Federal Regulators Again Delay Decision and Request More Information on Utilities’ Proposal for New Energy Market
WASHINGTON — Today the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission once again requested more information before ruling on a proposal by Southeastern utilities to alter the existing wholesale energy market, citing questions about market power and independent oversight.
In February, a number of utilities in the US Southeast filed a proposal with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to create the Southeast Energy Exchange Market (SEEM), a proposal that was challenged by SELC representing several public interest organizations throughout the region. This is the second time that FERC has held off issuing an order on the proposal in order to gather more information: in May, FERC delayed decision on the proposal citing questions on price impacts, transparency, and market manipulation.
In response, SELC Attorney Maia Hutt released the following statement:
“The South needs significant energy reform if we’re going to reduce customer bills and transition to the clean energy economy that our climate and communities need. We commend FERC’s decision to keep asking the hard questions to make sure that any new markets have adequate independent oversight and do not benefit utilities at the expense of customers.”
Across the region the proposed energy market would cover, nearly five million households face a high or severe energy burden. As calls have increased for wholesale market and utility reform—and some states have initiated processes to do so—the utilities put forth their own SEEM proposal.
SELC has opposed the SEEM proposal before FERC on behalf of Energy Alabama, Sierra Club, South Carolina Coastal Conservation League, GASP, Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, Southface Energy Institute, Inc., Vote Solar, Georgia Interfaith Power and Light, Georgia Conservation Voters, and Partnership for Southern Equity.
The utilities behind the SEEM proposal—including Alabama Power, Dominion Energy, Duke Energy, and Georgia Power—have 10 days to provide additional information to FERC.