PUC Seeks Comments on Temporary Waiver of “Instant Connect” Regulations; Approves Implementation Plan by UGI Electric Division
Published on 5/19/2016
Filed under: Electric
HARRISBURG – The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) today issued for comment a Tentative Order proposing a three-year waiver of regulations related to confirmation letters electric distribution companies (EDCs) are required to send to customers requesting an “instant connect.” An instant connect allows a customer who is initiating new service to enroll with an electric generation supplier (EGS) on the first day of his/her utility service without having to first enroll in default service provided by an EDC.
The PUC’s Office of Competitive Market Oversight (OCMO) proposed a three-year waiver in order to provide adequate time to observe EDCs’ implementation of “seamless moves” and instant connects. The Commission today voted 4-0 to issue the proposal for public comment.
As part of the Commission’s Retail Markets Investigation (RMI) End State of Default Service Final Order and upon further review, EDCs were required to submit implementation plans to offer seamless moves and instant connects to customers. A seamless move is the ability of a customer enrolled with an EGS to move to a new location and maintain supply service with the same EGS without interruption.
Further assessment by OCMO revealed a potential issue related to EDCs’ confirmation letters sent to customers requesting instant connects. Current regulations call for EDCs to send confirmation letters to the new location one day after the request by the customer, but in some instances, the customer may not yet occupy the new location. OCMO proposed a three-year waiver of a provision of Commission regulations to instead require that letters be sent by the end of the next business day after the start of service at the new location.
Interested parties have 30 days from the entry of the Tentative Order to file written comments referencing Docket No. I-2011-2237952 with the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, Attention: Secretary, P.O. Box 3265, Harrisburg, PA 17105-3265. Comments also may be filed electronically through the Commission’s e-Filing system.
The Commission initiated the RMI in 2011, calling upon OCMO to provide recommendations to the Commission in various areas intended to improve the state’s retail electricity market and the default service model.
In separate action, the Commission today approved with modifications the plan of UGI Utilities Inc. – Electric Division (UGI) to implement seamless moves and instant connects to customers in its service territory by Nov. 30, 2016.
The Commission voted 4-0 to approve the plan as modified and require UGI to file a compliance plan incorporating the modifications within 10 days of the entry of the Final Order.
All major EDCs have plans approved by the Commission and are expected to implement seamless moves and instant connects by Nov. 30, 2016.
The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission balances the needs of consumers and utilities; ensures safe and reliable utility service at reasonable rates; protects the public interest; educates consumers to make independent and informed utility choices; furthers economic development; and fosters new technologies and competitive markets in an environmentally sound manner.
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Docket No. I-2011-2237952, L-2014-2409383, M-2014-2401126
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