Adams Electric Cooperative seeks input on Energy Policy Standards
In 1978, the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act (“PURPA”; 16 U.S.C. Ch. 46, Sections 2601, et seq.) was enacted into law to encourage energy conservation, efficiency in the use of electric utility facilities and resources, and equitable rates for electric consumers. PURPA identifies energy policy standards for electric utilities to consider and determine whether it is appropriate to implement such standard(s). These standards are set forth in PURPA Section 111(d) (as codified at 16 U.S.C. Ch. 46, Section 2621(d)).
This Notice concerns the two most recent Federal standards under PURPA Section 111(d) (the “Two Standards”). These Two Standards were added to PURPA as part of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, as signed into law on Nov. 15, 2021.
The Two Standards are set forth below, along with a brief description of Adams Electric Cooperative’s (the “Cooperative”) activities and efforts already in place with respect to the Two Standards. The language of each Standard has been taken, in part, directly from PURPA Section 111(d); however, it is for informational purposes only and shall not, nor is it intended to, replace the full text of the law.
The Cooperative will consider the Two Standards and will determine if they are applicable to the Cooperative and if it is appropriate to implement all or a portion of the Two Standards.
This Notice is the official notice to the Cooperative membership and to the public of the opportunity to provide written comment on either, or both, of the Two Standards. All written comments must be received at the Cooperative by March 1, 2023. All timely written comments shall be considered at the hearing to be held by the Cooperative (as described below) on the Two Standards. The opportunity of the Cooperative membership and the public to contribute and participate in the hearing (as described below) on the Two Standards shall be through, and is limited to, the submission of written comments.
Should you wish to submit written comment on the Two Standards, please provide your submission: (a) via mail or other delivery service to Adams Electric Cooperative, Attention: Communications, P.O. Box 1055, 1338 Biglerville Road, Gettysburg, PA 17325, or (b) via email to email@example.com.
The Cooperative will conduct a hearing on July 31, 2023, at its Gettysburg corporate offices at 1338 Biglerville Road, Gettysburg, PA to consider the Two Standards. Information and evidence to be received at the hearing and considered by the Cooperative will include, in part, all written comments that are about the Two Standards and which are received at the Cooperative by the March 1, 2023 deadline. After the hearing and on or prior to Nov. 15, 2023, the Cooperative’s Board of Directors shall determine whether it is appropriate to implement the Two Standards, in whole or in part. The determination will thereafter be available to the Cooperative membership and the public.
PURPA 111(d)(20) standard (16 U.S.C. Ch 46, Section 2621(d)):
(20) Demand-response practices.
(A) In general. Each electric utility shall promote the use of demand-response and demand flexibility practices by commercial, residential, and industrial consumers to reduce electricity consumption during periods of unusually high demand.
(B) Rate recovery.
(i) Each State regulatory authority shall consider establishing rate mechanisms allowing an electric utility with respect to which the State regulatory authority has ratemaking authority to timely recover the costs of promoting demand-response and demand flexibility practices in accordance with subparagraph (A).
(ii) A nonregulated electric utility may establish rate mechanisms for the timely recovery of the costs of promoting demand-response and demand flexibility practices in accordance with subparagraph (A).
Current Co-op Activities: The Cooperative began its demand-response program in 1985. The program, referred to now as “U-Shift, U-$ave,” engages residential members to volunteer for installation of a remotely controlled switch on their water heaters, heating/cooling systems, or a separate subpanel that can be interrupted during times of peak energy usage. Members reduce their energy use and overall demand on the power grid, and in return receive a bill credit or reduced rate, depending on their participation. Commercial and industrial members can volunteer to participate in a load curtailment program, wherein the Cooperative can send an automated signal to shed loads or notify the member to shift their loads to another form of power, e.g., diesel generator, and receive a rate incentive. There are approximately 9,500 Cooperative members currently participating in the demand-response program.
PURPA 111(d)(21) standard (16 U.S.C. Ch 46, Section 2621(d)):
(21) Electric vehicle charging programs.
Each State shall consider measures to promote greater electrification of the transportation sector, including the establishment of rates that:
(A) promote affordable and equitable electric vehicle charging options for residential, commercial, and public electric vehicle charging infrastructure;
(B) improve the customer experience associated with electric vehicle charging, including by reducing charging times for light-, medium-, and heavy-duty vehicles;
(C) accelerate third-party investment in electric vehicle charging for light-, medium-, and heavy-duty vehicles; and
(D) appropriately recover the marginal costs of delivering electricity to electric vehicles and electric vehicle charging infrastructure.
Current Co-op Activities: (Note: this new PURPA 111(d)(21) standard is directed to the State level; the Cooperative does not have authority to direct the State to implement, not implement, or adopt a modified version of the 111(d)(21) standard. However, as may be appropriate, if applicable, and within the scope of the standard as written, the Cooperative will voluntarily consider and make a determination on this standard.) The Cooperative is already promoting greater electrification locally. In 2019, the Cooperative saw the opportunity to utilize the existing U-Shift, U-$ave demand management subpanel program to shift electric vehicle charging equipment to off-peak times. By doing this, our membership can avoid paying higher peak demand costs for purchased power. Members who utilize the U-Shift subpanel see a reduced kilowatt-hour (kWh) rate for the connected items they allow the Cooperative to interrupt during times of peak electricity demand, such as electric vehicle (EV) chargers. The Cooperative also added the “My EV” tab to its website. On the My EV pages, members can educate themselves on the pros and cons of electric vehicles and utilize a savings calculator to calculate their potential savings based on their electric rate, as well as access other information and resources pertaining to electric vehicles. The Cooperative’s affiliate company, Adams Energy Resources, LLC, was also formed with the current goal of installing commercial charging stations to improve access to EV charging for the public.