Pa. PUC Approves PECO Petition To Delay Obligation To File Shopping Plan For CAP Customers, Notes Customers Could Suffer "Potential Harms" From Shopping
December 8, 2022 Email This Story Copyright 2010-21 EnergyChoiceMatters.com
Reporting by Paul Ring • firstname.lastname@example.org
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The Pennsylvania PUC approved a petition from PECO for PECO to continue to restrict customers enrolled in its Customer Assistance Program (CAP) from shopping for retail electric generation supply until after the Commission issues its final Policy Statement on Electric Customer Assistance Program Participant Shopping
As previously reported, the PUC issued a tentative policy statement on CAP shopping in early 2019. The PUC has not yet issued a final statement and there has been no substantive record developments in the proceeding since the summer of 2019. In brief, the CAP policy statement would allow CAP customers to shop subject to a price cap (see details here)
Currently, all of PECO’s customers, including all low-income customers, may elect to shop for electricity and purchase electric generation supply from an electric generation supplier (EGS) at any time.
However, those customers are not permitted to enter into, or remain on, CAP while purchasing electric generation supply from an EGS.
Under an order in PECO's most recent default service plan proceeding, PECO was directed to submit a CAP shopping proposal within 90 days of a PUC final order in a separate, then-pending proceeding addressing the design of the CAP program itself (not shopping eligibility for CAP customers, aka CAP Design Proceeding) instead of implementing a CAP shopping as part of the default service plan proceeding. The PUC issued a final order in the CAP Design Proceeding in June 2022, triggering the obligation of PECO to file a CAP shopping proposal
PECO sought to defer implementation of electricity CAP customer shopping, stating, "Maintaining the status quo in PECO’s service area will help ensure affordability of utility service for CAP customers without increasing the CAP program costs paid by PECO residential customers."
PECO had stated, "PECO reviewed the prices the Company’s shopping residential customers are currently paying. The Company compared EGS prices in cents per kWh (determined by dividing monthly EGS charges billed to all residential accounts divided by kWh usage) to PECO’s PTC in effect during the applicable period."
"Based on that analysis, since 2020, more than 80% of shopping residential customers have consistently paid EGS prices above PECO’s PTC," PECO alleged
The PUC granted PECO's petition, and stated that, "We agree with several of the proffered reasons in support of the Petition to
Defer, including the concerns that if deferral were not permitted: (1) PECO would, as of
June 1, 2023, be the only EDC in Pennsylvania to allow CAP customer shopping;
(2) PECO’s customers could suffer some of the potential harms identified in the PPL and
FirstEnergy proceedings [in which the PUC cited CAP rates above default service] to CAP customers and non-CAP customers who support the
costs of the program; and (3) the CAP shopping proposal would appear to conflict with
the Company’s adoption of the reduced energy burdens found in the 2019 CAP Policy