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New Delaware PSC Regulations Aim to Assure Customers about Electric Choice

November 17, 2016 By Cheryl Kaften

The Delaware Public Service Commission (PSC) has authorized a regulation (Regulation Docket 49/Docket No. 15-1458) ) aimed at easing concerns about electric deregulation, according to a November 15 report in the Delaware Business News.

The new regulation, an amendment to “Rules for Certification and Regulation of Electric Suppliers,” will be announced in the Delaware Register in December and will be available for public comment for 15 days following publication.

“The main driver behind most of the changes was strengthening customer protections and enhancing [retail] choice in the state, mandated by the legislature; and, of course, the suppliers wanted reform in the rules that would facilitate suppliers/brokers coming into this jurisdiction,” PSC spokesperson Heather Contant told the local news outlet.

Among the changes to be announced are the following:

  • New supplier applications will require both a Certificate of Good Standing and a Delaware Business License;
  • Contracts with variable rates will be limited to monthly price changes;
  • Introductory price offerings will be limited to three (3) months and clearly stated in the contract and contract summary;
  • Having financial guarantees submitted by a Parent Company of an applicant have been eliminated as a security option;
  • Broker bonding requirements must ensure agents work according to state regulations will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis;
  • Products that encourage renewable energy development/generation and any environmental benefits of such generation that cannot be delivered to the [regional transmission organization] PJM Interconnection will require a commission waiver;
  • Customers will be able to switch suppliers in three (3) business days;
  • Suppliers can disclose a customer’s billing, payment, and credit information for the purpose of facilitating billing, bill collection, and credit reporting;
  • Customers will have three (3) business days to rescind a contractual supply agreement; and
  • Customers wishing to withhold their Delmarva Power account information from suppliers will have to renew their opt-out every three years.

While Delmarva Power still provides a default electric supply service, the Delaware Legislature made the provision for customers to choose among certified electric suppliers when it passed the Electric Utility Retail Customer Supply Act of 2006. Since that time about 10 percent of residential customers and about 50 percent of commercial and industrial customers have taken advantage of the opportunity to purchase competitive supply, according to Delaware Business Now.

The PSC contracted with national retail energy supplier Direct Energy to jump-start electric choice. Direct Energy offers fixed rates for as long as two years.

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