The New York State Public Service Commission adopted a set ofbusiness practices yesterday that are designed to streamline themanner in which local utilities interact with gas and electricitymarketers, energy services companies (ESCOs) and customers whopurchase energy in New York’s competitive market. The measurescover a wide range of issues, including minimum standards ofESCO/marketer creditworthiness, customer information exchangedbetween the utility and the supplier, billing procedures, switchingof customers, customer slamming protections, and dispute resolutionprocedures.

“Simple, uniform procedures will help ensure sound businesspractices that ultimately benefit everyone: customers, energyproviders and the local utilities,” Commission Chairman Maureen O.Helmer said. “The practices make it easier for energy companies todo business in New York and for New Yorkers to shop for energy.”She added that one market participant noted the business protocolsadopted could serve as a model for the region, if not the country,as energy deregulation expands.

The procedures under which energy competitors are expected toconduct their business are scheduled to take effect on May 1.Proposed business practices were issued for public comment in 1998,and the procedures adopted yesterday include revisions based oncomments received from 21 interested parties.

The Uniform Business Practices for ESCOs, Marketers andUtilities (Case 98M1343) will be attached to a Commission Orderthat will be issued in the next several days. The order can be obtained from the Commissions website at https://www.dps.state.ny.usor from the Files Office, (518) 474-2500.

©Copyright 1998 Intelligence Press Inc. All rights reserved. Thepreceding news report may not be republished or redistributed, inwhole or in part, in any form, without prior written consent ofIntelligence Press, Inc.