Pennsylvania PUC Won't Adopt Supplier Consolidated Billing, Closes Investigation Without Further Action
June 21, 2021 Email This Story Copyright 2010-21 EnergyChoiceMatters.com
Reporting by Paul Ring • firstname.lastname@example.org
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The Pennsylvania PUC issued a secretarial letter in which the PUC said that it will not propose moving forward with electricity supplier consolidated billing (SCB) at this time, and through which the PUC closed its current SCB investigation without further action
"As there is neither clear authority for, nor consensus on how to implement SCB, we cannot move forward with proposing implementation of SCB at this time and will close this proceeding," the PUC said
"Closing the proceeding will better enable the General Assembly to address the outstanding questions associated with SCB without concerns of a parallel regulatory effort by the Commission," the PUC said
Summarizing the proceeding, the PUC said, "In general, consumer advocates and EDCs opposed implementation of SCB. Specifically, opponents argued that Section 2807(c) of the Code, 66 Pa.C.S. § 2807(c), allows for either utility consolidated billing (UCB) or dual billing, but not SCB. The opponents also asserted that SCB would violate critical billing, collection, and termination standards contained in Chapter 14 of the Code and Chapter 56 of the Commission’s regulations because EGSs are not subject to those requirements. Opponents also asserted that SCB is not in the public interest and may be cost prohibitive."
The PUC noted that, "EGSs and their trade associations generally supported SCB. They claimed that SCB is consistent with the Code and the intent of the Electricity Generation Customer Choice and Competition Act and touted the new non-commodity products and services EGSs would be able to offer customers if SCB were adopted. They also looked favorably on the ability of EGSs to issue their own bills that would provide EGSs with a greater opportunity to connect with customers and advertise new products and services and, more importantly, to bill for those products and services in a single bill. Supporters also claimed that SCB is necessary to make up for the unfair competitive advantage EDCs enjoy because of utility consolidated billing."
The PUC concluded that, "At this time, the Commission has decided to close the instant proceeding, at Docket No. M-2018-2645254, without taking additional action. Even after considering the testimony and exhibits presented at the two en banc hearings, and the comments and reply comments, the record still lacks sufficient detail for the Commission to definitively conclude that implementation of SCB would be prudent from a public policy perspective or legal under Chapters 14 and 28 of the Code."
"Outstanding questions, primarily related to consumer protections and the Commission’s lack of jurisdiction over EGSs under current law, include, but are not limited to, (1) the legal authority for SCB; (2) the legal authority for EGSs to bill and collect EDC distribution charges; (3) the legal authority for EGSs to order termination of a customer’s electric service; (4) how to properly account for EGS value-added-service charges; and (5) the administration of EGS purchase of receivables programs," the PUC said