Georgia Retail Unbundling on Fast Track
The Georgia Senate approved House Bill 822 by a vote of 52-0
last week, paving the way for a one time, statewide customer
assignment process to occur before the next heating season. Having
already passed the House of Representatives unanimously, the
amendment only needs Gov. Roy Barnes' signature before it becomes
The amendment gives the Georgia Public Service Commission (GPSC)
the ability to deem any of the nine pool groups in the state as
competitive. Once the pool attains competitive status, its members
will have 100 days to choose a supplier before the GPSC assigns
them to one. After the assignment process concludes, AGL will have
totally exited the merchant function.
Public Service Commissioner Bobby Baker said once the GPSC
attains the ability to judge a pool's market competition, things
will happen quickly. "We'll investigate each area and evaluate the
market. I don't think any of the pools will have a hard time
demonstrating competitiveness. We're shooting for the completion of
the random assignment process by August 31."
Baker said docket 10473 has been opened in the GPSC in
anticipation of the bill's passage. This docket requests that the
three pools that have passed the 33% mark be deemed competitive but
also allows an opportunity for more pools to be added. Baker said
if the bill is passed, the GPSC will attempt to put all the pools
onto the docket regardless of percentages.
One result from the bill's success, Baker said, is a revived
interest in becoming a certified marketer in Georgia. Last week,
KeySpan and Sonat applied to be a marketer, and Southeast States
Energy, a marketing subsidiary of Perry Gas Co., Inc., had its
certification approved. "I don't know why they entered so late, but
now is a good time. If this amendment passes and all the pools are
labeled competitive, AGL will send out a flyer to all the customers
it still serves saying they only have 100 days to pick a supplier
before they are assigned. AGL will also provide a list of marketers
to those customers. These new marketers definitely want the
advertising associated with that list."
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