Virginia House Passes Bill That Would Allow All Customers To Purchase 100% Renewable Supply From Competitive Retail Suppliers, Regardless Of Utility Offering
Eliminates Contiguous Requirement For Aggregation To Take Competitive Supply If Supply Meets Renewable Threshold
February 13, 2020 Email This Story Copyright 2010-20 EnergyChoiceMatters.com
Reporting by Paul Ring • firstname.lastname@example.org
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The Virginia House of Delegates has passed HB 889, which would, among other things, allow all customers of the investor-owned utilities to purchase 100% renewable electricity from a competitive retail supplier regardless of any utility green offering
HB 889 now awaits action in the Senate
HB 889 would strike from the current statute the prohibition that limits such ability for customers to purchase 100% renewable supply to instances in which the utility does not offer a 100% renewable tariff
The bill would also provide that, at the IOUs, a customer who purchases electricity that is composed of a percentage of renewable energy equal to or greater than the percentage of renewable energy that the licensed supplier is required to provide pursuant to any renewable energy portfolio standard will be considered a single customer even for any noncontiguous sites under such service. That treatment would allow customers to avail themselves of the current 5 MW aggregation carve-out for retail electric choice, which is currently limited to contiguous sites
The bill would also shorten from five years to three years the period that a customer who switches from an investor-owned electric utility to a licensed retail supplier is barred from returning as a customer of the utility.
The bill also provides that the State Corporation Commission (the Commission) shall update its consumer protection regulations relating to the availability of service through licensed suppliers pursuant to § 56-577 of the Code of Virginia by implementing one or more of the following:
(i) developing a consumer education website funded through an assessment on licensed suppliers and through the use of Commission's regulatory tax revenues,
(ii) issuing a quarterly report in the form of a customer satisfaction scorecard based on the number of complaints received regarding competitive service providers per 1,000 customers, and
(iii) supplementing existing rules with an additional enforcement mechanism to enable the Commission to take timely action in the event that a licensed supplier engages in unscrupulous activity in making sales to retail customers.
The House also passed similar bill HB 868. Generally, HB 868 would allow customers to choose a retail supplier for 100% renewable electricity, regardless of whether the utility offers a 100% green tariff, but does not include HB 889's additional provisions concerning the minimum stay and aggregation