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Senate Bill 695 Will Allow New Non-Residential Customers to Take Direct Access Service from an Electric Service Provider

On November 18 and December 17, 2009, the assigned Commissioner issued rulings to modify the scoping memo previously issued in the Direct Access Rulemaking (R.) 07-05-025 to create a new sub-phase to address provisions of Senate Bill (SB) 695 (Stats. 2009, Ch. 337) that relate to direct access (DA).  In those rulings, the assigned Commissioner identifies the pertinent provisions of SB 695 that will be addressed in this proceeding and establishes a schedule to meet the SB 695 timing requirements.  “Since SB 695 was signed into law on October 11, 2009, the Commission must adopt and implement a reopening schedule by April 11, 2010, to phase in authorized increases in the allowable direct access transactions over a period of not less than three years, and not more than five years.  The scope for this initial sub-phase is limited only to those issues that must be decided within the initial six-month time limit mandated by SB 695.” (November 18, 2009 Ruling at p. 6)

Event Due Date
Utilities each file and serve additional data identifying the increase in Direct Access load cap pursuant to SB 695. December 3, 2009
Parties file substantive opening comments on issues for this sub-phase. January 5, 2010
Workshop for consensus on substantive issues. 9:30 AM on January 11, 2010
Parties file substantive reply comments.   February 1, 2010   
Administrative Law Judge Proposed Decision on Phase-in Implementation.   Mid-February 2010
Decision on Commission Agenda. Mid-March 2010
Implementation of Phase-in Begins. April 2010

What it does


Direct Access (DA) service [or transactions] is retail electric service where customers purchase electricity from a competitive provider, an Electric Service Provider (ESP), instead of from a regulated electric utility.  The utility delivers the electricity that the customer purchases from the ESP to the customer over its distribution system.

An Electric Service Provider (ESP) is a non-utility entity that offers electric service to customers within the service territory of an electric utility. 

Important Links


SB 695, among other things:

  • Allows nonresidential customers to purchase electricity from an ESP up to an overall historical maximum load amount in each utility territory - Requires the Commission to “allow individual retail nonresidential end-use customers to acquire electric service from other providers in each electrical corporation's [utility] distribution service territory, up to a maximum allowable total kilowatthours annual limit,” defined as the Commission-established “maximum total kilowatthours supplied by all other providers to distribution customers of that electrical corporation during any sequential 12-month period between April 1, 1998, and the effective date of this section.”  See Section 365.1.b.
  • Limits the amount of electric load that ESPs may serve, based on a Commission-adopted three to five year phase in schedule until the historical maximum is reached in each utility territory  - “Within six months of the effective date of this section, or by July 1, 2010, whichever is sooner, the commission shall adopt and implement a reopening schedule that commences immediately and will phase in the allowable amount of increased kilowatthours over a period of not less than three years, and not more than five years, raising the allowable limit of kilowatthours supplied by other providers in each electrical corporation's distribution service territory from the number of kilowatthours provided by other providers as of the effective date of this section, to the maximum allowable annual limit for that electrical corporation's distribution service territory.”  See Section 365.1.b.
  • Otherwise retains the suspension on the right to acquire DA service until the legislature acts - “…the right of retail end-use customers … to acquire service from other providers [e.g., ESPs but not Community Choice Aggregators] is suspended until the Legislature, by statute, lifts the suspension or otherwise authorizes direct transactions.”  See Section 365.1.a.

Last Modified: 3/22/2010

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