Court Extends TRO on PSC Resetting Retail Market Order
On Tuesday, April 6, an Albany County Supreme Court judge issued a Stipulation extending Temporary Restraining Order placed by the on the Commission’s “Order Resetting Retail Energy Markets and Establishing Further Process” (aka the February 23 Order’) until April 25th. The Stipulation (which was agreed to by both plaintiffs and the New York Public Service Commission) also pushed the deadline for reply comments from April 10th to April 25th. The hearing on whether to grant a Preliminary Injunction (which would essentially extend the TRO until after a trial or settlement) is now set for May 5th instead of the original April 14th.
The February 23 Order was designed to restructure the energy market for residential and ‘small commercial’ consumers by limiting the types of energy ‘products’ energy suppliers could offer, and to increase the penalties that could be imposed on suppliers’ violations of sales and marketing practices. The TRO ‘pressed pause’ on Ordering Paragraphs 1, 2, and 3 of that Order:
- Paragraph 1 restricts ESCOs to offering either a price guaranteed to match or beat the utility price or offer 30% renewable product.
- Paragraph 2 requires ESCOs to receive affirmative consent from a mass market customer prior to renewing that customer from a fixed rate or guaranteed savings contract into a contract that provides renewable energy but does not guarantee savings.
- Paragraph 3 requires the CEO or equivalent to certify compliance with the Order.
While this is good news for ESCOs looking for additional breathing room to update their products and internal compliance measures, the TRO did not affect the PSC’s new ‘One-Strike’ Rule, which increases the penalties it can impose on companies violating sales and marketing regulations.
And, while companies do not have to comply with the two requirements listed above – at least for now – it is it is important to remember that the legal battle is separate from the active PSC docket, which will be instrumental in shaping the future of the New York energy market.
Below is a list of upcoming deadlines and Commission actions, and a list of the filings by the Impacted ESCO Coalition. Please feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
Upcoming Deadlines (as of April 6, 2016):
- April 18-19: PSC Technical Conference (Albany and via Webcast)
- April 25: Petitioner Reply Papers due (Article 78 Proceeding)
- May 6: TRO period ends / Hearing on Preliminary Injunction (Article 78 Proceeding)
Filings by the Impacted ESCO Coalition:
- April 4 – Reply Comments of the Impacted ESCO Coalition
- March 28 – IEC Presentation on Value Added Services
- March 25 – Petition for Rehearing, Reconsideration and Clarification the Impacted ESCO Coalition
- March 19 – Initial Comments of the Impacted ESCO Coalition
- March 15 – IEC Comments on Performance Bonds and Financial Requirements Final
- March 10 – Impacted ESCO Coalition submits Request for Extension of Time
- March 2 – Request for Expedited Ruling, Immediate Stay, and Extension of Compliance Deadline