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April 24, 2020
Petition on FERC Jurisdiction Over Net Metering

A New England trade association filed a Petition for Declaratory Order at FERC targeted at “full net metering (FNM)” and the practice of compensating rooftop generator customers at the bundled retail service rate, rather than the applicable wholesale rate. The Petition requests that FERC “declare its jurisdiction over energy sales from rooftop solar facilities and other distributed generation located on the customer side of the retail meter (i) whenever the output of such generators exceeds the customer’s demand or (ii) where the energy from such generators is designed to bypass the customer’s load and therefore is not used to serve demand behind the customer’s meter. In these circumstances, energy is being delivered to the local utility for resale to the utility’s retail customers for compensation, making the transactions wholesale sales in interstate commerce. These wholesale energy sales should be priced at the utility’s avoided cost of energy if the sale is being made pursuant to the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act or pursuant to a just and reasonable wholesale rate if the sale is pursuant to Section 205 of the Federal Power Act.” The Petition argues that FNM is treated as a retail transaction subject to state regulation, but that to the extent “a portion of the energy produced behind the retail meter either exceeds the customer’s demand or is designed to bypass the customer’s load and is physically directed entirely to the local utility, in which cases the energy is being sold to the local utility for resale to the utility’s other customers,” and which sales for resale would be wholesale sales that are FERC-jurisdictional. The Petition argues that prior FERC precedent on this issue is incorrect and contrary to recent caselaw.

The full text of the Petition is available on the NEM Website.

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Pepco Proposed Residential Dynamic Pricing Program

The Commission directed Pepco to file a proposed residential dynamic pricing program in its recent Order in the PowerPath proceeding. Pepco has filed the proposal recommending “that a Critical Peak Rebate dynamic pricing rate be established and be applicable to all District of Columbia Pepco residential distribution customers.” Pepco proposes to model the program on the dynamic pricing program implemented by Maryland utilities. In those programs, “the distribution portion of a customer’s bill is modified by a credit calculated by applying the bill credit amount of $1.25 to the difference between actual kWh consumption and the CBL [customer baseline load] level of consumption during the Peak Savings period designated by the Company. . . . There will be no penalty if a customer’s usage is above the CBL. All energy use, including the kWh actually consumed during PESC events, will be priced at the normally applicable distribution and generation rates.” Pepco anticipates calling a minimum of four and a maximum of fifteen Peak Savings events per summer.

Pepco would exclude customers from the program “who accept their electric supplier’s dynamic pricing offer, or an offer from a Curtailment Service Provider (“CSP”), which has been monetized in the PJM market(s) or directly tracks PJM market prices,” in order to “avoid any double counting and double payment of demand reductions.”

For next steps, Pepco intends to discuss the proposed program with the Rate Design Working Group and then file a revised proposal. If approved by the end of 2020, Pepco proposes to implement dynamic pricing for all residential distribution customers in the District of Columbia during the summer of 2021.

The full text of the Pepco’s Filing is available at this link.

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Order Concluding Power Forward Initiative

The Commission opened the Power Forward grid modernization initiative in 2017. It began with multiple days of stakeholder presentations, followed by the Commission’s issuance of a Power Forward roadmap. The roadmap called for the creation of a Distribution System Planning Workgroup (PWG) and the Data and Modern Grid Workgroup (DWG). Of particular note, the DWG was tasked with the following: “create protocol for data privacy protections; drive toward real-time or near real-time data becoming available to customers; prescribe methodology for third parties to obtain customer energy usage data (CEUD), including a method for competitive retail electric service (CRES) providers to obtain total hourly energy obligation, peak load contribution, and network service peak load values.” Both workgroups concluded and filed reports with the Commission.

The Commission has now issued an Order closing the proceeding. The Commission said that the different utilities are at different stages in grid modernization, warranting a utility-specific analysis and application of the workgroup recommendations.

With regards to data access, the Commission reiterated that “it is the policy of this state to encourage cost-effective, timely, and efficient access to and sharing of customer usage data with customers and competitive suppliers to promote customer choice and grid modernization. The Commission believes that timely and efficient access to and sharing of customer usage data with customers and competitive suppliers is necessary to promote customer choice and grid modernization, subject to appropriate consumer privacy protections. Thus, we anticipate that the pursuit of this goal will continue through the issuance of staff recommendations in appropriate dockets, along with staff recommendations on implementation of other specific measures that are directed at broadening the opportunity for customers to act on their supply side and demand side preferences regarding the delivered price, mix and availability of innovative competitive and non-competitive products and services.”

The full text of the Order is available on the NEM Website.

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Duquesne Default Service Plan Filing

Duquesne filed a proposed default service plan for the period of June 1, 2021, through May 31, 2025. Duquesne proposes to largely continue the competitive procurement processes and rate terms that are in effect under the current DSP for the different rate classes: Residential & Lighting and Small C&I customers (default service supply procured through overlapping twelve-month and twenty four-month full requirements contracts), Medium C&I customers with demands less than 200 kW (default service supply procured through three-month full requirements contracts), and HPS-Eligible customers (conduct an auction for third-party suppliers to supply HPS customers’ actual hourly usage at the day-ahead hourly energy prices).

Duquesne is proposing an EV-TOU Pilot Program for Residential, Small C&I and Medium C&I customers with demands less than 200 kW who own or lease an EV or who operate EV charging infrastructure at the service location. Customers in the EV-TOU Pilot Program will be charged different supply rates for Peak, Shoulder and Off-Peak time periods.

Duquesne also proposes to enter into a long-term Solar PPA, through a competitive solicitation, to support a utility-scale solar project of up to 7 MW. Duquesne proposes to use the alternative energy credits from the Solar PPA to offset the solar requirements for default service customers and also proposes to acquire the energy from the solar facility under the PPA, sell it into the real-time PJM market and credit the revenues back to default service customers. Duquesne also proposes to explore the potential of purchasing the associated capacity and ancillary services from the facility.

Duquesne proposes to modify its existing Standard Offer Program to utilize a third-party vendor for customer referrals, rather than utility CSRs, to electric generation suppliers. This will result in a supplier charge of $30 per enrollment, up from the current $10.28 per enrollment charge.

Duquesne proposes to allow CAP customer shopping subject to the parameters outlined by the Commission, wherein participating EGSs agree to: (1) provide service subject to the conditions set forth in the Commission’s Proposed Policy Statement, (2) use “rate ready” utility consolidated billing, and (3) file an annual affidavit affirming that the EGS intends to enroll CAP customers and that the EGS will comply with all aspects of the Company’s CAP customer shopping program. The Commission’s proposed CAP policy statement provides that: “(1) a CAP shopping product rate at or below the EDC’s PTC for the duration of the contract; (2) a prohibition in EGS-CAP customer contracts against fees unrelated to the provision of electric generation service, including early termination and cancellation fees; and (3) the following options for CAP customers upon expiration of the current contract period: enter into another contract with their existing EGS with the same CAP protections, switch to another supplier offering a contract with the same CAP protections, or return to default service.”

The full text of Duquesne’s DSP Filing is available at this link.

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