California Regulator Approves Utility Wildfire Plans, Proactive Power Shutoffs

The California Public Utilities Commission on May 30 approved wildfire mitigation plans for the state’s electric utilities in response to legislation enacted last year that directed electric corporations to file annual plans describing measures to prevent, combat, and respond to wildfires in their service areas. The commission also made enhancements to communication and notification guidelines…

Duke, TECO to Use $575 Million From Federal Tax Savings to Pay Florida Storm Costs

The Florida Public Service Commission on May 21 approved settlement agreements allowing Duke Energy Florida LLC and Tampa Electric Company to use the savings from the 2017 federal tax reforms to cover the costs of restoring power after recent storms. The agreements also establish standardized processes for future storm restoration activities. Duke Energy will use $484…

National Grid Stops Accepting New Gas Service Requests in New York Following Williams Pipeline Denial

National Grid’s President John Bruckner, issued a statement on May 17 saying the company has stopped processing all applications for new or expanded gas service in Brooklyn, Queens and on Long Island following the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s decision on Wednesday to deny “without prejudice” a water permit for Williams’ Northeast Supply Enhancement project, which…

South Dakota Electric, Gas Customers Benefit From Nearly $30 Million in Federal Tax Cut Refunds

The South Dakota Public Utilities approved a settlement requiring MidAmerican Energy Co. to return about $4.2 million to the utility’s electric and natural gas customers, reflecting savings from the federal tax cut law, bringing the total refunds of the state’s investor-owned utilities to about $29 million, according to a May 15 press release. The tax…

Florida Regulator Approves Gulf Power to Recover Over $340 Million in Storm Restoration Costs

The Florida Public Service Commission authorized Gulf Power Company to collect an estimated $342 million from customers to cover the costs incurred to restore power after Hurricane Michael and to replenish the company’s storm reserve, according to a May 14 news release. The company will implement an interim monthly charge of $8 per 1,000 kilowatt…

EnerKnol’s Visual Primer – U.S. Competitive Retail Energy Markets Face Slew of Oversight Bills Amid Growing Calls for Consumer Safeguards

More than half of U.S. states with competitive retail energy markets face proposals for stricter oversight rules from lawmakers, including measures to phase out the industry altogether, as efforts mount to put in place more consumer protections. Just five months into most states’ legislative sessions, over two dozen proposals have emerged to toughen rules around billing and marketing practices, licensing and registration and contractual terms.

Colorado Electric, Gas Utilities Return $170 Million in Federal Tax Cut Savings to Customers

The Colorado Public Utilities Commission announced that electric and gas customers will receive about $168 million in refunds, reflecting savings from the federal tax cut law, which slashed the corporate income tax rate to 21 percent from 35 percent, effective Jan. 1, 2018, according to a May 3 press release. Customers will receive benefits in…

Michigan Regulators Slash DTE Electric’s Revenue Hike by Nearly Half, Replace Net Metering Program

The Michigan Public Service Commission on May 2 approved a rate increase of about  $273 million for DTE Electric Co., over 40 percent less than the company’s request. The agency rejected the company’s proposed method to determine payments for customers with distributed renewable generation, as well as its proposed system access charge, finding that it…

PG&E Seeks $1.2 Billion Revenue Hike to Support Wildfire Safety Enhancements

Pacific Gas and Electric Company requested a 16 percent rate of return on equity for 2020, up from the current 10.25 percent, to attract the new investment needed to upgrade and modernize its infrastructure in the face of wildfire risks, according to the company’s cost of capital proposal filed with the California Public Utilities Commission…

Texas Retail Electric Provider Fined $85,000 for Violating Customer Protection Standards

Stream SPE Ltd agreed to pay an administrative penalty for infringing on rules governing payment plans for outstanding customer bills, according to an April 23 settlement filed by the Texas Public Utility Commission staff. The agreement resolves claims related to the investigation into nearly 4,000 improperly applied switch-holds placed on customer accounts between Jan. 1,…

Retail Supplier Investigations Pile Up in Ohio as More Companies are Accused of Dubious Marketing

The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio is investigating the marketing and sales practices of two retail energy providers in the state, Indra Energy and Verde Energy. Commission staff reviewed customer contacts and filed a notice to the regulator alleging potential misleading and deceptive practices by PALMco Energy OH and PALMco Power OH, which together do…

Ohio Retail Supplier Faces Probe for Unscrupulous Sales Practices

The Ohio Public Utilities Commission opened an investigation into Verde Energy USA Ohio LLC’s sales practices in response to hundreds of complaints related to enrollment disputes, deceptive information, and false representations purporting the competitive supplier to be another utility, according to an April 16 notice. The agency said that 18 percent of the supplier-related investigations…