News & Events

As we enter into the spring energy buying season, AOBA would like to remind members of the unwanted complications that can arise due to slamming by third party energy suppliers.

Slamming occurs when a customer with an existing third party energy supply contract undergoes an unauthorized and often illegal transfer of supply service to another energy provider. Most often, slamming occurs when telemarketers for third party supply companies call a member’s property and switches the customer’s electric service through recorded voice authorizations. For example, a person from a member property that speaks to a telemarketer is often recorded as saying ‘Yes’ to a single question and the supply service is automatically switched.

Utilities will not contact an organization to verify whether or not the switch to the new supply provider was authorized. Once the utility receives notification of the switch to a new supplier, the switch to the new provider occurs automatically. Slamming by a supply provider creates multiple problems for members that can range from penalties for breach of contract with their current supplier to penalties from the slamming supplier, all of which may be labor intensive to correct.

AOBA and AOBA Alliance, Inc. track instances of slamming and report such occurrences to the appropriate parties. If you experience slamming by a supplier, please try to obtain the information of the representative who contacted you and the company they represent. This information can be reported to AOBA by contacting Frann Francis or April Kreller at the AOBA office.

As a result of an emergency amendment passed by the Mayor on May 17, 2017, the DC Public Service Commission opened a new proceeding (FC 1145) to consider applications for Biennial Underground Infrastructure Improvement Projects. AOBA was an active participant in the last undergrounding cases, FC 1116 and 1121, and strongly opposed Pepco’s proposed undergrounding project plans.

On July 3, 2017, Pepco and DDOT filed a Joint Application for Approval of the First Biennial Underground Infrastructure Improvement Projects Plan. The Biennial Plan identified six feeders that DDOT and Pepco plan to place underground. The Application also requested approval of an Underground Project Charge (UPC) to recover the costs Pepco incurs during the undergrounding of the feeders. The Application states the UPC will remain in effect for two years and will collect $5,602,940 in total revenues.

In addition to the Joint Application filed by DDOT and Pepco, Pepco included an application for a Commission issued financing order that will allow Pepco to recover the costs DDOT will incur as a result of the undergrounding of the designated feeders specified in the Biennial Plan. The financing order will permit Pepco to recover the DDOT costs through an additional charge, i.e., an Underground Rider charge. The Underground Rider will also remain in effect for two years and is designed to collect $30 million per year.

AOBA held a briefing by Pepco on September 19, 2017 and filed a Protest and testimony on September 13, 2017.  The DC PSC approved the Pepco and DDOT application on November 7, 2017 and AOBA requested reconsideration of the decision, a prerequisite for filing an appeal with the DC Court of Appeals. On January 17, 2018, the DCPSC denied AOBA’s Application for Reconsideration. AOBA filed an appeal of the DC PSC’s decision with the DC Court of Appeals on March 14, 2018.

The Commission ordered rates to become effective 90 days from the date of its Final Order, i.e. February 8, 2018. The rates for the month of February were prorated and customers should be charged the full tariff rates beginning with the March billing cycle. The undergrounding charges are represented on the Pepco bill as follows: 1) the Underground Project Charge (UPC), is billed as a separate line item under the distribution charge and 2) the Underground Rider charge is combined with the distribution charges and monthly Bill Stabilization Adjustment (BSA) and is not separately itemized on the bill.

Washington Gas Winter Preparedness Briefing for Interruptible Service Customers
in DC, Maryland, and Virginia

September 29, 2017, 10:00 am  - 11:30 am
AOBA CONFERENCE ROOM

AOBA will host guests from Washington Gas at a member briefing on Friday, September 29, 2017, 10:00 am  - 11:30 am at AOBA’s new office located at 1025 Connecticut Ave, NW, Suite 1005, Washington, DC to discuss winter preparedness for interruptible customers in advance of the 2017-2018 heating season.  AOBA encourages all members with interruptible natural gas accounts to attend this important briefing and we look forward to an informative meeting and discussion. Please respond by calling AOBA at (202) 296-3390 or you may email your RSVP to April Kreller at akreller@aoba-metro.org.

Recap: AOBA’s Utility & Energy Market Update

On Wednesday, August 2nd, AOBA hosted a Utility and
Energy Market Update for AOBA members. The meeting topics included DC water
rates, an energy market update, and utility updates for electricity and natural
gas in the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia. When reviewing and
preparing utility budgets, AOBA recommends that members carefully review the
content of the presentation, especially the proposed distribution increases for
Pepco and Washington Gas, and surcharge rates by rate
class included for each utility for each of the three jurisdictions.

The utility presentations are currently available on both
the AOBA and AOBA Alliance websites. For questions regarding the meeting
presentations, please contact Frann Francis or April Kreller at (202) 296-3390.

Recap: AOBA’s Utility & Energy Market Update

On Wednesday February 15th, AOBA hosted a Utility and
Energy Market Update for AOBA members. The meeting topics included DC water
rates, an energy market update, and utility updates for electricity and natural
gas in the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia. When reviewing and
preparing utility budgets, AOBA recommends that members carefully review the
content of the presentation, especially the proposed distribution increases for
Pepco and Washington Gas, surcharge rates, and bill composition charts by rate
class included for each utility for each of the three jurisdictions.

The utility presentations are currently available on both
the AOBA and AOBA Alliance websites. For questions regarding the meeting
presentations, please contact Frann Francis or April Kreller at (202) 296-3390.



















Renewable Portfolio Standards Will Increase for Maryland Customers

HB1106 will alter the renewable portfolio standard percentage for energy
derived from a solar source and also alter the compliance fees for suppliers
that fail to meet the renewable portfolio standards. Governor Hogan vetoed this
legislation last year however the State House and Senate passed an override to
the Governor’s veto on Thursday, February 2, 2017. The legislation will take
effect 30 days from the date of the override. The legislation does include a
provision that grandfathers customer supply contracts existing before the
effective date of the legislation.

