In the Orders, the Commission required the utilities to file interim retail access reports with the OCA on a monthly basis through the year 2000 and quarterly thereafter through 2001. Each report must include data from the reporting month regarding: (i) the number of customers by service classification eligible for retail access, (ii) the number of customers by service classification receiving retail access from each energy service company ("ESCO"), (iii) the amount of kWh by service classification that is eligible for retail access, (iv) the amount of kWh by service classification provided by each ESCO, and (v) the numbers of customers that have returned to jurisdictional service and that have left one ESCO for another ESCO.This information, of course, would be useful information for customers tantalized by advertising puffery from ESCOs, claims of promotional discount prices or better values, because it would publicly reveal the number of dissatisfied customers who switch back to full utility service, for example, those who belatedly discover they pay more, not less, for ESCO service.
The utilities have requested permanent confidential "trade secret" protection of this information to exempt it from public disclosure. See, e.g.,
Letter from NYSEG to PSC in Case 94-E-0952, Nov. 17, 2009.If the ESCO regime created by the PSC was a success and providing real value to customers, companies would brag about it, not try to keep it secret. See Value of ESCO Service Questioned, PULP Network, Sept. 21, 2009.
Letter from National Grid to PSC in Case 94-E-0952, Nov. 17, 2009.
Letter from Con Edison to PSC in Case 94-E-0952, Nov. 17, 2009.