6.4.21 - Pay As You Save® Updates in the Midwest U.S.
Updated: Oct 5, 2021
Spire PAYS® On-Bill Financing Program Approved for $6M in Year 1, $11M Thereafter
Effective June 25, 2021, the Missouri Public Service Commission issued an ORDER APPROVING UNANIMOUS STIPULATION AND AGREEMENT AND REJECTING TARIFFS for Spire Missouri Inc., the largest natural gas investor owned utility in Missouri that serves 1.1 million residential customers in Missouri.
The unanimous stipulation and agreement, filed on April 29, 2021, was between Spire Missouri Inc. (Spire) and the Staff of the Missouri Public Service Commission (“Staff”), the Missouri Office of the Public Counsel (“OPC”), Renew Missouri, and Consumer’s Council of Missouri. The order rejected the tariffs for procedural reasons so that Spire can file new compliance tariffs in accordance with the terms of the agreement (Revised Exhibit A). Here’s the highlights:
The agreement provides that the Spire PAYS® On-Bill Financing Program will begin after new rates become effective in Spire’s pending general rate case, expected September 30, 2021 (File No. GR-2021-0108).
The parties agreed that the Spire PAYS® budget will be in addition to Spire’s current energy efficiency budget, and will not be used for any other purpose without prior Commission approval. The agreement states that the Spire PAYS® budget will be $6 million for the first program year, and $11 million per year for each program year thereafter until Spire’s next rate case following the completion of File No. GR-2021-0108.
According to the agreement, the Spire PAYS® budget may be utilized for residential customers within both the Spire Missouri West and Spire Missouri East service territories.
The parties agreed that the annual program budget will include $1 million for administrative, marketing, implementation, and installation costs, which will be recoverable from both participants and non-participants.
Maintenance and property taxes associated with Spire PAYS® are not part of the annual budget amounts referenced above, and will be taken into consideration in subsequent rate cases.
All remaining annual program budget amounts will be recoverable only from program participants. Any funds not spent in a program year will not be subject to rollover and will not be used for any other purpose without prior Commission approval.
Spire PAYS® program charge shall be designed to collect Spire’s investment plus 3% interest. The Spire PAYS® program charge shall only be imposed on customers and meter users who participate in the Spire PAYS® On-Bill Financing Program. Spire PAYS® program costs will be tracked and deferred into a regulatory asset until Spire’s next general rate case and the parties will retain the right to recommend future adjustments to those deferrals.
The parties reached various other detailed agreements including the approval of compliance tariffs to be filed in File No. GR-2021-0108, a third-party program evaluation, customer messaging on Spire’s website, and quarterly reporting as part of Spire’s current Energy Efficiency Collaborative advisory group. The additional terms are included in the agreement and Revised Exhibit A (attached).
Evergy Missouri Files Notice for its PAYS® Pilot Program
On June 3, 2021, Evergy Missouri filed EVERGY MISSOURI METRO’S AND EVERGY MISSOURI WEST’S NOTICE OF FILING PAYS® PILOT PROGRAM with the Missouri Public Service Commission following the requirements of the Commission’s March 11, 2019 Amended Report and Order (File No. EO-2019-0132 and File No. EO-2019-0133) directing the Company to file a Pay As You Save® (“PAYS®”) program.
The program will be launched in September of 2021 as a 12-month Pilot. The objective is to understand the feasibility of a PAYS® program and assess:
A) The customer experience, market potential, and overall satisfaction with the program
B) Evaluated savings
C) Impacts to utility financials.
The program target market is residential rate customers within the Evergy Missouri West and Evergy Missouri Metro service territory. Targeted marketing will be focused on high energy users per square foot.
Key goals, budget, savings, and cost effectiveness tests results for the pilot as follows:
City of Minneapolis and CenterPoint Energy Aim to File for Tariffed Based Pilot this September
As you may have read in past PAYS Pals, the City of Minneapolis and CenterPoint Energy are in development of a proposed Tariffed On-Bill Pilot program in response to the Public Utilities Commission (Commission) March 1st Order.
Yesterday, Minneapolis and CenterPoint Energy jointly filed with the Commission a progress report and next steps to continue development of a TOB pilot with interested parties. The Filing, dated June 1, 2021, Docket No. G-008/M-21-377, outlines additional engagement activities to occur over the summer months as Minneapolis and CenterPoint Energy aim to file a refined TOB pilot and tariff proposal by September 1, 2021.
In addition, CenterPoint Energy submitted to the Commission an update on its work to develop or expand low-income Conservation Improvement Program (CIP) programming focusing on renters. CenterPoint Energy’s CIP update is dated June 1, 2021, inDocket No. G-008/GR-19-524.
PAYS to be Featured on Panel at 2021 RE-AMP Annual Meeting June 9-11th
Register for next week’s RE-AMP Annual Meeting where fellow PAYS Pal, Dorothy Barnett of Climate + Energy Project, will be moderating a panel on equitably eliminating greenhouse gas emissions in the Midwest entitled: Financing Community and Household Renewables and Energy Efficiency. This panel will feature speakers from groups that are committed to anti-racism and building wealth through solar co-operatives, bulk purchasing, job training, and inclusive financing. Presenters include our very own Stephen Bickel of LibertyHomes, Julia Wang of Cleveland Solar Co-operative, and Brian Donavan of Soulardarity.
Other speakers include Dr. Cecilia Martinez, Senior Director for Environmental Justice at the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ). Dr. Martinez will discuss how massive federal programs are being rolled out to reduce the threat of climate change while ensuring racial equity in a whole of government approach never seen before. She will also share what is needed from the advocacy community right now to ensure the success of current and future federal climate efforts.