Staff Requests Regulator Provide 30 Days For Aggregators To File Registrations, In Wake Of Enrollment Authorization Ruling
Staff Reports Some Suppliers Have Ceased Providing Pricing To All Entities Serving Large C&I Customers As A Result Of Ruling
April 12, 2023 Email This Story Copyright 2010-21 EnergyChoiceMatters.com
Reporting by Paul Ring • firstname.lastname@example.org
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The Office of Education, Outreach and Enforcement (EOE) of the Connecticut PURA filed a motion asking that PURA allow electric aggregators thirty (30) days, from the date the PURA rules on EOE's new instant motion, to have filed their applications for aggregator certificates and comply with PURA's March 30 ruling which clarifies which entities may enroll retail electricity customers.
As previously reported, the March 30 ruling provided that there are three entities that may enroll a customer with an electric supplier: the supplier, an aggregator registered with PURA, or an agent of either a supplier or an aggregator.
The March 30 ruling maintained the longstanding provision that aggregators may not be compensated by suppliers.
However, the March 30 ruling suggested that entities which are not compensated by suppliers, but which serve individual customers (rather than pooling customers), may meet the definition of aggregator, subject to a fact-specific review in each registrant's application for an aggregator certificate
The March 30 ruling said, "An 'electric aggregator' is 'a person . . . [that is required to register with the Authority in accordance with Conn. Gen. Stat. § 16-245] that gathers together electric customers for the purpose of negotiating the purchase of electric generation services from an electric supplier..."
With respect to the aggregator definition using the terms "gathers together electric customers", PURA in the March 30 ruling said (adopting the reasoning of EOE), "if an entity represents customers ... then by definition the entity has gathered together customers for the purpose of negotiating their purchase of supply..."
Furthermore, while aggregators cannot be compensated by suppliers, EOE has previously said that compensation by the customer to the aggregator which is merely included in the customer's electric rate as a "pass through" is permissible, provided that the compensation is disclosed to the customer
EOE has previously said, "EOE distinguishes between compensation based on enrollment and compensation that functions as a
"For example, the supplier and the aggregator could have an agreement in which the supplier
provides rates to the aggregator, the aggregator marks up those rates with the customer’s knowledge, the
customer pays the supplier, and the supplier passes through the mark up to the aggregator (for example,
if the supplier provided a rate of 10 cents per kWh to the aggregator and the aggregator, with the customer’s
explicit knowledge that the aggregator was receiving compensation from the customer through the rate,
increased the rate to 11 cents per kWh, then if the customer used 1000 kWh in a month and paid the
supplier $110, the supplier would retain $100 and pass through $10 to the aggregator as the compensation
due to the aggregator from the customer. In this example, the supplier is not providing its own
compensation to the aggregator, but providing a service that allows the customer to pay one bill rather than
two -- e.g., one $110 payment rather than a payment of $100 to the supplier and a separate payment of
$10 to the aggregator)," EOE has said
Prompting EOE's latest motion, EOE said, "It has come to EOE’s attention that as a result of the [March 30] Ruling, some suppliers immediately ceased providing pricing to all such entities who currently were serving large commercial and industrial customers."
EOE said, "Although EOE believes the Ruling clarified existing law, EOE also believes some of these entities might have applied for aggregator certificates more than a decade ago and were denied without prejudice, possibly due to a misunderstanding regarding the aggregator receiving payment from the customer as a pass-through from the supplier."
"As a result, to allow all such entities time to obtain their aggregator certificates, EOE requests that the Authority allow all aggregators thirty (30) days from the date the Authority rules on this motion to have filed their applications for aggregator certificates and comply with the Ruling," EOE said