Monthly Archives: May 2014

Telephone Subscribership of New York Households Declines Again in 2013 — New York Now 48th of 50 States

The FCC’s 2013 Universal Service Monitoring Report with data through October 2013 again shows New York slipping in terms of the percentage of households with telephone service. The National average household telephone penetration is 96%, but in New York state only 94.1% of households have phones; 5.9% of New York’s 7,230,896 total households,  means  426,622 households are without phone service. Read more…

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DC Circuit: FERC’s “Demand Response” Scheme to Pay Retail Customers Not to Use Electricity Illegally Exceeds its Powers to Set Wholesale Electric Rates

The Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia issued a  May 23, 2014 opinion in EPSA v FERC spiking FERC Order 745, the “demand response” element  of FERC’s extra-statutory effort to adopt a market rate system for setting wholesale electric rates.  See E&E Greenwire, Appeals court throws out FERC’s demand-response order, May 23, 2014. APPA, the Electric Read more…

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Illinois CUB Report Shows Potential Pitfalls in Switching to Alternative Electricity Suppliers

The Illinois Citizens Utility Board has issued a report on the state of third party electricity and gas suppliers, Illinois Electric Market Report, May 13, 2014. “CUB experts who field calls and staff events throughout Illinois are reporting a 115 percent increase in consumer complaints this year about alternative electric suppliers. A mix of market instability, consumer confusion, Read more…

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CAPUC Report: Rooftop Solar “Net Metering” Program Benefits Higher Income Customers and is Shifting Additional Costs to Lower Income Customers

A report issued by the California Public Utilities Commission  (CAPUC),  “California Net Energy Metering (NEM) Draft Cost Effectiveness Evaluation, indicates that NEM rates for solar rooftop generation mainly benefit  higher income customer participants and shift  costs to other customers, including lower income households less likely to install solar rooftop units. The CAPUC report says the NEM program shifted Read more…

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Owner of Biomass Plant Asks PSC to Displace National Grid and Declare Its Distributed Generation Sales to Fort Drum Would be Deregulated

A very interesting petition for declaratory relief was just filed today with the New York PSC, involving “behind the meter” distributed generation sales from a 60 MW biomass plant owned by REEnergy at the military base of Fort Drum in upstate New York.  The power plant is a refurbished coal plant that now uses biomass Read more…

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PJM and FERC Stick Con Ed Customers with $120 Million Added Annual Costs of PSEG Transmission Upgrade Mainly Benefiting New Jersey

Under FERC approved tariffs, PJM, the transmission grid utility, allocates costs of transmission upgrades.  Ostensibly the costs are to be allocated to beneficiaries. Con Edison has a complex agreement for the wheeling of 1,000 megawatts of power from New Jersey to New York using lines of PSE&G.  According to a petition for rehearing of a Read more…

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Utility Project Urges PSC Reforms to Reduce Harm to Utility Customers from Price Spikes

At a May 15, 2014 New York PSC Technical Conference on Winter Energy Pricing and Supply,  the Utility Project pointed out that regulators have adopted rate setting mechanisms that rely too much on gas and electric spot markets, thus unduly exposing customers to spiking rates.  The Utility Project made the following recommendations to address the Read more…

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New Report Raises Questions About Verizon Phone and Internet Services: “It’s All Interconnected”

A New York Utility Project report raises questions regarding the regulatory oversight of Verizon New York, the largest telephone company in New York State, and its affiliates. The report was triggered by troubling developments in an era when not only basic phone services but also advanced telecommunications increasingly are needed by consumers to participate in normal Read more…

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List of New NY PSC Requirements for ESCOs which Are Not Stayed Pending a Decision on Rehearing Motions

On February 25, 2014, the New York Public Service Commission issued its Order Taking Actions to Improve the Residential and Small Nonresidential Retail Access Markets. The purpose of this Order was to implement modifications to the PSC’s unofficial Uniform Business Practices (UBP), which utilities include in their tariffs, and  to address concerns with respect to Read more…

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