FERC Denies Retail Supplier's Complaint Seeking Correction Of Incorrect Assignment Of Load Obligation At RTO
July 16, 2020 Email This Story Copyright 2010-20 EnergyChoiceMatters.com
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FERC denied a complaint filed by Liberty Power Holdings LLC (Liberty) against Eversource Energy Company (Eversource) and ISO New England Inc. (ISO-NE) in which Liberty alleged that ISO-NE inappropriately refused to correct a billing error that arose from Eversource’s reporting to ISO-NE load mistakenly attributed to Liberty in November and December 2018.
Liberty had asked the Commission to grant its complaint and correct the error by: (1) directing Eversource to refund $191,440, plus interest, to ISO-NE; and (2) directing ISO-NE to refund that amount to Liberty
As summarized by FERC: "Liberty provides a timeline of events in support of its argument. Liberty states that, on November 13, 2018, it received Eversource’s synchronization list for November 2018, which did not contain the Smith & Wesson account. Liberty states that, on December 26, 2018, it received the December 2018 synchronization list, which contained the Smith & Wesson account. Liberty states that it expected the Smith & Wesson account on the list because Smith & Wesson was to become a new customer of Liberty and its records showed that the Smith & Wesson account had a December 31, 2018 effective date; therefore, it reasonably believed by the end of December 2018 that its records were in sync with Eversource with regard to the new assignment of Smith & Wesson’s account to Liberty. Liberty claims that '[t]he subject issue was only discovered as a result of Eversource’s resettlement process, which is performed four (4) months in arrears.' Liberty contends that '[i]n March 2019, while reconciling November 2018, Eversource mistakenly had the Smith & Wesson account as part of Liberty’s portfolio for November and December of 2018.' Liberty claims that it remained unaware of the error because Eversource did not provide Liberty a resettlement synchronization list at that time. Liberty states that, on May 13, 2019, it submitted an inquiry to Eversource about the unusually large reconciliation charges for the November and December 2018 operating periods. Liberty states that, on May 29, 2019, Eversource responded to Liberty’s inquiry, stating that the issue was related to 'Load Asset 14083,' which Liberty states it identified as utility WMECO, a subsidiary of Eversource. Liberty contends that, on that same date, it opened an inquiry with Eversource regarding the billing error. Liberty states that, on June 3, 2019, Eversource responded via email, explaining that the Smith & Wesson account in question had been inadvertently associated with Liberty’s asset for both the November and December 2018 resettlements. Eversource stated that, while it was in the process of requesting a billing adjustment from ISO-NE for the December 2018 period, the deadline for updating the data for November 2018 had passed. Liberty states that, on July 11, 2019, it requested a bill adjustment from ISO-NE for the November 2018 period.
FERC summarized that, "Liberty contends that, because it could not have reasonably known of the existence of the alleged error within the three months required in section 6.3.1 and because Liberty was not informed of the billing errors until Eversource brought them to Liberty’s attention on June 3, 2019, the three month window to request an adjustment was suspended. Liberty claims that it acted diligently once it knew of the error to attempt to remedy it. Liberty adds that it would be inequitable for Liberty to suffer the adverse consequences from an error that Eversource has admitted to making, and which could have been corrected if Eversource had identified its mistake one month earlier."
Eversource and ISO-NE dispute both Liberty’s claim that section 6.3.1 of the ISO-NE Billing Policy applies, and Liberty’s assertions in support of its arguments. Eversource and ISO-NE assert that section 6.1 of the ISO-NE Billing Policy states that Meter Data Errors, which they assert is the issue here, are handled exclusively through the procedures set out in Market Rule 1. ISO-NE states that, per Market Rule 1, after the Host Participant (Eversource) submits an initial reading to ISO-NE and ISO-NE issues an initial bill, the Host Participant (Eversource) or the Asset Owner (Liberty) have 101 days to ensure that the data relied upon by ISO-NE is accurate and, if not, to submit any corrected meter data to ISO-NE.
ISO-NE notes that an error in the meter data that is not corrected during the 101-day period, such as the November and December 2018 errors, is considered a Meter Data Error. ISO-NE said that a request to correct Meter Data Errors must be submitted by the Host Participant (Eversource) or Asset Owner (Liberty) no later than 30 calendar days after the issuance of the data-reconciliation process bill.
FERC denied the complaint, "because we find that ISO-NE followed the applicable Tariff provisions with respect to Liberty’s untimely request for a billing adjustment and, therefore, Liberty is not entitled to the requested November 2018 billing adjustment."
"We disagree with Liberty that section 6.3.1 of the ISO-NE Billing Policy applies in this situation. Section 6.3.1 applies generally to requested billing adjustments. We find, however, that the dispute at issue here is a Meter Data Error as that term is defined in the ISO-NE Tariff. Specifically, the November 2018 error meets the Tariff definition of a Meter Data Error because it is an error in the meter data in an invoice issued by ISO-NE after the completion of the 101-day Data Reconciliation Process," FERC said
"As Eversource and ISO-NE explain, section 6.1 of the ISO-NE Billing Policy applies to Meter Data Errors.50 Section 6.1 of the ISO-NE Billing Policy states that Meter Data Errors are handled exclusively through the procedures set out in Market Rule 1 (and the related Manual M-28 procedures). Consistent with section 6.1.1 of Manual M-28 (Market Rule 1 Accounting), ISO-NE provided to Liberty either the billing meter data, or access to such data, on four occasions between February 24, 2019, and April 16, 2019, all prior to the May 16, 2019 deadline to submit a Requested Billing Adjustment to ISO-NE for the November 2018 Meter Data Error," FERC said
"It is undisputed that Liberty did not submit a Requested Billing Adjustment until July 11, 2019, after the May 16, 2019 deadline stipulated by Market Rule 1 and Manual M-28. Thus, we find that ISO-NE’s refusal to correct the November 2018 billing error does not violate the ISO-NE Tariff or the filed rate doctrine. For these reasons, we deny the complaint," FERC said