Utility With Choice Program Agrees To Withdraw Proposed Carbon Offset Program
June 23, 2022 Email This Story Copyright 2010-21 EnergyChoiceMatters.com
Reporting by Paul Ring • email@example.com
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As part of a settlement in an annual 1307(f) purchased gas cost (PGC) proceeding in Pennsylvania, Peoples Natural Gas Company LLC (the Company) has agreed to withdraw its proposal to offer carbon offsets to customers
Peoples Natural Gas had initially proposed a two-year pilot offering carbon offsets (COFFs) to
customers, called Voluntary Emission Reduction Program (VERP).
As originally proposed, Peoples Natural Gas would market, enroll, contract, bill and publish
COFFs to customers throughout its service territory for this voluntary service.
Marketing channels could have included direct mailings, bill stuffers, call center
interactions, emails, websites, and social media. Peoples Natural Gas originally proposed to charge customers who
sign up for this service a monthly fixed fee for COFF that will equate to a fixed
carbon emission credit for the customer.
Peoples Natural Gas had initially proposed to enroll a maximum of 2,000 customers in the carbon offset pilot, with customers who enroll being, "billed a fixed
monthly fee of no more than $9.00 for residential customers, and $50.00 for commercial
Under the settlement, Peoples Natural Gas has agreed to withdraw its VERP carbon offset proposal in
the 1307(f) proceeding
settling parties agree that the Company can make a separate filing or include in a future base rate case a
VERP proposal or something similar.
If the Company proposes this in a separate proceeding (other
than a base rate case), the settling parties agree that they will support an accelerated procedural schedule
that would allow for a Commission decision within 6-months of the date of filing.
Further, in any future filing proposing the VERP pilot, Peoples Natural Gas will
include the following reporting requirements that would apply if the VERP pilot is approved: 1)
the number of customers electing to enroll in the VERP, 2) the number of customers who end their
participation in the VERP prior to the end of the year, 3) the number (or total Mcf, if applicable)
of COFFs purchase, 4) a breakdown of the total administrative fees billed to VERP customers and
5) any other metric that would help the Company determine whether the VERP pilot was
successful and should be continued or expanded beyond the two-year pilot.
Under the settlement, the Retail Energy Supply Association and NRG Energy (who are among the settling parties) agree to undertake two voluntary surveys of RESA members and other
supplier participants in this matter, as to the volume of renewable natural gas, responsibly sourced
natural gas and carbon offsets sold to customers in the Peoples Natural Gas territory related to their
activity on the Peoples Natural Gas system during the most recent 12-month periods.
The settlement provides that RESA/NRG
will confidentially report the results of the first survey in the aggregate to Peoples Natural Gas
within 60 days of a Commission Order approving the settlement. RESA/NRG will confidentially
report the results of the second survey in the aggregate to Peoples Natural Gas approximately one-year
after confidentially reporting the results of the first survey.
"This arrangement does not create
any precedent for Peoples Natural Gas or any party to seek information from RESA members in
this or any future matters," the settlement states
Settling parties in the PGC proceeding include the utilities, the PUC's
Bureau of Investigation and Enforcement, the Office of Consumer Advocate, the Pennsylvania Independent Oil
& Gas Association, and the Retail Energy Supply Association and NRG Energy, Inc.
Single Price To Compare
The Peoples Natural Gas Company settlement, along with a similar settlement in the annual 1307(f) purchased gas cost (PGC) proceeding of Peoples Gas Company LLC, would, if approved, institute a single Price to Compare at both utilities
As first reported by EnergyChoiceMatters.com, major parties already agreed to support a single price to compare across both utilities as part of a settlement in a proceeding addressing the merger of the two LDCs, but actual approval of such a single PTC is being addressed in the separate 1307(f) proceedings.
Settlements in both 1307(f) proceedings would, upon approval, adopt such a single Price to Compare at both utilities, contingent upon the approval of the settlement in the merger proceeding
Specifically, the 1307(f) settlements provide that if the merger is approved prior to October 1, 2022, that the respective PGC,
Merchant Function Charge (MFC) and Gas Procurement Charge (GPC) rates of Peoples Gas
and Peoples Natural Gas will be combined in the PGC compliance filing in the 1307(f) proceeding
effective October 1, 2022. If the merger is approved after October 1, 2022, the
PGC, MFC and GPC rates of Peoples Gas and Peoples Natural Gas will be combined in the next
PGC Quarterly rate filing following the merger application’s approval.
Under the settlement, if the PGC rates are combined, the tariffed retainage rate for all classes for both Peoples Gas and Peoples Natural Gas shall be
In the event PGC rates for Peoples Gas and Peoples Natural Gas are not
combined, the Peoples Gas stand-alone tariffed retainage rate for all classes effective
October 1, 2022, shall be 8.6%; and the Peoples Natural Gas stand-alone tariffed retainage rate for all classes effective
October 1, 2022, shall be 5.6%.