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PUC Approves Settlement Concerning Dayton Power & Light Advanced Meter Roll-Out Which Addresses Default Service Issues

Stipulation Includes $1 Million Payment (Shareholder-Funded) To Solar Affiliate Of Retail Supplier To Support Solar Development

Smart Grid Roll-Out Contemplates Execution Of Third Party Apps, From Utility & Third Parties, By AMI Meters

Addresses Supplier Access to AMI Data, Use In Wholesale Settlement

Commissioner "Strongly Support[s]" Required TOU Option For Default Service Customers, Concerned With Potential Sunset

June 15, 2021

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Copyright 2010-21
Reporting by Paul Ring •

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The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio approved, without modification, a stipulation among Dayton Power & Light Company (DP&L), PUCO Staff, Industrial Energy Users-Ohio and several other large customer groups, IGS Energy, and several environmental groups which authorizes deployment of advanced meters, an upgraded customer information system, and other grid modernization activities (Smart Grid Plan Phase I or SGP I)

Notably, the adopted stipulation addresses DP&L's current default service plan (its prior reversion to electric security plan I, or ESP I) and elements of a future default service plan (ESP IV). See background on the reversion to ESP I here

During the 2020-2023 period, the stipulation's signatory parties agree not to challenge or otherwise advocate against DP&L's right to operate under its currently implemented ESP I and not to challenge or otherwise advocate against any provision of its current ESP I before the Commission, the Supreme Court of Ohio, or any other regulatory or judicial body.

Each signatory party agreed to withdraw any pending applications for rehearing that it has filed in Pub. Util. Comm. Case Nos. 08-1094- EL-SSO, et al. and 16-395-EL-SSO, et al. (relating to the ESP) and any appeals from such proceedings upon approval of the stipulation without modification. Notably, IGS had previously moved for rehearing of an ESP order with respect to default service unbundling and supplier tariff and fee issues (story here)

Signatory parties agreed that the stipulation and ESP I satisfy the statutory requirements of R.C. 4928.143(E) (relating to reviews of ESPs exceeding three years) and that ESP I as currently implemented passes the more favorable in the aggregate test and the prospective significantly excessive earnings test in R.C. 4928.143(E).

Alternatively, signatory parties stipulated that if the Commission finds that DP&L's ESP I fails to satisfy either prospective test, then the Commission has the authority to approve, "the transition . . . to the more advantageous plan."

"This Stipulation provides for an orderly transition to such a plan, as DP&L has committed to filing a new ESP application (ESP IV) by October 1, 2023 that will not contain charges as identified [below]," the settlement stated

The stipulation provides that DP&L shall file an application for an electric security plan ('ESP IV') no later than October 1, 2023 to replace ESP I.

Specifically, the adopted settlement provides that DP&L's ESP IV Application shall not seek to implement any nonbypassable charge to customers related to provider of last resort risks, stability, financial integrity, or any other charge that is substantially calculated based on the credit ratings debt, or financial performance of any parent or affiliated company of DP&L.

"By way of example, the Signatory Parties agree that this limitation does not prevent DP&L from proposing in the future riders that recover actual costs that DP&L has incurred or will incur, distribution or transmission related revenue that DP&L has foregone or will forego, or distribution or transmission related investments (including a return on and of the investments) that DP&L has made or will make. The Signatory Parties are not precluded or in any way limited in challenging any potential riders that DP&L may propose as part of any future proceeding," the stipulation stated

Solar Grant Payment To Retail Supplier Affiliate

The stipulation states, "In order to encourage the further development of distributed and small generation facilities in accordance with R.C. 4928.02(C), after a Commission Order approving this Stipulation, DP&L and IGS agree to work together to identify, select and then implement solar project(s) that add up to at least 1.5 MW to be constructed in DP&L's service territory ('the Solar Project(s)')."

"Within 90 days after IGS Solar, LLC identifies the Solar Project location(s), DP&L will make a one-time contribution in the amount of $1 million, to be funded by shareholder dollars and not recovered through the IIR [Infrastructure Investment Rider] or other rates to IGS Solar, LLC ('the Solar Project Grant'). IGS Solar, LLC will apply the Solar Project Grant toward design, construction, and deployment of the Solar Project(s), which IGS Solar, LLC shall own and operate. DP&L shall have no ownership interest in the Solar Project, and shall not be involved in its operation," the stipulation states

Within 12 months after the Solar Project(s) are operational, DP&L shall file a report in describing any distribution and/or transmission costs saved or avoided as a result of the Solar Project(s).

