August 7, 2009

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PUC approves PPL competitive rate plan

HARRISBURG – The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission finalized measures designed to remove barriers to a competitive retail electric market in the PPL service territory.

The Commission voted 4-1 to direct actions intended to achieve a fully competitive retail market in the PPL service territory, given the scheduled expiration of PPL’s rate caps on Dec. 31, 2009. Vice Chairman Tyrone J. Christy issued a dissenting statement.

The PUC directed changes to certain standards, rules and operational protocols in order to make the retail market more viable for electric generation suppliers (EGSs) that wish to offer retail generation service to PPL customers.  PPL is one of the largest electric distribution companies (EDCs) in the Commonwealth. With that, the Commission felt it was important that its market contain competitive alternatives, that its customers are aware of these competitive alternatives and that no barriers exist to prevent EGS entry into the market. 

In finalizing the measure, the Commission recognized that each EDC is unique and may require different operating directives. The Commission does not believe a one-size-fits-all approach will work in removing the barriers to competition and anticipates that the directives will serve as the starting point in proceedings regarding other companies.

The Commission directives address:

  • Customer information databases;
  • Data access through standardized EDI transactions for post validation, estimation and editing (VEE) data, which, among other items, provide necessary customer account information such as interval usage, transmission and capacity peak load contribution, and meter read cycle information;
  • Bill ready and rate ready options;
  • Timely EDI testing;
  • Purchase of receivables;
  • Customer awareness and education programs;
  • Commitments to a process for development of a uniform supplier tariff;
  • An ombudsman for supplier issues; 
  • PPL costs of competition related activities.


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