Boston, MA Municipal Aggregation Approved By State Regulators
DPU Rules On Whether City Is Entitled To Utility Customer Lists Showing Competitive Supply Customers, For Intended Marketing Of Aggregation To Currently Shopping Customers
July 22, 2020 Email This Story Copyright 2010-20 EnergyChoiceMatters.com
Reporting by Paul Ring • firstname.lastname@example.org
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The Massachusetts DPU approved, with various directives for modifications, an electricity opt-out municipal aggregation plan for the City of Boston, MA.
As previously reported, as part of its aggregation plan, the City said that it may also, "generally notify all consumers receiving competitive service of their eligibility to receive power," under the aggregation, on an opt-in basis.
To accomplish this goal, the City sought
to require NSTAR Electric to provide the City with a list of all customers receiving
competitive retail supply
The DPU noted that, pursuant to D.P.U. 16-10, competitive supply customers are not "eligible"
customers for the purposes of opt-out municipal aggregation
"Accordingly, the City will not receive a list of all customers receiving competitive supply from NSTAR Electric as proposed," the DPU ruled
The DPU noted that the City may generally inform competitive supply customers by alternate means about the availability of the aggregation program.
The DPU noted that, in connection with the marketing of the aggregation to competitive supply customers, the City has stated that it, "does not plan to (or believe it has any obligation to) reimburse third-party supply customers for penalties and early termination charges," associated with switching to the City’s Program during a competitive supply contract term
In response, the DPU directed, "to the extent that the City intends to generally inform competitive supply customers by alternate means about the availability of the Program, the City must clearly disclose that such customers may be subject to penalties or early termination fees if they switch from competitive supply to the City’s Program during the customer’s competitive supply contract term."
Another major issue in the DPU's review of the program was the timing of the program's start with respect to NSTAR's procurement of default (basic) service supplies, given the amount of load that would migrate from basic service under the opt-out aggregation
The DPU said, "Given our approval of the Plan today, the Department fully anticipates that the City will be able to launch its Program during a January through February 2021 launch window, thereby removing the uncertainty from NSTAR Electric’s
upcoming basic service procurements after January 2021."
"For this reason, the Department will not address issues relating to the interaction of the City’s Plan and basic service at this time. Instead, the City shall keep the Department, the Attorney General, and NSTAR Electric fully informed about all aspects of its Program supply procurement efforts," the DPU directed
The DPU said that, to the extent the City does not procure supply as anticipated or determines that it will not launch the Program during a January through February 2021
launch window, the DPU will then determine what, if any, action is appropriate to mitigate the effect of a delayed launch of the City’s municipal aggregation program on basic service rates
The City sought authority to include an operational adder of up to $0.001 per kWh under the aggregation
The Department ruled that the City may implement an operational adder of up to $0.0003 per kWh for the purpose of funding an energy manager position to support the operation of the program.
The DPU said in making this ruling that, "the Department expects that if the City were to charge
Program participants the maximum operational adder of $0.001 per kWh, it would collect
significantly more funds than required to fund an energy manager position to support the
operation of the Program."