Execution Of Third Party Apps By AMI Meters

The adopted stipulation contemplates the ability of Dayton Power & Light and third parties to use smart meters to execute apps for customers.

The stipulation states that an AMI meter with "Distributed Intelligence Capabilities" is a meter that has an on-board computer with the capability to download and execute software applications written by DP&L or third parties. Distributed Intelligence Capabilities do not refer to firmware that is loaded on an AMI meter for basic operations.

The stipulation provides that, "At least 180 days before utilizing Distributed Intelligence Capabilities of AMI meters during SGP [Smart Grid Plan] Phase 1, DP&L will file a description of its planned utilization in the docket for this proceeding to allow for public comment on that plan by interested stakeholders. DP&L's filing will, at a minimum, describe: (1) how third parties may be able to utilize the AMI meter's Distributed Intelligence Capabilities with appropriate customer consent, and under what terms and conditions; (2) what customer services or offerings DP&L may provide through the Distributed Intelligence Capabilities of its AMI meters; and (3) a description of what software applications have been, or are planned to be, installed onto AMI meters."

Provision Of AMI Data To Retail Suppliers, Use In Settlement

As part of, and in the timeline associated with, a new customer information system noted below, DP&L commits to the following:

i. The release of any customer's energy-usage data shall be in accordance with the applicable North American Energy Standards Board Energy Services Provider Interface standards and compliant with all Ohio Administrative Code and Ohio Revised Code.

ii. DP&L shall provide Green Button Connect My Data ("GBC") for use by any authorized CRES [Competitive Retail Electric Service provider] or third party on a non-discriminatory basis to be completed as part of and in the timeline associated with the CIS. GBC shall be independently tested and certified as compliant with the latest standard as of time of release. DP&L is not prohibited from supplementing or replacing GBC with a new generally accepted industry standard Application Programming Interface after collaborating with Staff, CRES, customers, and third parties via the Grid Mod Implementation Update Group. The terms and conditions under which customer-authorized CRES providers and third parties access GBC or any other Application Programming Interface will be set forth in a DP&L tariff subject to Commission approval.

iii. At a minimum, DP&L's GBC will provide, with appropriate customer authorization, 24 months of historical usage data, ongoing usage data, account number(s), meter identifier(s), and customer billing determinants. For purposes of this provision, "billing determinants" means customer-specific information used to calculate a bill, including (if applicable to a given customer) kilowatt-hours, kVAR, peak demand, and billing schedule, but excluding non-customer-specific information contained in filed tariffs. If DP&L determines in the future that billing determinants are more expansive than this definition, DP&L will so inform the Grid Mod Implementation Update Group to discuss inclusion in Green Button Connect. As part of the Grid Mod Implementation Update Group, DP&L will work with Staff, CRES and third parties to further develop the types of data that may be shared through GBC as well as the timelines and frequency of transmission.

iv. DP&L shall allow CRES providers to access the most current data available for both prospective and existing customers through GBC, with customer authorization as required. However, data for purposes of billing and scheduling shall be provided via EDI or the current standard form.

v. DP&L shall provide documented processes for registering, troubleshooting and providing access to CRES providers and third parties on a publicly available website. Any data from a customer who objected to sharing data on the pre-enrollment list shall not be provided without authorization.

vi. DP&L will make best efforts to: (i) operate the GBC platform with an uptime of at least 99% during business hours as determined by the Company and calculated on a monthly basis; (ii) respond promptly to questions, issues or bugs raised by third parties and seek to promptly resolve technical issues with the GBC platform; and (iii) ensure that the data provided are accurate and up to date.

vii. Customer Experience. DP&L shall support the following processes:

(1) DP&L will develop a process for CRES and third parties to provide customer consent in accordance with Ohio Adm.Code 4901:1-10-24 or any subsequent rule to access data for prospective and existing customers. This process will include the ability for customers to authorize the release of energy usage data to CRES and third parties via the following methods:

(a) DP&L's web site, which shall be optimized for the Customer's screen size, or mobile app.

(b) Third party web site or mobile app (DP&L will not be responsible for costs associated with developing third party websites or mobile apps.) In this case, DP&L will, for customers with a cellular telephone number on file, send a text message one-time passcode to the customer's cellular telephone to complete the authorization.

