Regulator Opens Inquiry Of Impact Of Competitive Retail Electric, Gas Market On Low-Income Customers, Ratepayer Subsidies
Regulator To Issue Discovery Requests
June 9, 2020 Email This Story Copyright 2010-20 EnergyChoiceMatters.com
Reporting by Paul Ring • email@example.com
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The Massachusetts DPU has issued an order to expand the scope of its ongoing review of the competitive retail electricity and natural gas markets (D.P.U. 19-07) to include an inquiry into the effect of the electric and gas competitive supply markets on low-income ratepayer assistance programs.
The Massachusetts Attorney General had requested in the retail energy market docket that the Department investigate, among other things, "how the competitive supply market creates inefficiencies in the low-income assistance programs."
The AG had asked the DPU to determine how the individual residential competitive electric supply market affects the consumer success rates of Arrearage Management Plans (AMPs) in place at the utilities
The AG had asked the Department to investigate, "the effect of the individual residential supply market on low-income ratepayer assistance programs and the overall subsidy costs for the low-income assistance programs paid for by all ratepayers."
The DPU said that, "We have determined that the Attorney General’s request to investigate the impacts of the competitive supply market on low-income assistance programs is sufficiently tied to the intentions previously outlined by the Department in this proceeding’s Vote and Order."
"Thus, the Department finds that it is appropriate to expand the scope of the inquiry in D.P.U. 19-07 to explore the extent of the impact of the electric and gas competitive supply markets on AMP success rates, low-income customers as a whole, and the general subsidy costs for the low-income assistance programs paid for by all ratepayers," the DPU said
The Department will begin by issuing discovery to the electric and local gas distribution companies aimed at eliciting the information necessary to determine the extent of the competitive supply market’s impact on low-income ratepayers
A Hearing Officer will issue information requests shortly