A new order issued by the NYPSC has caught the entire energy industry by surprise as it tries to bring major changes to electricity providers — and their many customers — in New York. Decades after deregulation rolled out in the state, this new order is putting new limitations on independent retail energy providers that limits the types of contracts they can offer their customers.
The new Retail Market Order is only giving all competitive retail energy market suppliers 10 days to restructure their current business model to fit within these new regulations.
The New York State Public Service Commission issued the order on February 23, 2016 titling it: Resetting Retail Energy Market and Establishing Further Process.
According to the order, as of March 4th:
- Energy Service Companies (ESCOs) are prohibited from enrolling new mass market (residential and small commercial) customers or renewing customers currently on a fixed or month-to-month variable product.
- Energy companies can not renew or enroll these customers unless the ESCOs guarantee customer savings or provide a product that is made of at least 30% renewable energy.
- As part of the order, companies will be required to guarantee savings off of a utility rate that is not published and is unknown to both customers and suppliers.
These new rules for ESCOs impact all contract renewals and new enrollments.
Currently the National Energy Marketers (NEM) Association is bringing this issue to court. They’ve asked for and been granted a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) against NYPSC to delay the implementation of this new order until at least April 14th, 2016.
If enacted, this new order is expected to impact hundreds of thousands of customers throughout the state. Customers who currently receive commodity service from ESCOs on a month-to-month basis will reportedly receive discontinuance notices or notices of new offerings that may not fit their needs.
With many customers throughout the state relying on the security of fixed price contracts, it can spell issues as the ESCOs will no longer be able to offer this option for customers in New York.
The worry with this new order is not only for the customers of these electric companies but for the employees of these ESCOs, as well. Many companies who have been providing service to New York companies since the beginning of deregulation may be forced out of business in New York; a move that can impact thousands of New York residents that these companies directly and indirectly employ. The destruction of these companies may also result in significant loss of revenue for the State of New York, making it a serious issue for residents of all types throughout the state.
Currently the NEM is rallying for support in the matter, hoping to raise the funds and awareness for this issue needed to reverse the order and ?save? the current New York energy market from more government regulation.