ESCO: New York PSC's Retail Energy Reset Order Did Not Exceed PSC's Authority
ESCO Says That If Other Retail Suppliers Can't Offer A Compliant Value-Added Product, It's Due To Such Suppliers', "Own Shortcomings"
January 22, 2020 Email This Story Copyright 2010-20 EnergyChoiceMatters.com
Reporting by Paul Ring • email@example.com
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Agway Energy Services, LLC filed comments with the New York PSC in response to various petitions for rehearing, clarification, and stay of the PSC's December retail energy market reset order, stating that any open issues arising from the order should be addressed in the collaborative process, rather than through, "motion practice"
As previously reported by EnergyChoiceMatters.com, under the reset order, Agway was specifically allowed a limited opportunity to continue to offer its
EnergyGuard service during an interim period while the Track II process examines potential energy-related value-added services, which do not meet the product limits set forth in the order, that ESCOs may potentially be approved to offer, as the PSC said, "Agway provided detailed evidence demonstrating that EnergyGuard
provides a unique benefit that may be reasonably comparable to
Quoting the order, Agway said that this privilege was
afforded to Agway, "due to the specific credible evidence Agway submitted regarding the
energy-related value of this product."
Agway said that, "the adoption of a new regime by the second reset order
does not exceed the PSC’s authority."
"In their petitions/motions, certain ESCOs and trade groups take issue with this
conclusion, continuing to argue that the PSC does not have the authority to implement the restrictions set forth in the Second Reset Order. This issue, however, has been definitely
resolved by the Court of Appeals, and their continued protestations in this vein are contrary to
what is now established and binding law in New York. Agway thus disagrees with this position
as asserted by those entities and asserts that the PSC may regulate ESCOs based on price through
the Second Reset Order," Agway said
Agway also said that, "the PSC’s prohibition on all alleged energy-related value-added products, with the exception of EnergyGuard during the pendency of track II was not arbitrary or unreasonable."
Agway said, "Agway submitted a wealth of confidential financial and business data to the
PSC in response to the information requests because it stands by the value of its offering and has
nothing to hide. Agway took the opportunity to prove the value of EnergyGuard to the PSC
by detailing the innerworkings of the product and Agway’s business. Agway reiterates now, as it
stated in the earlier proceedings, that the evidence it submitted demonstrates the unique value of
EnergyGuard. The PSC properly considered that evidence during the course of three years of
proceedings and determined that Agway’s product offering provides a tangible benefit to
consumers beyond the mere provision of a commodity product."
"While Agway took the opportunity to fully participate in the proceedings, other ESCOs
expressly declined, even going so far as to withdraw from the proceedings once information
requests were served. To the extent other ESCOs did submit evidence to the PSC during the three year process, Agway does not have firsthand knowledge of what was submitted because all
such submissions were filed under seal and kept confidential. To Agway’s knowledge, however,
no other party provided supporting evidence in response to the information requests to
demonstrate the value of its offering. Indeed, the PSC expressly stated as much when it
concluded that no other ESCO provided any meaningful evidence to demonstrate that its product
or service provides a benefit to customers comparable to its costs," Agway said
"All interested parties had the same opportunity to participate in the proceedings and to
provide support for their offering and pricing. Their failure to do so, when viewed in contrast to
Agway’s active participation and full disclosure, only demonstrates that the Second Reset Order,
to the extent it allowed Agway to continue to offer its EnergyGuard and prohibited others
from doing so, was not arbitrary or unreasonable," Agway said
Agway further said, "The Second Reset Order allows the ESCO market to continue on certain conditions and
encourages the development of innovative value-added products such as EnergyGuard. It
commendably prohibits unacceptable business models that do not serve the purposes of
deregulations. That other ESCOs have adopted such business models or have not added value to
their product offering is not the fault of the PSC or Agway. Similarly, if an ESCO is unable to
develop a compliant value-added product, as Agway was able to, it is due to that ESCO’s own
Agway further said that, "any open issues should be resolved during track II and not
by motion practice."
"The other ESCOs and trade groups argue that the Second Reset Order should be clarified
or stayed because ambiguities, unresolved questions, or other open matters exist that require
resolution before all parties can move forward. Agway does not disagree that there are certain
open issues that exist. It does disagree with the approach taken by the other ESCOs and trade
groups. Rather than challenging the entire Second Reset Order through motion practice, the
interested parties should address any open administrative-type issues and establish specific
procedures, including questions of timing, during Track II. This way, all interested parties can be heard and engage in a dialogue in a collaborative setting, rather than through adversarial
proceedings," Agway said