|Report of the ESCO Low Income Customer Collaborative|
The Commission's Order in the Retail Access Review proceeding decided that ESCO service to Assistance Program Participants (APP) must either: 1) guarantee the APP will pay no more than it would have as a utility commodity customer, or 2) the APP must be provided with energy-related value added products or services, "in a manner that does not dilute the effectiveness of the financial assistance program." Staff led a collaborative tasked with exploring how to achieve this directive.
The collaborative filed a report outlining options for Commission consideration regarding: 1) verification of a customer's APP status with the utility; 2) conduct of the marketing and sales process in which the customer is queried as to their APP status and APP-compliant products are offered to the extent that the ESCO has such products; 3) how to inform existing APP customers of ESCOs of the new requirements of service (given that only the utilities know whether a customer is APP or not), and ESCO options for future service to those existing customers; and 4) potential methods for ESCOs to offer APP-compliant products.
The report also includes a proposal offered by the Consumer Advocates that the APP service requirements be extended to service to all ESCO residential customers. The report additionally includes a proposal by NFG that the Commission adopt the position that APP customers are best served by utility commodity service or ESCOs that provide commodity with a price guarantee but not energy-related value added services because such services are difficult to quantify. NFG suggests that energy-related value added services could be offered to APPs as a stand-alone service.
The full text of the Collaborative Report is available on the NEM Website.
|Technical Conference on Customer and Aggregated Energy Data Provision|
Commission Staff will convene an on-the-record technical conference to discuss customer and aggregated energy data provision and related issues and actions that need to be taken in this regard to achieve REV goals. The conference will take place December 16, 2015, beginning at 10:30AM at the Commission's Albany offices. The conference is intended to elicit information about providing consumers, vendors and local planners with access to energy consumption information.
The issues for consideration at the conference will relate to: 1) enabling customers to share their energy usage data with vendors; and 2) providing aggregate energy data to third parties for the purposes of community choice aggregation.
With respect to customers sharing energy usage data with vendors, the Commission requests comment on:
1) Requiring utilities to implement a uniform protocol to provide the data to consumers, for example, such as Green Button Connect, or other alternative protocol. "The data should include information known to the utility, which enables a vendor to prepare an offer reflecting customer-specific information including customer name and other identifying information, energy usage history, energy bill history, and load profile."
2) Should vendors receiving data through the protocol be deemed Distributed Energy Resource Suppliers and subject to Commission oversight?
3) Should information available to ESCOs and other vendors via the protocol be provided by the utilities free of charge? and
4) Other issues associated with implementation of Green Button Connect or an alternative protocol.
With respect to providing aggregate energy data to third parties for the purpose of community choice aggregation, the Commission requests comment on:
1) How can utilities provide electronic access to aggregated customer data by municipality in a standard format?
2) Should utilities be allowed to charge a fee for the aggregated data?
3) Should a privacy standard be adopted on customer anonymity when aggregated energy data is provided to third parties without customer consent? and
4) Other issues associated with the provision of aggregated customer data.
Comments are due December 30, 2015. Requests to make a brief presentation at the conference are due November 16, 2015. The full text of the Notice of Technical Conference is available on the NEM Website.