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PPL Agrees To Withdraw Proposed Renewable Energy Supply Option For Non-shopping Customers Under Partial Default Service Settlement

September 21, 2020

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Copyright 2010-20
Reporting by Paul Ring •

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PPL Electric Utilities Corporation ('PPL Electric', 'PPL', or the 'Company'), the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission’s ('Commission') Bureau of Investigation and Enforcement ('I&E'), the Office of Consumer Advocate ('OCA'), the Office of Small Business Advocate ('OSBA'), and various retail supplier parties have entered into a partial joint stipulation concerning certain aspects of PPL's proposed electricity default service plan (DPS V) for the period June 1, 2021, through May 31, 2025, while reserving other matters for litigation

Most notably, PPL agrees to withdraw its proposed Renewable Energy Rider, a green supply option for non-shopping customers, without prejudice to future re-filing in a default service docket either as part of a new plan or an amendment to an existing plan.

As exclusively first reported by (story here), PPL had originally proposed to create an optional renewable rate program ('PPL Electric Renewable Rate Program') for default service customers that was to provide a renewable energy option for customers who remain on default service. The PPL Electric Renewable Rate Program was designed as an adder to the PPL Electric PTC and is based on the purchase of AECs that cover 100% of participating customer consumption.

Default Service Supply Procurement, Rate Designs

The partial settlement largely adopts the default service supply procurement and rate designs as proposed originally by PPL (see full details here), except on certain discrete issues that were withdrawn or reserved for litigation. Unless otherwise noted, PPL's originally described proposals from our prior story would be approved under the settlement

With respect to PPL's proposed use of AEC auctions to acquire AECs for AEPS compliance for default service load (rather than AECs being procured solely and initially by the wholesale default service suppliers as part of the full requirements contract), the settlement would authorize such mechanism on a pilot basis

Concerning the AEC auction, the partial stipulation provides that, "The Company agrees to operate this program as a pilot program for the DSP V program period; provided, however, this proposal is contingent on full recovery of all costs of the program through the GSC-1 rate. Full-cost recovery in the GSC-1 rate will be subject to the determination that the costs are prudent and reasonable in the filing(s) in which PPL proposes recovery."

Under the partial settlement, the Company will reconcile 12 months of over/under collections over a 12-month period consistent with its other Section 1307 surcharges. In the event the GSC-1 E-factor exceeds 10 percent of the Price-to-Compare for Small C&I GSC-1 customers, the Company agrees to consult with the OSBA regarding the causes for this variance and steps being taken to reduce GSC-1 variances.

The proposal from retail suppliers that PPL assume the obligation for NITS costs (rather than the EGS), with costs recovered from all customers on a nonbypassable basis, has been withdrawn by the EGS parties, for purposes of the instant proceeding only.

The use of 1 CP versus 5 CP for calculating NSPL is reserved for litigation

Standard Offer Customer Referral Program

The partial stipulation leaves most issues regarding the Standard Offer Customer Referral Program (SOP) to litigation as discussed further below

However, the stipulation does provide that PPL will work with OCA, OSBA, and other interested parties in revising the guidelines used by CSRs and scripts used by the SOP contractor employees. Any such revisions will be completed within 90 days after the entry of a Commission order approving the Partial Settlement without modification.

The Company agrees to increase its monitoring of the SOP contractor employees to ensure that the complete conversation accurately reflects the SOP contract terms and required disclosures. The Company further agrees to take any necessary actions, including, but not limited to, additional training of the SOP contractor employees, or terminating the Company’s contract with the SOP contractor, as may be necessary.

All SOP issues other than the provision discussed above are reserved for litigation

In particular, all issues related to Customer Assistance Program (CAP) customers, and the availability of a specific CAP-SOP program for retail suppliers to serve CAP customers, are reserved to litigation

Docket No. P-2020-3019356

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