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Potential New Opportunity for California Direct Access

As many of you probably recall, California Direct Access (DA) program is capped by legislation.  To get space under the cap in order to sign up for Direct Access service, a customer or the customer’s agent had to submit the customer’s eligible accounts into a first come/first serviced enrollment period.  Each phase of the enrollments under the cap was filled within moments of the start of the first come/first served submission period.

As requested by a coalition of interested stakeholders, including customers, electric service providers, (ESPs) and the utility companies, the California Public Utility Commission (CPUC) issued a decision in December of 2012 that adopts new procedures to govern customer enrollment in DA when there is space under the current DA caps.

For 2013, under the new rules, customers interested in taking DA service must submit to their utility a 6-month notice to start service during a 5 business day submission period in the second week of April 2013.  Each submission will be assigned a random number, and space under the cap will be filled according to the random number assignments.  Customers awarded space in the lottery will be able to commence service in October of 2013.

Any submissions that cannot be accommodated under the cap will be on a waitlist, which will remain in effect until the next lottery is conducted in June of 2014.   On the last business day of each month, the utility will determine if there is room under the overall load cap and notify the first customer on the wait list that there is available space.  The customer can then elect to activate DA service or remain on utility service.  That process will continue until the room under the cap is filled.

The new lottery rules eliminate any need or incentive for customers to make multiple submissions of accounts in the hopes that one of the submissions will get in early enough to get space.  In fact, multiple submissions of the same accounts during the lottery window will be rejected so that each account or set of accounts that are submitted will get only one random number assignment.

As a service to our current and future customers, Constellation will submit all the paperwork associated with your company’s Six-Month Switching Notice(s) on your company’s behalf at no obligation.  If your company is then awarded space under the cap in the DA lottery, you will not be obligated to choose Constellation as a service provider, although we hope you do!

To have Constellation administer the process for you, or if you have any questions about the process, please contact your Account Manager.  If you are new to Constellation, please contact Jay Cattermole at jay.cattermole@constellation.com or 925-552-9604 for further assistance.

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