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 magnifying_glass_files.jpgrecord 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

bulb_coins.jpgNew 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

renewable-energy-illustration.jpgOn 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

Lightbulb-Dollarsign.jpgThe 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

solar_panel_house.jpgThe New York Public Service Commission (“PSC”) is wasting no time when it comes to determining the method for valuing and compensating Distributed Energy Resources (“DERs”). Less than one month after the PSC released its groundbreaking Staff Report and Recommendations in the Value of Distributed Energy Resources Proceeding, Staff has begun its work on Phase Two. On November 18, 2016, PSC Staff issued a Notice Soliciting Comments on Scope and Process for Phase Two of Value of Distributed Energy Resources (“Phase Two Notice”). That Notice invites recommendations and suggestions on scope, timeline and procedure for the ongoing development of the methodology for valuing and compensating DERs. Continue Reading New York PSC Begins Phase Two in Value of DER Proceeding

Considers Full-scale Regulation, Tariffs and Voiding Existing Contracts

On December 2, 2016, the New York Public Service Commission issued a Notice of Evidentiary and Collaborative Tracks and Deadline for Initial Testimony and Exhibits, which initiates a new round in the agency’s regulatory investigation of New York’s retail energy markets. The proceeding will examine measures that may be taken to ensure customers are receiving “valuable services and paying just and reasonable rates for commodity and other services” from Energy Service Companies (ESCOs). In its notice, the Commission reiterated its determination (from 2014) that the retail markets serving mass-market customers “are not providing sufficient competition or innovation.” The Commission will consider three broad questions: Continue Reading New York PSC Opens Evidentiary Hearing on ESCO Markets

EnergySources.jpgLSE Obligation Deadlines Approaching

In August 2016, the Public Service Commission (“Commission”) issued the Clean Energy Standard Order to set the framework for accomplishing two goals: achieving 50 percent renewable generation by 2030 and preserving the economic viability of three zero-emissions nuclear power plants as a bridge to the clean energy future. To meet the first goal, the Commission directed each Load Serving Entity (“LSE”) to purchase Renewable Energy Credits (“RECs”) from new renewable sources built after January 1, 2015. LSE’s are required to meet their obligations in one of three ways: (1) by purchasing RECs from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (“NYSERDA”), (2) purchasing RECs from other eligible sources, or (3) making Alternative Compliance Payments (“ACPs”) to NYSERDA. Continue Reading New York Public Service Commission Clarifies REC and ZEC Obligations

solarhouse.jpgThe New York Department of Public Service Staff released a complex report of recommendations to the New York Public Service Commission on how to properly value distributed energy resources (“DERs”) as the state transitions away from net energy metering (“NEM”). Reforms to NEM—which credits distributed generation at the retail rate of electricity—have been a controversial topic in numerous states as utilities warn of revenue losses and customer cross-subsidies caused by outdated rate designs that do not properly calculate the costs and benefits of NEM to the grid. Continue Reading NY DPS Staff Report on Value of DER

WorldEnergyRpt.jpgWhile Americans witnessed three straight presidential debates with little meaningful discussion about climate change, the rest of the world has been busy chipping away at climate change issues one at a time. In fact, just in the last month we saw four major developments: (1) Canada implemented a carbon tax; (2) the Paris climate agreement officially went into effect; (3) the Carbon Offset and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (“CORSIA”) was signed by 191 countries requiring airline operators to purchase carbon offsets; and (4) 197 countries agreed to phase out hydrofluorocarbons (“HFCs”), an extremely potent greenhouse gas used in air conditioners. Continue Reading International Energy Agency Sees Significant Growth for Renewable Energy in Upcoming World Energy Outlook Report