Non-Unanimous Settlement Would Adopt Changes To Standard Offer Customer Referral Program At Pennsylvania Utility, Increase Cost To Retail Suppliers
October 1, 2020 Email This Story Copyright 2010-20 EnergyChoiceMatters.com
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Duquesne Light Company ("Duquesne Light", "DLC," or the "Company"), the Coalition for Affordable Utility Services and Energy Efficiency in Pennsylvania ("CAUSE-PA"), and the Pennsylvania Office of Consumer Advocate ("OCA") filed a non-unanimous, partial stipulation concerning Duquesne Light's electricity default service plan for the period June 1, 2021 through May 31, 2025 (DSP IX), addressing issues related to the Standard Offer customer referral program (SOP) and shopping for Customer Assistance Program (CAP) customers
Standard Offer Program (SOP)
Under the partial settlement, DLC would outsource administration of the SOP to a third party. The costs associated with the third party administrator will be
recovered, as proposed by DLC, from participating retail electric generation suppliers (EGSs).
The partial settlement would adopt Duquesne Light's proposed increased fee to EGSs. As first reported by EnergyChoiceMatters.com, Duquesne Light proposes to charge EGSs $30 per enrollment under the Standard Offer program. Currently, EGSs are charged $10.28 per enrollment
As part of its transition to using a third-party administrator, DLC agrees to develop customer education scripts that are, "consistent with
the practices of Pennsylvania’s EDCs that currently utilize third party SOP
DLC agrees to provide these scripts to the parties for
review/comment. Upon implementation of such scripting, DLC agrees to monitor
the administrator's adherence to the scripts at regular intervals to ensure compliance and
provide a report of its efforts at the midpoint of DSP IX, including a random sampling
of call recordings of monitored solicitations, as part of such report.
Under the partial settlement, DLC will continue its current practice of referring eligible customers to SOP, rather
than automatically placing them into SOP. In an issue still subject to litigation, retail suppliers had proposed that Duquesne Light should
automatically enroll new and moving customers with an EGS, rather than being given the option
to enroll in default service or choose an EGS.
Under the partial settlement, DLC will continue its current practice of allowing SOP participants to remain with their
EGS following the initial 12-month SOP period, absent affirmative action by the
Under the partial settlement, DLC will add a section to the "Customer Choice" page of its website that specifically
addresses SOP and participating customers’ options upon expiration of their initial 12-
month SOP contract.
Under the settlement, DLC will conduct an analysis of SOP participants' effective supply rates following their
initial 12-month SOP period, and will present results annually beginning in 2022.
Customer Assistance Program (CAP) Shopping
The parties to the partial stipulation agree to the withdrawal of the Company’s proposal
regarding Customer Assistance Program ("CAP") Shopping
Currently, CAP customers may not shop at Duquesne Light
As previously reported, Duquesne Light had originally proposed to implement shopping for Customer Assistance Program (CAP) customers consistent with the recently issued tentative guidelines from the PUC, including a requirement that an EGS would have to charge a rate at or below the price to compare at all times to serve a CAP customer
The partial settlement would instead provide that, within 6 months of a
final, unappealable order implementing CAP Shopping in PPL Electric service territory,
Duquesne Light will make a filing with the Commission regarding CAP shopping that is
consistent with Duquesne Light’s CAP design, and which is informed by all available
information and data.