The Connecticut retail gas market “will quickly turn into nomarket at all” if the state Department of Public Utility Control(DPUC) approves the August unbundling tariff filings made by thestate’s three local distribution companies, retail gas marketerssaid last week in a joint brief. The DPUC is expected to issue afirst phase unbundling order later this week that will address theissues presented by the marketers.

Contrary to DPUC policy, the tariff proposals filed byConnecticut Natural Gas, Southern Connecticut Gas and Yankee Gaswill “limit the number of sellers, create barriers to entry anddeny equivalent and easy access,” according to AllEnergy Marketing,Enron Energy Services, Conectiv/CNE Energy Services, Statoil Energyand UtiliCorp United.

The marketers said the penalties the LDCs propose to charge are”more than 75 times greater than those imposed on the LDCs by thepipelines. These Draconian penalties are a barrier to entry, as fewmarketers will want to run the risk of such economic harm and inturn will kill the existing market in Connecticut.” The marketersbelieve penalties should be “sufficient to deter the undesirablebehavior, but not unduly punitive….” In their current design,however, they would be used to generate increased revenues to beflowed through purchased gas clauses to LDC gas sales customers.

The marketers singled out the tariff filing made by Yankee Gasas particularly onerous and against DPUC principles. It would”discourage further transportation on Yankee’s system.” Thecash-out and penalty provisions of Yankee are “out of step with thecash-out and penalty provisions, not only of other LDCs but alsoout of step with the pipelines,” said Enron Energy Services’ SusanKovino, director of regulatory affairs.

The marketers urged the DPUC to order the LDCs to refile theirtariffs so that they comply with the department’s July 23unbundling decision.

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