7.17.20 - Ameren Settlement + MN Testimony
Updated: Aug 31, 2020
Hi PAYS® Pals, here's your weekly newsletter!
City of Minneapolis’s Testimony and Proposed Tariff for CenterPoint Energy Minnesota Gas Company General Rate Case.
As mentioned in our 6.19.20 Newsletter, the City of Minneapolis filed for intervenor status in a general rate case before the Minnesota Public Utility Commission for CenterPoint, a gas utility seeking a 4.5% rate hike. The intention of the City was to propose a PAYS tariff be approved for CenterPoint Energy to offer home energy upgrade services that are specific to insulation and air sealing. As of this past Wednesday (7.15.20), The City of Minneapolis officially submitted testimony!
See attached their cover letter and testimony from Tammy Agard, CEO of EEtility, and Kim Havey, Director of Sustainability for the City of Minneapolis!
Ameren MO PAYS Settlement Agreement!
Geoff Marke, Chief Economist at Missouri Office of Public Counsel and Fellow PAYS® Pal, shares the unanimous stipulation and agreement that was filed with the Missouri Public Service Commission Friday afternoon to extend Ameren Missouri’s energy efficiency programs for an additional year (2022) seen in the attached pdf.
It mentions PAYS® by name and explicitly states: “Ameren Missouri will operate PAYS® as a program rather than as a pilot, and will begin implementing the program in 2021 rather than 2022.” Specifically, for a program start-date of Jan. 2021 at $5 million in potential loans at 4% participant interest rate and $10 million in 2022 at 4% interest rate. Additionally, there will be a market potential study to inform the likelihood of a much larger scaled-up PAYS program for the next portfolio cycle (2023-2025).
Why 4% interest? The Company’s overall earnings opportunity was reduced by a decent amount –so there was a give-and-take here. The 4% interest rate could be renegotiating depending on how PAYS plays out in 2021 and 2022 and what the potential study says.
What the two-year program does is allow initial investment and build-out of billing infrastructure and trade ally buy-in, further proof-of-concept all for (hopefully) a very large roll-out in 2023-2025 in the hopes of responding to legitimate deferral of supply side assets (i.e., baseload coal). This is a big win for us in conjunction with the Evergy order earlier in the year and (cross-fingers) puts Missouri in a great position!
The fact that Ameren has agreed to run with this without being ordered may provide a template for other utilities (Liberty Utilities in Southwest Missouri and Spire natural gas throughout the state)! Perhaps most importantly, PAYS is really set up to be a serious answer for 2023-2025 as a substitute for future supply-side investments for Ameren and it sets the tone for every other utility filing with energy efficiency moving forward!