New York DPS Resumes Consideration Of Retail Energy Market Issues, Barriers At LIPA
October 19, 2020 Email This Story Copyright 2010-20 EnergyChoiceMatters.com
Reporting by Paul Ring • firstname.lastname@example.org
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The New York Department of Public Service has issued a new request for comments in its proceeding examining the potential benefits of retail competition for Long Island electric customers.
The DPS had delayed stakeholder comment on the matter pending resolution of the PSC's retail market reset proceeding. As previously reported, the PSC recently issued an order on rehearing in the reset proceeding (see story here)
The DPS sought comment on the questions listed below. Notably, although not specifically included in the questions, the DPS's examination of retail choice on Long Island comes amid many Long Island communities seeking to create opt-out municipal aggregations, with such communities alleging a tariff provision concerning cost allocation to aggregation customers is hindering the viability of CCAs (see prior story here)
A notice from the DPS noted that the list of questions need not be viewed as all-inclusive, and comment may be made on other issues deemed important for consideration.
Questions from DPS:
1. What are the benefits to customers of competitive retail electric markets? Are such benefits universal, and are they present and/or specifically applicable to the Long Island electric service area?
2. Are there attainable but not yet realized opportunities for retail competition in the Long Island electric market?
3. Are there potential downstream benefits for customers in the Long Island electric market that would be available with a competitive retail market, e.g., relating to community choice aggregation?
4. What are the barriers to creating a competitive retail market in the Long Island service area? How should these barriers be addressed?
5. What insight from best practices are available to inform discussions on the issue of retail electric markets, positive or negative?
6. What, if any, protections are needed for mass market and low-income customers in a competitive retail market on Long Island?
In initiating the review of LIPA electric choice issues in 2015, the DPS had said at such time that its participatory review will conclude with the development of DPS recommendations to the LIPA Board of Trustees.
In a 2015 notice, the DPS had said that, "The fundamental role of the DPS throughout the State is to ensure all customers have access to reliable electric service at the lowest possible costs. DPS further aspires to create a customer-focused electric system with long-term affordability and sustainability by transforming the New York electric system through the Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) proceeding. REV will make the New York electric system stronger, cleaner and more resilient. At the same time, REV will animate private investment in innovative, cost-saving modes of electric service. Without private investment, customers would be forced to fund major improvements, and that would significantly raise New Yorkers’ electric bills."
In a 2015 notice, the DPS had said that, "While the rest of New York State electric customers already have the option to participate in a competitive retail electric market, retail customers in the LIPA service area face barriers that have prevented competition from developing. DPS’s objective in this proceeding is to investigate potential benefits to customers and examine what reforms, if any, are needed to achieve them."