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PJM Ratepayers to Fork over $450,000 in Annual CAPS Funding

November 4, 2015 By Cheryl Kaften

At its October 22 meeting, the PJM Interconnection Members Committee approved a proposal from the Consumer Advocates of the PJM States (CAPS) to change the way the group is funded. CAPS is a non-profit organization that represents the interests of electricity consumers in the PJM states and the District of Columbia.

Since its formation in 2013, CAPS has received funding of about $450,000 annually through the Constellation merger settlement (Docket No. IN12-7- 000). That settlement required certain proceeds to be paid “to a fund set up for the benefit of electric energy consumers in the affected states and from which state agencies in those affected states may make requests for apportionment.” Specifically, the decision provided PJM with $6 million in startup funds for the creation of CAPS.

“With that temporary funding,” CAPS Executive Director Dan Griffiths stated at the October 22 meeting, “we have greatly increased our presence and [have] been able to advocate effectively for all PJM consumers, and participate more effectively in the consensus process.”

Now that the Constellation funding is running out, Griffiths proposed that financial support for CAPS:

  • Should “only” be charged to electricity consumers;
  • Would be 100 percent produced by charging customers a rate of $0.00000067/KWH; and
  • Would amount to less than a penny (eight-tenths of a cent) annually for a residential customer using 1,200 kWh per year.

Griffiths noted that “Any funds in hand from the Constellation Settlement and any secured through the Exelon merger [would] offset subsequent tariff collections.” He also promised that the Consumer Advocates’ “existing funds in hand will be used before any money is collected from load under the proposed tariff” – and estimated that the tariff would become effective “at least a year from now.”

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