(2) At the time of the request, the customer is prompted to authenticate and authorize sharing of data and DP&L shall require no more information of the customer than DP&L requires for establishing an online account. Web-based authentication and authorization must adhere to OAuth2.0 or a more recent industry-standard protocol as set forth at CRES and third parties should have the option to determine the authorization term they require, i.e. 12 months, 24 months, or indefinite ("valid until rescinded"). DP&L will send notification to the customer's preferred communication channel that DP&L has received notification that the customer has authorized a third party access to their customer energy usage data and/or account number and provide instructions on how to contact DP&L to cancel if they did not make such an authorization. Customer will be notified annually of all CRES and third parties that have current access to customer data and how to rescind such access.

(3) Once authorized, DP&L will promptly begin transmission of historical data within timely manner to a CRES or third party. Subsequent to a successful Customer authorization, when data is requested, the system will immediately or nearly immediately process and return the requested data.

(4) DP&L shall support the authorization methods without requiring the creation of an online account.

(5) DP&L shall provide a list of CRES and third parties that have accessed the customer's data within the last six months, which shall be prominently displayed and easily accessible on the customer's on-line account and/or customer portal.

With respect to individual wholesale market settlements, DP&L will facilitate wholesale market settlements as part of and in the timeline associated with the CIS, as follows:

i. DP&L will make the necessary upgrades to systems and processes for wholesale market settlements, i.e. calculating and settling individual total hourly energy obligation ("THEO"), peak load contribution ("PLC"), and network service peak load ("NSPL") values for each customer, instead of relying on generic load profiles.

ii. DP&L shall transmit settlement data to PJM, at a minimum, in hourly intervals.

iii. DP&L shall make the THEO, PLC, and NSPL data available to authorized CRES providers, consistent with Ohio Adm.Code 4901:1-10-24 or any other subsequent rule, through the pre-enrollment list and EDI transactions, as applicable. Customers will also have access to this information.

DP&L will begin using AMI data for calculation of individualized PLC when the necessary upgrades to systems have been made to utilize the VEE certified AMI data that has been read for any qualifying peak events. Until those upgrades have been completed and an AMI meter has been installed, the current method of using register reads and profiles will be used.

DP&L shall periodically update stakeholders on the progress toward data access for CRES provider product billing purposes.

DP&L shall share an updated map of where AMI is being deployed with dates of deployment and an AMI tag on the Customer Information List provided to CRES providers to indicate active meters.

Described as "Neutral Platform," the AMI deployment will utilize the necessary and generally accepted standards, e.g., technologies to implement a Home Area Network, so that customers can connect qualified devices (e.g., in-home displays, smart programmable thermostats) to their meter, or otherwise direct the meter to transmit usage data to any CRES or third party selected by the customer. The technical eligibility requirements for Home Area Network devices, if applicable, including those for security, will be developed through the Grid Mod Implementation Update Group. Qualified devices will not be limited to devices supplied only by the EDU or an affiliate.

Through the term of SGP Phase 1, DP&L will update its G8 tariff such that no fees shall be charged by DP&L to CRES or third parties associated with accessing or requesting data, including but not limited to those set forth in Tariff Sheet G8 page 29 A.1. (manual historical customer energy usage) and A.2. (electronic interval meter data) ("Waived Fees"). DP&L further agrees to forego recovery of the Waived Fees through the Infrastructure Investment Rider (IIR) or future rate case. DP&L will track the number of requests for the manual historical customer energy usage data and electronic interval meter data and will estimate any associated labor.

New Customer Information System

DP&L will invest in, no later than 6 months after a Commission Order approving the stipulation, the development of a new Customer Information System (CIS) that will perform core functionality, including at least the following:

• Flexible pricing plans including CRES ability to bill for products that utilize AMI data;

• The system will allow for CRES Electronic Data Interchange ('EDI') and data access for billing and time-of-use product offers which use AMI within three years after approval of the stipulation or in the timeline associated with the CIS, whichever occurs first

• Meter to Cash process and bill presentment shall comply with all applicable requirements of the Ohio Administrative Code and Ohio Revised Code

• Integration of Integrated Voice Response, Customer Portal and Mobile App, Advanced Metering Infrastructure, Advanced Distribution Management System, Geographic Information System, Enterprise Resource Planning System, Meter Asset Management System, Meter Data Management System, and Mobile Workforce Management System

• Customer Relationship Management ("CRM") as a customer service and communication tool

Time Of Use Plan For Default Service Customers

The stipulation requires DP&L to propose a time-of-use ("TOU") SSO rate and implementation plan through an EL-ATA case on a pilot basis during SGP Phase 1.

