Consumer Utility Costs

News & Analysis as of

FERC Proposes to Streamline Market-Based Rate Program

On June 19, 2014, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission ("FERC") issued a notice of proposed rulemaking ("NOPR") proposing to revise its policies for applications to sell energy, capacity, and ancillary services at...more

Public Participation Hearings on Rate Changes Start Next Month For SCE, PG&E and SDG&E Customers

The California Public Utilities Commission will begin holding a series of public participation hearings throughout the State to provide an opportunity for customers of the three major utility companies to address proposed...more

UK Government Consults on Mandatory Supply of IT Services to Insolvent Customers

The UK Government has released a long awaited consultation document proposing new controls on IT suppliers’ dealings with customers facing insolvency. To a degree this brings the termination provisions of the UK’s...more

FERC Changes Electric Utility Return-on-Equity Calculation

The Commission’s order applies the same methodology used for natural gas and oil pipeline return on equity and discards the former one-step calculation in favor of a two-step calculation that uses short- and long-term growth...more

US energy consumers paid $14 billion more last winter

U.S. consumers paid $14 billion more for their energy needs during the winter of 2013-2014 compared to the previous winter, according to a report by the U.S. Energy Information Administration. The cost of energy affects...more

IRRC Approves PUC’s Final-Omitted Regulations Addressing Variable Price Contracts

On May 22, 2014, the Independent Regulatory Review Commission (“IRRC”) approved by a 5-0 vote the final-omitted regulations adopted by the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (“PUC”) which will enhance the information that...more

FERC Waives Electric Energy Price Caps in PJM and New York in Response to Natural Gas Price Spikes

In late January and early February 2014, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission ("FERC") issued a series of orders waiving the $1,000 per megawatt-hour offer caps imposed under tariffs of PJM Interconnection, L.L.C. ("PJM")...more

Managing Energy Prices

Throughout January and February 2014, the Northeast, Mid Atlantic and Midwest experienced record low temperatures that were accompanied by unprecedented energy prices. The cold snap, which began with the polar vortex,...more

Initial Rate for Minnesota Community Solar Gardens Set (Almost)

After a full day of hearing arguments on Xcel’s proposed Community Solar Garden (CSG) program (see more on that here), the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission deliberated in public on the issue yesterday and made some...more

Proposition 218 Does Not Require Individual Majority Fee Protest Procedures - Court Clarifies Role of Appellate Courts, Standard...

A California court of appeal recently held that a public agency is not required to provide individual protest procedures for each customer class when proposing increases to its water service fees. The court based its decision...more

FERC Paves the Way for Higher Capacity Prices in Advance of the Upcoming ISO-NE Capacity Market Auction

On Friday January 24, 2014, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission issued companion orders: (1) approving a proposal to double the administrative price that will apply in instances of inadequate supply or insufficient...more

Other Bidders Question MN ALJ's Selection of Solar Generation

At the close of last year, Minnesota Administrative Law Judge Eric Lipman determined that the single solar proposal in a competitive resource acquisition process would provide the best value to Xcel ratepayers....more

Can You Define “Total Heating Bill”? Or is Your Contract Ambiguous and Unenforceable?

We previously discussed in broad terms that a valid and enforceable contract must have offer and acceptance, mutual exchange of something of value and definitive terms. But what does it mean for a term to be “definitive”?...more

Appellate Court Upholds FERC Decisions on CAISO Must-Offer Cost Allocation

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit this week upheld two Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) orders allocating the costs associated with mitigating transmission constraints on a Southern...more

UK's Labour party proposes regulatory reform to secure gas and electricity price freezes

In the UK, political campaigns for the next general election in May 2015 are gaining momentum. At a recent Labour party annual conference, Labour's leader, Ed Miliband pledged that gas and electricity bills would be frozen...more

Illinois Supreme Court Agrees to Consider Flexible Utility Rate-Making Technique

Our previews of the newest additions to the Illinois Supreme Court's civil docket continue with People ex rel. Madigan v. Illinois Commerce Commission. Madigan poses a question involving the jurisdiction of the Illinois...more

Taxpayer Settlement Agreement Waives Future Claims and Judicially Estops Contradictory Claims

After challenging a 1991 Utility User Tax, taxpayers negotiated a monetary settlement agreement with Los Angeles County. The settlement agreement also provided for an election to validate the tax. After the election, a...more

Local Initiative Measures May Not Set Water Rates Lower than Amount Needed to Cover Required Costs under the Water Code

After a county water district raised its water and sewer rates, opponents of the rate hikes qualified two initiatives for the ballot to reverse the increase. The district filed a court action for declaratory relief, arguing...more

Heat and Residential Tenancies

Heating in a rental unit is considered a vital service under the Residential Tenancies Act. Every residential unit must have a heating system. The landlord is obligated to maintain and repair a heating system for every part...more

German government compromise could lead to a reduction in consumer costs for renewable energy

On 13 February 2013, the two coalition parties in the German government reached a compromise on new measures which should lead to a reduction of costs for renewable energy for consumers. The changes are intended to come into...more

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