 

Costly Increases to DC Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) – Law Effective October 8, 2016

On July 25, 2016, Mayor Bowser signed Bill 21-650, the Renewable Portfolio Standard Expansion
Amendment Act of 2016. The law was approved by Congress and became effective October 8, 2016.

The law amends the current Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard Act and increases the renewable
portfolio standard (RPS) requirement for suppliers while also increasing the compliance fees for suppliers that cannot meet the RPS requirements.

Under the prior legislation, compliance fees gradually decrease beginning in 2017 and each year
thereafter until 2023. Specifically, the prior legislation decreases compliance fees as follows: Fifty cents in
2011 through 2016; thirty five cents in 2017; thirty cents in 2018; twenty cents in 2019 through 2020; fifteen cents in 2021-2022; and five cents in 2023 and thereafter for each kilowatt-hour of shortfall from required solar energy assets.

The newly enacted law liminates the gradual decreases and maintains the compliance fee at fifty
cents through 2023 for each kilowatt-hour of shortfall from required energy ources. The additional funds will be used in part to fund improvements to esidential energy efficiency.

AOBA proposed an amendment that grandfathered the gradual decrease in compliance fees for
existing customer supply contracts. The law was enacted with the grandfathering amendment included.

Capacity Performance Costs

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) has approved a “change in regulation” for PJM that
will require electricity suppliers to incur a new category of capacity related costs which will be labeled “Capacity Performance Costs.”These new “Capacity Performance Costs” will become effective as of June 1, 2016, and are expected to add to the total costs that all electricity suppliers must incur to provide firm electricity supply to their customers. The magnitude of the cost adjustments that
electricity suppliers may seek to pass on to customers as a result of PJM’s Capacity Performance program for the next three PJM planning years (i.e., June 1 – May 31 for 2016-17, 2017-18, and 2018-19) have been determined through incremental capacity auctions.

The increase in costs is a result of the last couple of winters, particularly during the polar vortex experienced during the winter of 2013-2014, PJM found that natural gas-fired generators on whom they were relying to provide electricity supply and ensure the reliability of service were unable to perform
during periods of peak demand. In response to this problem, PJM has proposed, and FERC has approved (with some modifications), a plan to provide generators incentives to ensure the reliability of generation from power plants during periods of peak electrical demand, regardless of whether those periods occur
during summer or winter months. Those requirements will cause generators to incur greater costs to assure the reliability of their generation commitments or face the potential for substantial penalties for failure to perform. Please keep in mind that these new costs are the result of a change in regulatory policy and are expected to impact in a similar manner, the costs incurred by all electricity suppliers operating within PJM.

Washington Gas Interruptible Preparedness Briefing

On Thursday, September 17, 2015, AOBA hosted guests from Washington Gas at a breifing specifically for AOBA members and AOBA Alliance participants with interruptible natural gas accounts in the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia. Representatives from Washington Gas discussed the actions interruptible customers need to take this fall in order to be prepared for any potential interruption or curtailment that could be called during the upcoming winter. In addition, Washington Gas discussed the proposed changes to the Company's interruptible service tariffs in all three jurisdictions as well as the requirements that are currently in place for interruptible service customers.

Utility and Energy Market Update

On Thursday, September 17, 2015, the Utility and Energy Market Update was held for AOBA members and AOBA Alliance participants. The meeting topics included DC water rates, an energy market update, and utility updates for electricity and natural gas in the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia. For budgeting purposes, AOBA recommends that members carefully review the content of the utility presentations, especially the surcharge rates and bill composition charts by rate class included for each utility for each of the three jurisdictions.

The utility presentations are currently available on both the AOBA and AOBA Alliance websites. For questions regarding the meeting presentations, please contact Frann Francis or April Kreller at (202) 296-3390.

AOBA will hold the next Utility and Energy Market Update Briefing on Wednesday, December 2, 2015 at the AOBA office from 11:30 am - 1:00 pm.

 

On Tuesday, May 13, 2014, the Utility and Energy Market Update was held for AOBA members and AOBA Alliance participants. The meeting topics included DC water rates for 2015, an energy market briefing, and utility updates for electricity and natural gas in the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia. For budgeting purposes, AOBA suggests members carefully review the content of the presentation, especially the budget impact charts and surcharge rates included for each utility, for each of the three jurisdictions. Although some numbers are not final at this time, we expect to have final estimates by September 2014.

The utility presenation is currently available on both the AOBA Alliance website and the AOBA website at http://www.aobaalliance.com/energy-market-update/utility-committee-presentations.html or http://www.aoba-metro.org/advocacy/utilities/utility-and-energy-market-briefings. For questions regarding the meeting presentation, please contact Frann Francis or April Kreller at (202) 296-3390.

On Wednesday, January 15, 2014, the Utility Committee Meeting was held for AOBA members and AOBA Alliance participants. The meeting topics included DC water rates for 2014, an energy market briefing, and utility updates for electricity and natural gas in the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia. For budgeting purposes, AOBA suggests that members carefully review the content of the presentation, especially the budget impact charts and surcharge rates included for each utility, for each of the three jurisdictions. The utility presentation is currently available on both the AOBA and AOBA Alliance websites at http://www.aoba-metro.org/advocacy/utilities/utility-committee-2.html or http://www.aobaalliance.com/energy-market-update/utility-committee-presentations.html . For questions regarding the meeting presentation, please contact Frann Francis or April Kreller at (202) 296-3390.