RG&E Reaches Customer Choice Settlement
Rochester Gas and Electric (RG&E), has reached an agreement
with the New York Public Service Commission (PSC) staff and other
companies and groups to actively promote the customers' right to
choose among competing natural gas suppliers.
Each competing supplier of natural gas will receive $45 a year
for each customer who switches from RG&E to a qualified gas
marketer. In exchange, RG&E would be able to collect the
difference between the $45 it pays annually per migrating customer
and its actual savings by placing a tariff on the customer. The $45
number was arrived at by a "balancing of interests," the
spokesperson for RG&E, Dick Marion, commented.
The agreement allows for a much simpler billing system in which
delivery and commodity charges will appear on the same bill. If
RG&E delivers the gas on its distribution system, and another
marketer sells the actual product, then the customer will only
receive a bill from the marketer with both delivery charges and
commodity charges on it.
The PSC hopes this agreement will help natural gas marketers to
compete for residential and commercial customers, as well as
promote gas-choice awareness amongst the public. Its vision is that
eventually all natural gas customers will be served by non-utility
suppliers. The PSC wants the utilities to still maintain the local
distribution lines and respond to gas emergencies.
There are 22 companies that are currently approved to offer gas
within RG&E's service region. Of the gas that runs through
RG&E's pipelines, 40% is supplied by non-utility marketers.
Since residential customers were given choice in 1996, and
commercial customers in 1986, 17,000 people have chosen alternative
The settlement still has to be approved by the entire PSC. If it
does receive the go-ahead, then it would go into effect on July 1
of this year, and last until June 30, 2002.
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