|Governor Directs Department of Public Service to Establish Clean Energy Standard|
This week, Governor Cuomo issued a letter directing the Department of Public Service to initiate a proceeding to establish a Clean Energy Standard for the State. The 2015 State Energy Plan established a goal of achieving 50% of the State's electricity from renewable resources by 2030. The establishment of a Clean Energy Standard will convert the goal from "aspirational to actionable." The Governor directed the Department to present the Clean Energy Standard to the Public Service Commission by June 2016.
The Governor's directive also addressed the issue of potential nuclear generation retirements. "In developing the Standard, additional attention needs to be given to ensure emissions free sources of electricity remain operational. Specifically, elimination of upstate nuclear facilities, operating under valid federal licenses, would eviscerate the emission reductions achieved through the State's renewable energy programs, diminish fuel diversity, increase price volatility, and financially harms host communities. This support should be separate and distinct from the renewable energy goal."
The full text of the Governor's Letter is available on the NEM Website.
|Comments Sought on Low Income Collaborative Report|
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 and filed a report of potential options. Initial comments on the report are due January 19th, and reply comments are due February 1st.
The collaborative report outlined 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 included 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 texts of the Collaborative Report and Request for Comments are available on the NEM Website.