Purpose: The Commission’s examination of Washington Gas Light Company’s application to raise rates by $19.9 million and a review of WGL’s management of Project Pipes and Mechanical Coupling Replacement project.
OPC’s position: OPC’s litigated position is that WGL should not receive an increase higher than $436,000. OPC’s basis is that WGL has consistently and significantly overspent on Project Pipes and Mechanical Couplings Replacements Projects and should not be allowed to continue to recover costs in excess of the budgeted amounts. Additionally, WGL’s request for an increase in its authorized rate of return should be denied because it is higher than the prevailing market rates and would unjustifiably burden DC consumers.
Next steps: OPC filed its initial brief on November 21. Further settlement discussions may occur post trial.
Purpose: The Commission's examination of Pepco's request for a rate increase of $82 million.
OPC's position: OPC is currently in the process of carefully scrutinizing and analyzing Pepco's $82 million request to develop its comprehensive position on all of the issues. OPC's litigation strategy is guided by the following factors: 1) Pepco's request for $82 million is unreasonable on its face; 2) Commission approval of the $25.6 million Customer Base Rate Credit for application to residential consumers, only, is warranted, 3) the Commission should only allow recovery for cost-effective reliability improvement projects currently providing benefits to consumers; 4) a PSC directive that Pepco implement environmentally beneficial and load-reducing measures is in the public interest and; 5) Pepco's compliance with regulatory commitments outlined in the PSC order approving the merger is mandatory.
Next steps: OPC will file its initial testimony on December 14 and participate in the evidentiary hearings in March 2017. Community hearings have not been scheduled by the PSC to date.
Below are the federal cases in which OPC was active, either individually or jointly with others, since 2014.
U.S. Supreme Court
Brief for Delaware Division of the Public Advocate, Office of the People’s Counsel for the District of Columbia, Maryland Office of the People’s Counsel, New Jersey Rate Counsel, Pennsylvania Office of Consumer Advocate, West Virginia Consumer Advocate Division, Conservation Law Foundation, Environmental Defense Fund, The Environmental Law and Policy Center of the Midwest, Natural Resources Defense Council, The Sierra Club, and Citizens Utility Board as Amici Curiae in Support of Petitioners, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission v. Electric Power Supply Association, 2016 U.S. Lexis 853 (2016)
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission – Since 2014 with dates cases opened
Docket No. ER17-367-000 – Aggregation of seasonal capacity resources (11/17/16)
Docket No. RM16-5 - Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Offer Caps in wholesale markets. (1/21/16)
Docket No. ER16-561-000 – Permanent funding for the Consumer Advocates of the PJM States, Inc. (12/18/15)
Docket No. EL15-83-000 - PJM's load forecasting (6/30/15)
Docket No. ER15-1470 – PJM Request for Base Residual Auction Waiver (4/7/15)
Docket No. EL15-31 – Offer Price Cap (12/15/14)
Docket No. ER15-623-001 – PJM’s Capacity Performance Construct proposal (12/12/14)
Docket No. ER15-623-002, et al., Request for Expedited Clarification re: Annual Demand Resource participation (12/12/14)
Docket No. ER14-2940 – Triennial Review of VRR Curve (9/25/14)
Docket No. EC14-96-000 - Exelon/PHI Merger Application (5/30/14)
Docket No. EL14-55 – First Energy’s Demand Response Complaint (5/23/14)
Docket No. EL14-36 – First Energy’s Request for Declaratory Order on Seller Offer Caps (4/7/14)
Docket No. ER14-1145 – Offer Price Cap/Waiver (1/23/14)
Docket No. RP16-302-000 – Columbia Gulf Transmission, LLC.
U.S. Federal Trade Commission
Docket No. P161200 - Solar Electricity Project (4/12/16)
|Formal Case No.||Matter||Closed/Open|
|FC#1114||Investigation of the policy, economic, legal and technical issues and questions related to establishing a dynamic pricing plan in the District of Columbia.- Suspended as of May 13, 2015, pursuant to Commission Order No. 17877||3-10-2014|
|FC#1116||Pepco/DDOT's application for approval of the Power Lines Underground Projects Plan||4-29-2014|
|FC#1119||Merger of Exelon Corporation, Pepco Holdings, Inc., Potomac Electric Power Company, Exelon Energy Delivery Company, LLC and New Special Purpose Entity, LLC||6-18-2014|
|FC#1120||Commission's investigation into the Residential Aid Discount.||7-14-2014|
|FC#1121||Pepco's Financing Order Application/DC PLUG Initiative||8-1-2014|
|FC#1123||Pepco's formal notice of plans to construct a 230 kV/138 kV/13 kV substation and four 230 kV/138 kV underground transmission circuits on buzzard point in Southwest, DC||6-30-2014|
|FC#1139||Pepco's Application for Authority to Increase Existing Retail Rates and Charges for Electric Distribution Service||6-30-2016|
|FC#1115||WGL's request for approval of a revised accelerated pipeline replacement plan||3-31-2014|
|FC#1126||OPC's Complaint against WGL regarding its unlawful compensation of competitive service providers in violation of its Rate Schedule No. 5||8-5-2014|
|FC#1127||Commission's establishment of a discount program for low-income natural gas customers in the District of Columbia||9-8-2014|
|FC#1129||Commission's Investigation into default gas service provided by Washington Gas Light Company through the Purchase Gas Charge in the District of Columbia||3-12-2015|
|FC#1133||WGL'S Application for Approval of Special Contract||11-2-2015|
|FC#1134||Commission's Investigation into the Procurement Cost Adjustment for Standard Offer Services||12-18-2015|
|FC#1135||WGL's Request to Establish a Regulatory Asset||11-23-2015|
|FC#1137||WGL's Application for authority to increase exiting rates and charges for Gas Service; and to revise terms and conditions related to gas service in the District of Columbia.||2-26-2016|
|FC#1138||Commission's investigation into WGL's new billing system and process and the potential impact on customers and competitive natural gas suppliers.||5-12-2016|
|FC#1125||Orders, filings, and reports on the Consumer Education Program and Utility Discount Program Education Working Group||9-30-2014|
|FC#1130||The Commission's Investigation into Modernizing the Energy Delivery Structure for Increased Sustainability||6-12-2015|
One of the merger commitments is a requirement for Pepco to develop an arrearage management program (“AMP”). An AMP is a billing program that supports qualified low-income customers’ ability to pay off large utility arrearages. In short, an AMP works as follows the utility forgives the arrearage if the customer consistently pays for new utility charges over a period of time. As the customer makes regular, on- time payments on new utility charges, a portion of the arrears is forgiven. Once all payments for new charges have been made over the length of the plan, the arrearage is totally cancelled and the customer can start anew.
OPC’s Actions: Subsequent to the issuance of the PSC’s merger decision, OPC has worked with Pepco and a diverse group of stakeholders to develop the mechanics of the AMP. The AMP proposal was recently filed with the Commission and the Office is now developing comments to address non-consensus issues.