On June 1, 2017, New York Governor Cuomo, California Governor Brown and Washington State Governor Inslee declared their states’ commitment to the ideals of the Paris Climate Agreement (“Agreement”) by forming a United States Climate Alliance (“Alliance”). This action came in response to President Trump’s announcement earlier that day which stated the United States would immediately cease implementation of the Agreement which they joined in 2016. Governor Cuomo also issued an Executive Order which condemned President Trump’s decision as “an abdication of leadership” which “threatens the environmental and economic health of all New Yorkers.” Continue Reading New York Announces Major Climate Policies in Response to President Trump: A Multi-State “Climate Alliance” and 40,000 Clean Energy Jobs Projected by 2020
On May 10, 2017, at the Independent Power Producers of New York (“IPPNY”) conference, Richard Kauffman, Chairman of Energy and Finance for New York, announced that John Rhodes has officially accepted his nomination to head the New York Public Service Commission (“PSC”) and that Governor Cuomo will soon nominate two more PSC commissioners so that the PSC can return to its full strength of five commissioners by the end of the legislative session, which is scheduled to close on June 21, 2017. Rhodes has been the president and CEO of the New York State Research and Development Authority (“NYSERDA”) since 2013, and previously directed the Center for Market Innovation at the Natural Resources Defense Council. Once confirmed, Rhodes will fill the seat vacated by former Chairman Audrey Zibelman, whose departure left the PSC with three vacant seats and gave rise to questions concerning whether the PSC has a quorum to make regulatory decisions. Continue Reading PSC and FERC Returning to Full Strength: Agencies Set to Square Off on New York’s ZEC Program
Since mid-March, the New York Public Service Commission (“PSC”) has had only two Commissioners, leaving it without a Chair and two additional Commissioners. This has caused many to question whether or not the PSC can act with only two Commissioners, and also creates concerns if the Commissioners are split on a matter. Continue Reading When Will the New York Public Service Commission Be at Full Strength?
Public Service Commission Proposes Revisions to Uniform Business Practices
The New York Public Service Commission (“PSC” or “Commission”) issued a Notice Seeking Comments on Revisions to the Uniform Business Practices (“UBP Revisions”or “Notice”), which is the Commission’s latest effort to amend the Energy Service Company (“ESCO”) marketing requirements. In response to a seemingly minor 2017 statutory amendment to the NYS General Business Law protecting deceased accountholders from termination fees, and a narrowly drawn petition filed by Green Mountain Energy Company to eliminate the requirement that marketers provide their full first and last name on their employee badges for safety and privacy reasons, the Commission took the opportunity to propose sweeping new regulations to the retail energy market. Continue Reading Phillips Lytle’s PSC Report from the Capital (Part 2)
NY PSC Pushes Storage as Critical Component to Utility Planning Process:
Utilities Must Deploy Energy Storage Projects Before 2019
As Public Service Commission (“PSC”) Chair Audrey Zibelman departs from her role as leader of New York’s Reforming the Energy Vision (“REV”) initiative, she gave one final push intended to “accelerate the utility planning process” for creating the long-envisioned Distributed System Platform markets. Continue Reading Phillips Lytle’s PSC Report from the Capital (Part 1)
It has been reported that Tom Congdon, Chief of Staff of the N.Y. Department of Public Service, has just been named Deputy Chair of the State’s Public Service Commission (“PSC”) by outgoing Chair Audrey Zibelman.
Congdon, who was Governor Cuomo’s Assistant Secretary for Energy for over four years, is considered to be strongly supportive of the Governor’s energy agenda. Continue Reading Tom Congdon Named Deputy Chair of N.Y. Public Service Commission
On January 26, 2017, the New York Public Service Commission held the first procedural conference concerning the Track I evidentiary process described in the Notice of Evidentiary and Collaborative Tracks and Deadline for Initial Testimony and Exhibits that was issued on December 2, 2016. The purpose of the procedural conference was to identify parties, discuss a procedural schedule and address issues related to discovery for Track I of the evidentiary process. In Track I of this proceeding, the Commission intends to build an evidentiary record of the current state of the retail energy market—a record that the New York Supreme Court found lacking in the Reset Order litigation earlier this year. That record may include extensive and detailed historic data related to the actual prices charged to retail electric and gas mass-market ESCO customers, number of ESCO customers served, volume of sales, complaint data and more. Continue Reading New York Public Service Commission Evidentiary Hearing Update: DPS Staff Expected To Seek Discovery From All ESCOs, Regardless of Party Status
New York’s Energy Service Companies (“ESCOs”) will face significant challenges in the first quarter of 2017. The Public Service Commission’s December 16, 2016 Order Adopting a Prohibition on Service to Low-Income Customers by Energy Service Companies (“Low-Income Order”) gives each utility 60 days from the date of that Low-Income Order to communicate to each ESCO identifying which accounts the ESCO is no longer eligible to serve. Within 30 days of receiving that communication, the ESCO must then de-enroll the identified customers at the expiration of the existing agreement. However, the Commission included an important exception to the prohibition that ESCOs may want to take advantage of – the prohibition does not apply if an ESCO receives a waiver from the Commission. Continue Reading Deadline Looms for ESCO Petitions Seeking Waiver of Low-Income Customer Prohibition
On December 15, 2016, the New York Public Service Commission (“Commission” or “PSC”) issued an Order on Petitions for Rehearing (“Rehearing Order”) which modifies certain aspects of the Clean Energy Standard Order issued August 1, 2016, and requires PSC Staff to explore resource eligibility issues and prepare recommendations to the Commission prior to the first triennial review. While the Rehearing Order dismissed most of the petitions for reconsideration, it opened the door for Staff to develop proposals that could modify the way in which Load Serving Entities (“LSEs”) comply with the Clean Energy Standard (“CES”). Continue Reading New York PSC Modifies Clean Energy Standard Order
The New York Public Service Commission (“Commission” or “PSC”) continues to push for major restructuring of New York’s retail energy market. On December 16, 2016, the PSC issued an Order Adopting a Prohibition on Service to Low-Income Customers by Energy Service Companies (“Low-Income Order”). The Low-Income Order establishes a permanent prohibition on energy service company (“ESCO”) service to customers who are participants in utility low-income assistance programs (“Assistance Program Participants” or “APPs”). The Low-Income Order comes in the wake of two recent PSC orders that sought to establish a moratorium on ESCO service to APPs—the Order Regarding the Provision of Service to Low-Income Customers by Energy Service Companies issued on July 15, 2016, and the Order on Rehearing and Providing Clarification issued on September 19, 2016—both of which are subject to a temporary restraining order issued by the Albany County Supreme Court. Continue Reading New York PSC Prohibits ESCOs from Serving Low-Income Customers