The New York Public Service Commission has adopted utility codes of conduct stemming from the Reforming the Energy Vision initiative. The REV initiative has established the utilities as distributed system platform operators, while also allowing utility affiliates — and utilities themselves, under some circumstances — to own and operate distributed energy resources. The codes of conduct are intended to ensure that fair competition is maintained between a regulated utility as the DSP and utility affiliates that participate in competitive DERs markets. The principles and requirements adopted by the PSC include:
- No preferential treatment: A utility will not provide preferential treatment to its affiliates (intentionally or unintentionally), specifically but not limited to interconnection and dispatch.
- Sharing of information: All market participants will have equal access to customer and system information, and the utility will not disclose information to its affiliates that is not disclosed to all parties on an equal and contemporaneous basis.
- Internal functional independence & training: The PSC declined to require functional separation of distribution employees and those who work in DERs procurement or platform service revenue areas. However, utilities must develop policies and procedures addressing what information can be shared, and must train employees accordingly.
- Transparency: Open DERs procurement processes should be based on competitive bidding and standard offers until other acceptable pricing methods are available.
- Avoiding market power conflicts: Independent monitoring of DERs procurement should be used if or when utility-affiliates are allowed to participate.
- Dispute resolution: Utilities must modify their dispute-resolution procedures to, among other things, provide for a written response to complaints within a reasonable time frame, and a meeting with the complainant. The procedures must be posted online to ensure that all parties have access.
- Affiliate definition: Utilities must jointly propose a revised definition of “affiliate” that encompasses all affiliates and is consistent across utilities.
- Consistency: Utility codes of conduct will not be entirely standardized, but the utilities must work together to propose some standard sections and justify areas where standardization is not reasonable.
- Cross-subsidization: Utility codes of conduct must contain an express prohibition against cross-subsidization of affiliates.
Utilities must file revised codes of conduct by the end of December, taking . In addition, the PSC’s order adopting the codes of conduct also requires utilities to provide updates and revisions in their bi-annual distribution system implementation plans.