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June 5, 2019

California

PUC distributes expanded load over two-year period

The California PUC recent order distributes the new direct access (DA) load of 4,000 gigawatt-hours over a two-year period as follows:

    • 2,000 GWh of the DA expansion is to be enrolled using the 2019 wait list, while
    • Remaining 2,000 GWh is to be enrolled using the 2020 waitlist.

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Connecticut

United Illuminating Submission Inaccurate

United Illuminating informs PURA that it has discovered that the submission of its previously filed Standard Service Rates for the period beginning July 1, were inaccurate and are approximately 0.6 cents per kWh higher than the correct rates.
"As a result, PUA directed UI to provide a list of all UI customers switching suppliers and/or switching from standard service to a supplier from May 3, 2019 to June 4, 2019."

PURA said, "Upon review of such information, the Authority may require UI to contact those customers to inform them of the standard service rate error, allow them to switch to standard service, and compensate the customer for any supplier cancellation fee resulting from the switch."

Draft PURA decision recommends a fine and a temporary ban on further residential marketing.

PURA draft decision in Docket 06-12-07RE07 would impose a 1.5 million fine on Liberty Power and recommends a six-month ban on further telemarketing or door-to-door residential marketing. The draft order concludes that the company violated several laws including: “Conn. Gen. Stat. §§ 16-245(c), 16-245(g)(2), 16-245o(f)(2), 16-245o(h)(1), 16-245o(h)(2), 16-245o(h)(3), 16-245o(h)(4), 16-245o(h)(5), 16-245o(h)(7), 16-245o(j), 16-245s, 16-245t, 16-245u, and 42-110b."

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Colorado & New Mexico

Guzman Energy Proposal

On May 28th, Guzman Energy announced that it has made a large-scale, renewable proposal to Tri-State Generation & Transmission Association. The proposal would accelerate the retirement of nearly 50% of Tri-State’s coal capacity. The Guzman proposal would replace the retired coal generation with a new portfolio that is in excess of 70% renewable.

This proposal will require considerable collaboration between Guzman Energy and Tri-State and working in parallel with upcoming rulemakings associated with recently passed legislation in Colorado and New Mexico. Guzman presented the proposal to senior Tri-State staff, who agreed to evaluate the structure but postponed consideration until after implementation of the New Mexico laws and the completion of the Colorado rulemakings, sometime late next year at the soonest. For more details see: Guzman Proposal Press Release.

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District of Columbia

Proposed RPS Rule Changes Issued

The District of Columbia PSC in RM29-2019-01 issued proposed rule changes consistent with recent revisions to the RPS law. The proposed amendments Subsection 2901.7, among other things, change the deadline from April 1 to the period October 1 to November 1 for the submission of annual compliance fees.

To be consistent with the Act, Subsection 2902.16 now extends the $300) compliance fee for each Renewable Energy Credit (REC) shortfall for solar energy sources from §§ 2029 through 2032 to 2029 through 2041 and sets a $100 compliance fee for each REC shortfall for solar energy sources in § 2042 and thereafter.

The proposed amendments to Subsection 2901.5 also deal with a host of issues in terms of which electricity supplier contracts will be subject to the RPS reporting requirements.

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Illinois

HEAT Bill Awaiting Governor’s Signature

The Illinois Senate concurs with version of SB0651 also referred to as the Home Energy Affordability and Transparency (HEAT) Act passed by the House and now awaits the Governor’s signature. PDF

Illinois Solar for All Program Begins

On May 15th the Illinois Solar for All Program officially opened for business to promote new solar projects serving low-income and environmental justice communities throughout Illinois. The Illinois Power Agency was tasked with implementing the program and has hired Chicago-based Elevate Energy as the program administrator.

Renewable Bill for Government & Universities Awaits Governor’s Signature

Senate Bill 211 is approved that allows public universities and state agencies to enter into renewable energy contracts for up to 25 years. The bill now goes to Governor Pritzker for his signature.

Save the Date: IPA Workshops

The Illinois Power Agency (“IPA”) announced they will be holding two days of workshops in June to provide input to the IPA on upcoming Long-Term Renewable Resources Procurement Plan. After each workshop, the IPA will issue a Request for Comments on selected topics. Stay tuned for more details.

Workshop One, Thursday, June 20, 2019

    • Morning: Overview of the RPS and the Long-Term Plan; RPS Budgets; Utility-Scale Procurements
    • Afternoon: Illinois Solar for All

Workshop Two, Wednesday, June 26, 2019

    • Morning: Adjustable Block Program structure; REC Pricing Model; Distributed Generation
    • Afternoon: Community Solar, Consumer Protections

Workshops will be held in the Bilandic Building, 160 North LaSalle St, 5th Floor Auditorium, Chicago. (A Government-issued ID is required to enter this building.) A call-in option will also be available.

IPA Adjustable Block Guidebook Updated

The Illinois Power Agency (“IPA”) has updated its Adjustable Block Program Guidebook. The updated Program Guidebook can be found here.

