Federal Regulators Delay Decision and Request More Information on Utilities’ Proposal for New Energy Market
WASHINGTON — Today the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission requested more information before ruling on a proposal by Southeastern utilities to alter the existing wholesale energy market, citing questions on price impacts, transparency, and market manipulation.
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.
In response, SELC Attorney Maia Hutt released the following statement:
“We have a shot at meaningful reform that will help lower customer bills and drive clean energy investments in the Southeast, but utilities have attempted to derail this opportunity with a self-serving proposal that could actually move the region backwards. The SEEM proposal protects the utilities by increasing opportunities to exercise their monopoly power, to the disadvantage of independent power producers and with only token transparency and oversight. We’re pleased to see FERC require more information so there will be more public scrutiny for this flawed proposal.”
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 submitted the challenge 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 45 days to provide additional information to FERC.