any comments within 30 days of Pepco’s filing," the draft states

Under the draft, the PSC would create a website for retail energy shopping information, including rates from competitive suppliers

The draft says that most of the information envisioned by a working group is currently available on the Commission’s website (including (a) how to pick a supplier, (b) a comparison of energy supplier offerings, (c) information on how to deal with solicitations, (d) bill calculators, and (e) bill comparisons) but notes that this information could be presented in a more user-friendly manner as suggested by the working group.

"The Commission does, however, agree with the CIWG [customer impact working group] and its reasoning that our existing website needs major revisions, if not total reconstruction, to house up-to-date competitive energy supplier offers as well as energy education material that would aid customers in evaluating offers," the draft states

"We also agree with the CIWG that a marketing campaign should accompany the availability of this revised website to increase customer awareness of the site," the draft states

"After reviewing other state commissions’ websites (including the successful Pennsylvania Power Switch Program), as well as how those websites were established and funded, we conclude that establishing and maintaining such a website using Commission operating funds is in the best interests of District ratepayers who will benefit from being fully informed in evaluating competitive energy offers," the draft states

"Based on the above, we direct the OCS [Office of Consumer Services], in conjunction with the Commission’s Office of Technical and Regulatory Analysis ('OTRA') to develop an interactive micro-website linked to the Commission’s website to house up-to-date competitive energy supplier offers as well as energy education material that would aid customers in evaluating offers as discussed in the Final WG Report. We also direct OCS and OTRA to design a marketing campaign to accompany the launch of this new micro-website to increase customer awareness of the site. The results of these directives shall be submitted to the Commission for review and approval within 180 days from the date of this Order," the draft states

Concerning ownership of distributed energy resources, including storage, the Staff draft, noting varying stakeholder views, states, "the Commission believes this matter to be ripe for initiation of a notice of inquiry ('NOI') to address ownership of energy storage devices and other DERs by setting out the recommendations from the Final WG Report, with appropriate modifications, and asking for public comment."

Concerning microgrids, the draft notes that the PSC is currently examining the legal question of microgrid regulation in a separate case. "The Commission believes that until the legal questions in the pending case are resolved, a discussion of any microgrid-related issues is premature," the draft states

The draft would direct Commission Staff to reconvene the Consumer Bill of Rights (CBOR) Working Group within 60 days from the date of a final order to consider: (a) Revisions to the Commission’s CBOR rules to align them with the MEDSIS Vision; (b) Interim CBOR rules that will be applicable to the MEDSIS Pilot Programs; and (c) Appropriate outreach methods to effectively inform customers of the CBOR rule changes

FC 1130

See the draft here

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