Any TOU rates that are offered through DP&L's Standard Service Offer ("SSO") shall be offered only on an "opt-in" basis. The generation related costs of any TOU proposal shall remain fully bypassable, including costs associated with the implementation, administration, or marketing of the Company's TOU offering, which shall be deferred for future recovery through SSO rates upon Commission approval.

Once DP&L is notified that there are at least three different suppliers offering time-varying products utilizing AMI data, then DP&L, with Commission approval, will request to withdraw its SSO TOU rate offering.

In a concurring statement, Commissioner Daniel R. Conway said that he, "strongly support[s]," the requirement for a TOU option for SSO customers Furthermore, Conway stressed that while DP&L is obligated under the stipulation to request to withdraw its SSO TOU rate offering once competitive TOU offerings are available from at least three retail suppliers, such withdrawal remains subject to PUCO consideration and approval, and does not obligate PUCO to approve any request withdrawal of the SSO TOU rate offering "I ... believe that we must encourage and support the availability and realization of those benefits for all customers, including the SSO customers. I am skeptical, however, that access for SSO customers to TOU rates should be curtailed, and that type of rate should only be available to customers who take generation service from competitive retail electric service (CRES) providers, once some number of CRES providers offer a time-varying rate service. So, I write to make clear that my view of Section 6.e. is that, by adopting that provision, we are in no way prejudging the propriety of ending the SSO TOU rate once three CRES providers make a TVR offering and DP&L has made the obligatory request to withdraw its SSO TOU tariff in accordance with Section 6.e," Conway wrote

Prepaid Service

DP&L commits that it will not implement any form of prepay program as part of the SGP Phase 1.

Bypassability Of Non-Market Transmission Charges

From the date of approval of the stipulation and continuing during DP&L's current standard offer as approved by the Commission in its December 18, 2019 Second Finding and Order in Case No. 08-1094-EL-SSO, DP&L will re-open enrollment for the Transmission Cost Recovery Rider – Non-Bypassable (TCRR-N) Opt-Out Pilot Program to signatory parties (including their members, affiliate members, customers, or members' customers) to pass through the market price, and peak hour billing, of the transmission system as described in DP&L's Seventeenth Revised Sheet No. T8, and DP&L will work collaboratively with manufacturing groups to target 50 manufacturers to participate.

TCRR-N recovers non-market based transmission (RTO) charges, and the opt-out allows such customers to assume such obligations themselves (or rather, their competitive retail supplier), rather than paying a nonbypassable charge for DP&L to assume such obligations.

DP&L shall, at least, propose to continue the TCRR-N Pilot for signatory parties in DP&L's next ESP case. Prior to filing its next ESP, DP&L further agrees to discuss with interested parties potential opportunities to enhance the transmission pilot.

PIPP Water Heater Controller Pilot Program

Under the settlement, DP&L will issue a Request for Proposals ("RFP") for a water heater controller Pilot within 60 days of the installation of smart meters on at least 200 Percentage of Income Payment Plan ("PIPP") customer accounts within the Dayton city limits.

The RFP will be for smart water heater controllers to be installed on Percentage of Income Payment Plan customers' electric resistive water heaters to reduce their peak load contribution ("PLC"). The goal of the Pilot will be to determine whether reducing the PIPP customers aggregate PLC will create a better load profile resulting in a better price for the PIPP auction.

The water heater controllers will have two-way communication, a revenue grade metering chip and two separate temperature probes to ensure accurate measurement and verification.

The RFP will be for an initial 60-day Pilot to prove the concept of 200 water heater controllers with the potential to be expanded to all PIPP customers with an electric resistive water heater, as smart meters are installed.

Other Issues

The adopted stipulation reduces AMI investment to be recovered in the IIR during SGP Phase 1 from 100% of meters to 95%

The stipulation does not authorize under Phase I expenditures for DP&L's proposals for Distributed Energy Resources Management or Smart Community Demonstration Projects. See background on the proposals here Case No. 18-1875-EL-GRD et al.

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