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Orange & Rockland Asks for Choice

Fortnightly Magazine - June 15 1996

Orange and Rockland Utilities Inc. (O&R) has asked the New York

Public Service Commission (PSC) to approve a rate settlement that includes a proposal for a retail wheeling pilot program, "PowerPick" (Case 95-E-0491).

PowerPick would allow certain large industrial customers to choose their electric suppliers starting June 1, 1996. All other customer classes would be eligible to participate as of January 1, 1997; however, residential participation will be capped at 1,500 customers. Further, to meet minimum load requirements, all participants must consume at least 40 Mw of offpeak load. Industrial price savings of 10 percent or more would be shared between the customer and O&R. The utility's share would be used to defray stranded costs.

The settlement has been by approved by PSC staff, the Industrial Energy Users Association (IEUA), and the state Consumer Protection Board. According to L. Mario DiValentino, vice president of Strategic Energy Management Inc., consultants to the IEUA, the pilot distributes the benefits of competition now. "In addition, customers would gain valuable experience in the arrangement and delivery of power in advance of a fully deregulated electric industry and provide the customers with a voice in the development of the ultimate deregulation rules through actual real-time experience," DiValentino added. (em LB

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