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Regulator Intends To Adopt New Security Requirements For Retail Suppliers, Up To $2 Million

Would Institute Biennial Review Of Supplier Licenses

Proposes New Rules For Rate Board, Rates On Supplier's Website

June 9, 2021

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Copyright 2010-21
Reporting by Paul Ring •

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The Connecticut PURA has issued a notice of intent to adopt proposed revisions to its retail electric supplier license rules

PURA had previously issued draft revisions for comment (see story here). Another formal comment period has been initiated now that PURA has formally noticed its intent to adopt the rules

The proposed regulations which PURA intends to adopt include new rules for the state's electricity shopping rate board, which include the following (terms defined below)

• An electric supplier shall self-report all generally available generation offers to the Rate Board following a process established by the Authority

• All generally available rates shall be all-inclusive rates

• An electric supplier shall follow standardized language issued by the Authority when self-reporting

• Rates that appear on a supplier’s internet website shall be posted to the Rate Board, thereby aligning these resources

Under the proposed rules, "generally available rate" means, "a generation rate that is offered to all customers taking service under a rate tariff or a rate that is offered to a class of residential or business customers. Rates that are offered through a supplier’s website or are included on the Rate Board are deemed to be generally available." "Offer" means, "the information provided to consumers for each product or record displayed on the Rate Board. This information includes, but is not limited to, the applicable EDC tariff and customer class, term in billing cycles, rate, cancellation fee, enrollment fee, restrictions, and other product specific information."

"All-inclusive" is defined to mean, "includes all generation-related costs or charges, such that no other charges can be added."

"Rate" means, "the all-inclusive cost per kWh for each generation offer."

The proposed regulations would require that an electric supplier shall maintain its company website to include the following:

(1) The supplier’s official name and trade name(s), if any;

(2) All PURA docket numbers and titles pertaining specifically to the supplier to show its regulatory history in Connecticut, including all licensing and review dockets and history of dockets of companies acquired through mergers or license transfers, and all PURA investigation dockets that have been concluded;

(3) Customer service contact information, including a phone number at which a live company representative (not an answering service) shall be available during normal business hours;

(4) PURA contact information;

(5) Information concerning all generally available offers, renewable products, and information about the source of renewable energy (e.g., RECs), standard contracts, and enrollment forms; and

(6) Any other information deemed necessary by the Authority.

Furthermore, the proposed rules would require that, for offers posted on a supplier's own website, "All rates or offers posted to an electric supplier’s website including a claim of savings shall include a clear and conspicuous disclosure of how the savings will be calculated and what the supplier will do if the savings are not realized, together with any time or other limitations the supplier may impose."

The proposed rules provide that, beginning on April 15, 2022, the Authority would conduct biennial proceedings to review certain aspects of all electric supplier licenses, versus the current five-year review process

Under the biennial review, suppliers would pay a $2,500 fee and submit various information to PURA for the review. Currently, the fee for a renewal is $250

For customer assignments, the proposed regulations would require that, "All information regarding assignments of customers at least ten days prior to the assignment or within the timeframe indicated by statute."

As part of a revised annual compliance filing required from retail suppliers, suppliers would have to include as part of the filing a form listing third party agents

The proposed rules would require that an electric supplier shall maintain an amount of security based on its Load (defined below) served in the previous calendar year as indicated by the electric distribution company filings in the annual renewable portfolio standards docket or other means indicated by the Authority, according to the following schedule:

• Annual Load up to 100,000 MWh: $250,000

• Annual Load 100,001 MWh to 499,999 MWh: $500,000

• Annual Load 500,000 MWh to 1,000,000 MWh: $1 million

• Annual Load > 1,000,000 MWh: $2 million

"Notwithstanding this schedule, the Authority has the discretion to increase an electric supplier’s security as indicated by decision in the supplier’s licensing docket to accommodate a supplier’s renewable portfolio standards obligations in excess of 1,000,000 MWh," the proposed rules state.

"Load" means number of megawatt hours served as indicated by the electric distribution company load settlement data or billing data, and shall not include line loss

In comparison, under the current rules, suppliers shall maintain security in the amount of $250,000 or five per cent of its estimated gross receipts for its first full year of operation, not to exceed $250,000

The proposed rules provide that all suppliers shall submit necessary updates of security as a compliance filing in their most current licensing docket prior to April 15 of each calendar year. Said compliance filings shall include a cover letter that identifies the supplier’s name, licensing docket number, and licensing docket title. Any supplier serving in its first year licensed in Connecticut shall post the minimum security and shall adjust the security accordingly each subsequent year based on Load served in the previous year.

Under the proposed rules, all suppliers shall submit a compliance filing as part of their annual renewable portfolio standards filings indicating if their security amount is correct or if new security is required as a result of the previous year’s Load.

Docket 19-10-41

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