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Citing ConEd's Deferral Of Certain Supply Costs, NEM Seeks Further Extension Of Compliance Deadline For New York PSC's Retail Market Reset Order (Price Cap, etc.)

June 16, 2020

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Copyright 2010-20
Reporting by Paul Ring •

Citing, in part, Consolidated Edison's recent action to defer certain electricity default service capacity supply costs for future recovery, the National Energy Marketers Association (NEM) petitioned the New York PSC for a further extension and reconsideration of the Commission’s December 12, 2019 retail energy market reset order

As more fully discussed in our prior story, the PSC's reset order imposed limitations on ESCO products for mass market customers. One eligible product under the PSC's order is a fixed-rate commodity product that is priced at no more than 5% greater than the trailing 12-month average utility supply rate

Under previously granted extensions, the compliance deadline for the new ESCO product limits is August 10, 2020

Also as previously reported by (story here), Con Edison said in a filing with the New York PSC that it has deferred, for New York City residential customers, "a significant portion of higher generation capacity supply costs expected this year," with ConEd citing the COVID-19 pandemic as the basis for the deferral. See more details on the deferral here

In its petition, NEM stated, "NEM respectfully requests a further extension and a fundamental reconsideration of the basic premise of the December 12, 2019 Order given the most recent events that have happened in the State of New York, as well as Con-ed’s response thereto, and the unanticipated impacts of same on competitive suppliers, the New York market as well as the consumers of the State."

NEM said that its prior objections to, "the basic scheme of forcing competitive suppliers and vendors to price products and services under the utility prices," is now "particularly germane, because Con Edison has admitted in its recent filing that it plans to price products and services under competitive wholesale prices."

NEM stated, "NEM appreciates the hardships that have befallen the State of New York and its residents a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Indeed, NEM also appreciates the careful and methodical consideration the Commission and Staff have given to its new Competitive Market Structure announced just a month before the pandemic started."

NEM stated, "However, the basic tenet of forcing competitive capital to be invested to compete against deliberately or even unintentionally under-market prices is not reasonable or in the best interests of the consumers or the State of New York."

NEM stated, "All the arguments made at Stakeholder Meetings and in previous comments herein are underscored by the obvious and injurious circumstances of allowing a monopoly to predatory price at the very moment that all parties want and need lower prices. It is essentially a perfect storm underscored by the hardships faced by millions of New Yorkers."

NEM stated, "It is precisely this circumstance that the state of New York and many other states chose to permit competition to thrive and provide true price competition in the face of a single utility monopoly marketplace. It is for this very reason that a competitive marketplace exists and to ensure that true price signals are permitted to signal exactly where new capacity and demand side management investments are needed. Lastly, it is also precisely why it is and will continue to be in New York’s best interest to preserve, protect and defend competitive markets and competitive prices for natural gas and electricity."

NEM stated, "Given both the extraordinary circumstances that have occurred since the December 12, 2019 Order was conceived and promulgated, NEM respectfully submits that the New York Public Service Commission and its staff should fundamentally reconsider the December 12, 2019 Order and Suspend further filings and implementation until all parties can have a meaningful opportunity to both analyze and comment on the latest anomalies that have become inevitable given the magnitude of the interference with market forces that are at play."

In a separate filing, the NRG retail energy suppliers separately sought a further extension of the reset order's compliance deadline, noting the NRG suppliers' previously reported, pending petition for a waiver to allow the companies to offer green natural gas products.

NRG also noted oustanding petitions for rehearing filed by other parties

NRG said, "To date, the Commission has not acted on the NRG Retail Companies’ Petition or any of the other similar petitions filed by other retail energy companies. As with the Rehearing Petitions, based on the Commission’s schedule, neither NRG Retail Companies’ nor the petitions of any other retail energy companies will be decided until after the date by which the NRG Retail Companies will be required to send appropriate notices to customers under the current August 10, 2020 effective date."

"Given the foregoing, the NRG Retail Companies 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 as well as confirmation that Green Mountain’s Carbon Conscious Plan can be offered in accordance with the Order. Otherwise, we risk needless confusion and disruption for our customers," NRG said

NRG requested an additional 90 day extension of the order’s requirements under Ordering Clauses 1-2 (the product limits)

Case 15-M-0127, et al.

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