NRG Retail Suppliers Seek Further Extension Of Deadline For ESCOs To Offer Compliant Products Under New York PSC Retail Market Reset Order
March 18, 2020 Email This Story Copyright 2010-20 EnergyChoiceMatters.com
Reporting by Paul Ring • email@example.com
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The NRG retail energy suppliers have requested that the New York PSC grant an additional ninety (90) day extension from the current May 11, 2020 compliance deadlines (Ordering Clauses 1 and 2) set forth in the New York Public Service Commission’s retail energy reset order
Ordering clauses #1-2 in the reset order, listed below, generally require that ESCOs only serve a new mass market customer on a product compliant with the reset order -- a guaranteed saving product, a fixed price product that is no more than 5% greater than a utility benchmark supply price, or an electricity plan that is at least 50% renewable; and further provide for compliant products for existing customer renewals
NRG in its petition said that, "First, although the NRG ESCOs have not sought rehearing and are executing plans to comply with the Order, other parties have sought clarification, reconsideration and/or rehearing ('Rehearing Petitions'). Those petitions are currently pending before the Commission and, on March 2, 2020, the Secretary issued a Notice Concerning Petitions for Rehearing ('Notice') seeking comments on the various Rehearing Petitions. This Notice established a deadline for comments of April 13, 2020. As such, the Commission cannot rule on the Rehearing Petitions until after the comment period has expired which, most importantly, would occur after the date by which the NRG ESCOs will be required to send appropriate notices to customers under the current May 11, 2020 effective date. Such notices, both in terms of the universe of customers and substance, have the potential to be impacted by any decision the Commission makes. Indeed, this is compounded by the various questions posed to DPS Staff during the Technical Conference held on January 22, 2020 that either remain outstanding or were met with conflicting guidance."
NRG in its petition said that, "Further, the emerging coronavirus public health crisis has resulted in the declaration of a state of emergency in New York and beyond. Public and private resources are being redirected, while schools and businesses are closing down or, where feasible, moving to telecommuting. This includes the NRG ESCOs, with the exception of essential personnel (e.g., call center representatives), which are taking the advice of our elected leaders and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and implementing all necessary and available precautions to limit the spread of COVID-19. Unfortunately, this greatly impacts the NRG ESCOs ability to meet the Order’s deadlines by the current May 11, 2020 deadline."
"Be assured, the NRG ESCOs are not using the coronavirus situation as an excuse for seeking an extension. The NRG ESCOs serve more than 3 million residential and business customers across 18 states and 2 Canada provinces and directly bill approximately 2 million customers each month. NRG also operates power plants throughout the U.S. The focus of our employees is helping customers meet their energy needs, helping them through any hardships, and keeping power flowing from our plants," NRG said
"Given the foregoing, the NRG ESCOs respectfully request that they not be required to start implementing the requirements of the Order until there is regulatory finality and guidance on how to proceed. Otherwise, we risk needless confusion and disruption for our customers. We therefore request, pursuant to Ordering Clause 13, an additional 90 day extension of the Order’s requirements," NRG said
Ordering clauses #1-2 in the reset order were as follows:
1. Consistent with the body of this Order (Section III) and subject to any exceptions identified therein, effective 60 calendar days from the date of this Order, energy service companies (ESCOs) shall enroll new residential or small nonresidential customers (mass-market customers) or renew existing mass-market customer contracts for gas and/or electric service only if at least one of the following conditions is met: (1) enrollment includes a guaranteed savings over the utility price, as reconciled on an annual basis; (2) enrollment is for a fixed-rate commodity product that is priced at no more than 5% greater than the trailing 12-month average utility supply rate; (3) enrollment is for a renewably sourced electric commodity product that (a) has a renewable mix that is at least 50% greater than the ESCO’s current Renewable Energy Standard (RES) obligation, (b) the ESCO complies with the RES locational and delivery requirements when procuring Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) or entering into bilateral contracts for renewable commodity supply, and (3) there is transparency of information and disclosures provided to the customer with respect to pricing and commodity sourcing.
2. Consistent with the body of this Order (Section III.D.3), effective 60 calendar days from the date of this Order, any mass-market customer contract for a fixed-rate commodity service that is subject to automatic renewal shall be renewed by the ESCO only as a contract for variable-rate, commodity-only service that includes a guaranteed savings over the utility price, unless the ESCO obtains affirmative customer
consent to renew the contract as a fixed-rate contract that is
priced at no more than 5% greater than the trailing 12-month
average utility supply rate.