Texas TDUs File At PUC For Good Cause Exception Related To Billing Demand To REPs, Customers (Includes Possible Cancels/Rebills)
March 4, 2021 Email This Story Copyright 2010-21 EnergyChoiceMatters.com
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AEP Texas Inc.; CenterPoint Energy Houston Electric, LLC; Oncor Electric Delivery Company LLC; and Texas-New Mexico Power Company (collectively, the ERCOT TDUs) filed at the Texas PUC an Emergency Request for a good cause exception with regard to demand readings and billings that cover the period of February 15-19, 2021 (the Extreme Cold Weather Period).
The TDUs said that, in restoring service to customers, the ERCOT TDUs have discovered that their circuits that were restored after an extended outage exhibited the 'cold load pickup' phenomenon. The cold load pickup phenomenon has been explained as follows: "Cold load pick-up (CLPU) is a challenging issue in electric power industry. The CLPU demand is an increased load at service restoration phase due to the loss of load diversity. During normal system operation, the on-off switching cycles of thermostatically controlled loads (TCL) within a population of customers take place independently because of the heterogeneity of appliances and the diversity of customer behaviors. However, immediately after a long power outage in the restoration phase, the switching cycles of TCLs will coincide and become highly correlated for a period of time. This phenomenon is the main reason for the abnormal level of demand due to the temporary lack of diversity."
"[A]n unintended consequence of the Extreme Cold Weather Period is that customers may see higher delivery charges on a going forward basis because of the higher, actual demands due to the cold load pickup phenomenon and the ratchet provisions in the ERCOT TDUs respective tariffs. The ERCOT TDUs want to mitigate this unintended consequence and request that the Commission grant a good cause exception," the TDUs said
The ERCOT TDUs request that the Commission find good cause exists and grant an exception to certain billing demand and ratchet provisions in their respective tariffs. The ERCOT TDUs request authorization to take the following actions with regard to demand readings and billings for the Extreme Cold Weather Period:
a. The ERCOT TDUs may adjust downward, if timely and reasonably possible, the billing demand for the Extreme Cold Weather Period included in their demand billings to Retail Electric Providers (REPs).
b. For rate classes that may be subject to a demand ratchet, the ERCOT TDUs may eliminate the demand readings during the Extreme Cold Weather Period from future demand ratchet calculations for customers in such classes.
c. To the extent the rate class a customer takes service under is determined in whole or in part by its peak demand, the ERCOT TDUs may remove the demand readings during the Extreme Cold Weather Period from rate re-classification analyses.
d. To the extent that an ERCOT TDU has processed invoices, applied a demand ratchet, or re-classified a customer to a different rate class based upon demand recorded during the Extreme Cold Weather Period, the ERCOT TDU may reverse such actions, including but not limited to the cancelling and re-billing of invoices to REPs.
"The ERCOT TDUs are still analyzing the financial and rate-related impacts of the cold load pickup phenomenon that occurred during the Extreme Cold Weather Period and thus may request that such impacts be addressed in future proceedings," the TDUs said