Regulator Seeks More Public Comment Before Clarifying Whether All Brokers Are Agents Of Suppliers (& Subject To Supplier Training, Other Regs)
February 23, 2023 Email This Story Copyright 2010-21 EnergyChoiceMatters.com
Reporting by Paul Ring • email@example.com
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The Connecticut PURA has sought further comment from its Office of Education, Outreach, and Enforcement (EOE) and the public concerning EOE's request for clarification that any entity, which is not licensed as an aggregator or supplier, and which enrolls a customer, is an agent of a supplier and therefore is subject to all of the compliant and regulator requirements applicable to supplier agents (including agent training and monitoring by the supplier)
EnergyChoiceMatters.com was first to report on EOE's sought clarification, which included EOE stating that third-party websites may not enroll customers unless such website is a certified aggregator or is a listed agent of a supplier
PURA has previously held that aggregators may not receive compensation from a retail supplier. PURA has previously stated that aggregators must act as the customers’ agents in negotiating electric generation prices for the gathered customers, and that law precludes aggregators from acting as agents for suppliers
Previously EOE said, "EOE understands that Connecticut law supports ... two distinct entities (agents and aggregators) enrolling customers with suppliers and that Connecticut law provides for no other entity to enroll customers with suppliers."
EOE also previously said, "As a result, EOE wishes to clarify that suppliers may not accept enrollments from and/or through websites that are not either registered as the supplier’s agent (as indicated on their Form 6 [filed with PURA]) or who have received a Connecticut aggregator certificate."
Suppliers have raised various concerns with EOE's interpretations, especially as aggregator is narrowly defined to require that the aggregator must, "gather together electric customers for the purpose of negotiating the purchase of electric generation services from an electric supplier[.]"
In brief, EOE's interpretation, among other things, would preclude a broker, acting on behalf of a single customer and solely in the customer's interest and which does not gather the customer's load into a pool, from enrolling such customer, unless such broker is considered and regulated as an agent of the supplier. Even a non-aggregating broker which receives no compensation from the supplier would be required to be considered a supplier agent in order to enroll the customer under EOE's sought clarification
PURA sought additional stakeholder comment on the following topics:
1. Discuss whether EOE’s position is applicable to residential and non-residential customers or only to residential customers.
2. Discuss whether an entity that represents individual customers who is shopping for competitive suppliers is (a) an agent of a supplier or (b) an aggregator if that entity shops among multiple suppliers on behalf of its customers and does not gather together customers for the purpose of negotiating the purchase of electric generation services.
3. Discuss whether entities that are neither agents of a supplier nor a registered aggregator are:
a. receiving compensation from a supplier to enroll customers with the supplier;
b. receiving compensation from a registered aggregator to enroll customers with a supplier;
c. receiving compensation from another type of entity to enroll customers with a supplier; or
d. enrolling customers with a supplier, but not receiving compensation from either an electric supplier or a registered aggregator.
4. Discuss the basis for PURA’s authority to regulate an entity that enrolls customers with a supplier if such an entity is neither an agent nor an aggregator.
5. Any other information that may assist the Authority.