|Second Notice Order Issued on Electric Supplier Marketing Standards|
The ALJs presiding over the Commission's rulemaking to revise the electric supplier marketing and business practice standards issued a second notice proposed order (SNPO). The SNPO declined to incorporate changes suggested by suppliers related to the Commission's proposed expansion of door-to-door marketing requirements to in-person solicitation; requiring suppliers to obtain both a Letter of Agency and third party verification to verify in-person enrollments; and renewal notice procedures requiring telephonic notice to customers in addition to written notice, amongst other issues.
The SNPO did make changes with respect to provisions on variable rate notice to customers. Finding that the Commission did not intend customers on dynamic or time-of-use price products to be included in the advance notice to variable rate customers, the SNO adds language clarifying that, "this section does not apply to customers on RES service where the rate for electric service changes, or has the potential to change, more frequently than once a month." In response to concerns that the proposal regarding supplier publication of variable rate pricing formulas would lead to the disclosure of competitively sensitive and proprietary information, the SNPO clarifies that variable rate notice requirements (related to web and bill rate posting and written notice of 20% increase in rate over monthly billing periods) are not applicable, "to contracts which disclose the formula that will allow a customer to determine the variable rate based on a publicly available index or benchmark."
The SNPO modified the previous proposal that a mandatory uniform training program for suppliers be developed. Instead, Staff would be required to, "convene annual workshops among all interested RESs and RES associations, the AG and CUB, to create a training for RES agents which addresses compliance with Parts 412 and 453 that could be incorporated into each RES's individualized training program." The SNPO also drops the requirement that RESs be required to provide certification of its agents to the Commission, although such information should be maintained in the event of Staff request.
Briefs on the SNPO are due April 3rd, and reply briefs are due April 10th. The full text of the SNPO is available on the NEM Website.
|Commission Launches NextGrid Collaborative Process|
The Commission adopted a resolution to initiate a collaborative process called NextGrid. NextGrid will be managed by the Commission, with the assistance of a third party facilitator and other stakeholders to examine the following issues:
1) Consumers, Communities, and Economic Development,
2) Grid Design, Digital Networks and Markets,
3) Regulation and Encouraging Innovation, and
4) Climate Change and the Environment.
The NextGrid collaborative is intended to, "optimize the value of, and the state’s significant investment in, the smart grid and further the Commission’s mandate of ensuring adequate, efficient, reliable, environmentally safe, and least cost public utility services at prices which accurately reflect the long-term cost of such services and which are equitable to all consumers, consistent with the goals and objectives required by law."
Stakeholders are requested to comment on the selection of the facilitator and also "specific processes and substance" of NextGrid by April 30, 2017. The full text of the Resolution is available on the NEM Website.