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New Hampshire

HB 365 Expands Net Metering Cap

The New Hampshire legislature approved (HB 365) bill on May 16 aimed to expand the state's net metering cap to 5 megawatts from the current level of one megawatt. The legislation also includes a provision to prevent reselling of net-metered electricity into the New England wholesale market.

New Hampshire PUC Considers Grid Modernization Proposals

In IR 15-296 the New Hampshire PUC has directed the utilities to submit proposals on several topics related to grid modernization issues and has invited parties to comment in its effort to explore a host of related subjects including a cost benefit analysis of supplier consolidated billing, third-party access to utility and customer data and general rate structure proposals.

The Commission has initially scheduled technical session for September 19, 2019, and October 10, 2019.

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Maryland

New Clean Energy Jobs Becomes Law

Maryland’s Governor allows the Clean Energy Jobs bill to move forward. The new law, among other things raises the renewable portfolio standard to 25 percent by 2020 and includes a 14.5 percent carve-out for solar energy and requires new offshore wind capacity.

New Maryland Law Requires PSC’s Shopping Website To Be Revamped

SB517 was signed by Maryland Governor. The law requires the PSC to make changes to its existing retail electricity and natural gas shopping websites including a host of sort functions so that customers may compare competing offers.

MD Revised Storage Proposal Filed

The Maryland PC 44 energy storage working filed its revised Proof of Regulatory Concept Program Proposal. The working group said that these “models provide an opportunity to test innovative commercial structures that enable multiple parties to tap resources across several value streams, including retail and wholesale markets."

Included in the proposal is the proposed timeline:

    • Launch date of June 1, 2019,
    • Utilities to submit the first project application on or before April 15, 2020,
    • Utilities to submit second application on or before September 15, 2020.
    • Commission to review the applications and seek stakeholder input and issue final decisions on applications on or before April 15, 2021.
    • Approved applications would have 12 months to become operational, on or before February 28, 2022.
      Utilities would submit first 12 months of data to the Commission to develop an interim report on or before July 1, 2023.
    • Commission will analyze the data and produce an interim report on or before July 1, 2024.
    • Utilities to submit project operation data for second and third years on July 1, 2024 and July 1, 2025.
    • Commission would evaluate project data and on or before December 31, 2026.
    • Commission would issue final report on the program on or before July 1, 2026.

Staff Requests Three Separate Show Cause Investigations

Maryland PSC Staff have asked the Commission to issue separate show cause investigations against three (3) retail suppliers for violating the Commission rules. The three companies include Atlantic Energy, Direct Energy, and Maryland Gas & Electric (MG&E).

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Ohio

Coal Subsidy HB 6 Passed Now Heads to Senate

On May 29, 2019, Ohio House Bill 6 was passed that mandates customer-funded subsidies for the utilities nuclear and coal power plants. The bill now heads to the Ohio Senate and, if approved, would also scrap the state’s renewable energy portfolio requirements that were passed in 2008.

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Texas

REP Fined $160,000 for Pre-disconnection Plan

In Docket 48859, the Texas PUC approved a settlement agreement with Ambit Texas, LLC to pay $160,000 to resolve alleged violations of Public Utility Regulatory Act §§ 17.008 and 17.151, as well as 16 Texas Administrative Code (TAC) §§ 25.475 and 25.481 of Ambit's prior practice of placing customers reinstated after a disconnection onto a variable rate plan, rather than the customer's pre-disconnection plan.

House & Senate Bills: REPS Not Subject to TPUC Cybersecurity Monitoring

The Texas Senate agrees with House amendments to remove retail electric providers (REPs) from Texas PUC cybersecurity monitoring bill. SB 64 has enrolled and now awaits Governor’s signature.

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United Kingdom

OFGEM Finds Three Companies Had Anti-Competitive Arrangement

OFGEM found that Economy Energy, E (Gas and Electricity) Limited, Economy Energy, and Dyball Associates committed an infringement of the Competition Act 1998. The Authority found that these entities had an anti-competitive agreement. Ofgem fined E £650,000 and Economy Energy £200,000, and Dyball was fined £20,000 for acting as a facilitator. Since Economy Energy has ceased operations and its supply licenses have been revoked the investigation has closed.

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Virginia

New Virginia Energy Coalition Has Been Formed

Nine organizations have joined together to form a coalition called the Virginia Energy Reform Coalition (“VERC”) to reform Virginia’s energy market. VERC includes Appalachian Voices, Clean Virginia, Earth Stewardship Alliance, FreedomWorks Foundation, Piedmont Environmental Council, Reason Foundation, R Street Institute, Virginia Institute for Public Policy, and Virginia Poverty Law Center.

Among other things, VERC’s policy goals include establishing a well-designed, competitive retail power market and an independent grid operator as well as streamlined interconnection standards. For more information visit: VERC Website.

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