Jeff D. Makholm, PhD, Testifies Before the State of New York Public Service Commission’s to Assess Certain Aspects of the Residential and Small Non-Residential Retail Energy Markets in New York State

Fri Sep 15 00:00:00 EDT 2017
Dr. Jeff D. Makholm

NERA Managing Director Dr. Jeff D. Makholm gave direct testimony before the New York Public Service Commission (his 26th appearance before that body in over 30 years) on the Motion of the Commission to Assess Certain Aspects of the Residential and Small Non-Residential Retail Energy Markets in New York State. Dr. Makholm appeared on behalf of the Retail Energy Supply Association (RESA) to provide economic, institutional and regulatory perspectives regarding the operation of retail energy markets in the state.

Specifically, Dr. Makholm testified to the continued wisdom of retaining competitive retail energy suppliers (also known as energy service companies or “ESCOs”) in New York, for both residential and small, non-residential energy consumers—“mass-market consumers.” He also testified to the need for such retailers to remain free from cost-based or other “public service” types of regulatory control under New York’s Public Service Law. Dr. Makholm additionally testified to how preserving and expanding competitive retail access for mass-market customers in New York will help the state (i) achieve other energy policy objectives such as REV (the state’s newsworthy “Reforming the Energy Vision” initiative), (ii) advance the Commission’s clean energy goals, and (iii) provide consumer choice of supplier and service company. Among Dr. Makholm’s conclusions, he stated that it would be unreasonable for the Commission to judge the broad efficacy of mass-market ESCO services by simplistic and misleading average revenue comparisons between manifestly different services provided by ESCOs and the utilities for default service.