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April 4, 2014
NEM Annual National Energy Restructuring Conference

Please mark your calendars and plan to attend NEM’s Annual National Energy Restructuring Conference to be held April 29th-May 1st, 2014. This Conference is NEM’s premier event in which we host top energy industry regulators and legislators to share their views on the cutting edge issues in competitive energy markets. The Agenda is available at this hotlink. Registration is available at this hotlink. Accommodations are available at the Embassy Suites Washington, DC - Convention Center at this hotlink.

Click here to view all past updates.
Commission Adopts New Electric Customer Switching Timeframes

The Commission adopted revisions to the existing regulations to accelerate the customer switching process, finding that, "we think it is essential to revise our regulations promptly and expeditiously as possible so that it takes no more than three days for customers to switch electric suppliers."

Changes to the regulations include:
1) an exception to the three-day rescission period that allows an EGS, if customer consent is obtained, to send the customer's enrollment the day after the contract.
2) elimination of the waiting period, although the utilities will still be required to send the customer a confirmation letter.
3) for the purpose of customer switching, the utilities shall use either a meter reading obtained by an advanced or AMR meter. If neither is available, an estimated or customer-provided reading shall be used, subject to revision and correction upon an actual meter read.
4) the proposal to include switching of products, as opposed to switching suppliers, was not included the regulations.
5) regulation changes are to be implemented by the utilities and EGSs within six months of the effective date.

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

Commission Adopts Revisions to Electric Customer Disclosure and Notice Requirements

The Commission adopted revisions, on an emergency basis, to its regulations on disclosures and notice requirements for electric residential and small business customers. The revised regulations require:

1) provision of an EGS Contract Summary of key contractual terms and conditions to be provided as an addendum to the Disclosure Statement. The Summary is a template, and, "if a certain category of information is not applicable, the EGS may remove it from the template for that contract summary." This Summary shall include information regarding WHEN a customer may realize a price change but also when they can expect to receive NOTICE of a price change;
2) additional information regarding variable-priced products must be disclosed, including the price to be charged for the first billing cycle of generation service;
3) customer access to 24 months of EGS historical pricing information (the details for EGS compliance with this requirement were referred to OCMO for its recommendations);
4) EGSs to make a more specific explanation of limits on variability, i.e, an applicable specific price cap, maximum percentage increase in price between billing cycles, minimum/maximum charges per kwh during the term of the contract, and if there is no limit on price variability, that shall be conspicuously stated;
5) the timing of the Initial and Options Notice has been modified such that the Initial Notice shall now be provided to the customer 45 to 60 days prior to the expiration of the Contract, and the Options Notice shall be provided to the customer no less than 30 days prior to the expiration or change in terms of the contract;
6) when a customer in a fixed rate contract is nearing expiration or a change in terms, the Options Notice shall include the new rate that the customer will be charged the first billing cycle following the expiration or change in terms;
7) the Options Notice envelope shall provide messaging that it contains important information about the expiration or changes in terms of the customer's electric supply contract;
8) a customer on a fixed rate contract that is enrolled in a month-to-month or fixed rate contract after failing to respond to either of the Initial or Options Notice, shall not be charged cancellation fees shall if it chooses to switch suppliers or return to default service.

The Commission declined to adopt a requirement that EGSs notify customers of certain minimum percentage price increases, stating, "we do not believe it appropriate to set a minimum percentage that would represent a 'significant' increase."

EGSs must implement these changes within thirty days of their publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin.

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

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