Pennsylvania PUC Approves Temporary Waiver of ‘Instant Connect’ Confirmation Letters

The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) unanimously approved a Final Order (Docket No. I-2011-2237952) on July 21, providing electric distribution companies (EDCs) with a three-year waiver of regulations related to confirmation letters sent to customers requesting an “instant connect.”

An instant connect allows a customer who is initiating new service to enroll with an electric generation supplier (EGS) on the first day of his or her utility service without having to first enroll in default service provided by an EDC.

The PUC’s Office of Competitive Market Oversight (OCMO) proposed a three-year waiver in order to provide adequate time to observe EDCs’ implementation of “seamless moves” and instant connects.

As part of the commission’s Retail Markets Investigation, EDCs were required to submit implementation plans to offer seamless moves and instant connects to customers. A seamless move is the ability of a customer enrolled with an EGS to move to a new location and maintain supply service with the same EGS without interruption.

Further assessment by OCMO revealed a potential issue related to EDCs’ confirmation letters sent to customers requesting instant connects. Current regulations call for EDCs to send confirmation letters to the new location one day after the request by the customer, but in some instances, the customer may not yet occupy the new location. OCMO instead allow letters to be sent by the end of the next business day after the start of service at the new location.

All major EDCs have plans approved by the commission and are expected to implement seamless moves and instant connects by November 30.

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