Citing Default Service Price Spikes & Recent Shopping Savings, Retail Suppliers Seek Close Of Regulator's Review On Whether Retail Supplier Rates Are Just & Reasonable
December 1, 2022 Email This Story Copyright 2010-21 EnergyChoiceMatters.com
Reporting by Paul Ring • firstname.lastname@example.org
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The Retail Energy Advancement League ('REAL') requested that the Connecticut PURA Authority close PURA's current investigation into whether retail supplier offers are just and reasonable, "as the current market confirms that there can be no proof that electric supplier products are overpriced or harmful to residential customers."
As previously reported, PURA is conducting an investigation of supplier rates pursuant to Conn. Gen Stat. § 16-245(a) which states that PURA has the authority to condition an electric supplier's license and access to the systems and billing of the electric distribution companies on terms the authority determines to be just and reasonable, including, but not limited to, proof that the electric supplier's products are not overpriced or harmful to residential customers
REAL said that, "According to data published by the Office of Consumer Counsel ('OCC') in its most recent (August 2022) monthly supplier fact sheet, supplier products are saving residential customers money. In fact, in August 2022 alone, residential customers experienced a savings of $1,320,478. In every OCC fact sheet posted for 2022, OCC reports a total savings to residential customers, for a total savings between January and September 2022 of $10,432,771."
"This savings is based on a straight monetary comparison against the then-current standard service rates, and does not take into account any additional value beyond the standard service product that suppliers offer to customers," REAL noted
REAL said, "On November 17, 2022, Eversource Energy ('Eversource') and The United Illuminating Company ('UI') (jointly with Eversource, the 'EDCs') filed their upcoming standard service rates for the period of January through June 2023, which have now been approved by the Authority. The Eversource standard service rate increased from 12.05 cents per kWh to 24.17 cents per kWh. The UI standard service rate increased from 10.62 cents per kWh to 21.94 cents per kWh. In short, the upcoming EDC standard service rates will be more than double the current standard service rates."
"In response to REAL-OCC-9, the OCC stated that 'the standard service rates are an adequate price to compare' to supplier prices. Although REAL disagrees, for the sake of argument, taking standard service rates to be the benchmark for supplier products, as OCC suggests, supplier products on balance have been more advantageous to customers throughout 2022 and will continue to be more advantageous to customers compared to the upcoming standard service rates," REAL said
"During the upcoming standard service period (January through June 2023), customers who enroll on currently available supplier products could save over 30% compared to standard service rates. Thus, by the OCC’s own benchmark, supplier products are providing monetary value and an undeniable benefit to customers and are certainly not overpriced or harmful," REAL said
"As of today [Nov. 30], every single supplier product offered to residential customers in Eversource’s territory was priced below the upcoming standard service rate. In addition, many of these products offer valuable attributes that customers cannot receive with the standard service rate, such as 100% renewable energy content, price stability over longer term contracts, charitable donations made by the supplier on behalf of the customer, and airline miles. According to the Rate Board as of today, enrolling could save customers $56.87 a month (and this calculation is at 750 kWh of monthly usage, which may be low for many residential customers) from January through June 2023 ... Even the highest priced product on the Rate Board in the Eversource territory would offer customers savings from January through June 2023:" REAL said
"It is the same story in the UI territory – again as of today, every single supplier product offered to residential customers was priced below the upcoming standard service rate. And again these products provide value above the standard service rate, including 100% renewable energy content, price stability over longer term contracts, and airline miles. And again similar examples exist. According to the Rate Board as of today, enrolling could save customers $46.89 a month (and this calculation is at 750 kWh of monthly usage, which may be low for many residential customers) from January through June 2023," REAL said
"Given these facts, any Authority investigation into supplier products cannot possibly find that they are overpriced or harmful and this investigation should be closed. For the above-stated reasons, REAL respectfully requests that the Authority close this investigation into supplier products," REAL said