“MCR was always trying to understand our needs; they dovetailed into becoming a division of our company.”
—Craig Eccher, President, Wellsboro Electric Company
“Cindy [Menhorn] was an excellent witness; she came up with the questions and answers for the written testimony, and she was great during the cross-examination at the hearing.”
—Pam Polacek, Attorney, McNees Wallace & Nurick LLC
In response to a Petition for Waiver, the Pennsylvania Public Utilities Commission (PA PUC) exempted Citizens’ Electric and Wellsboro Electric (the Companies), two investor-owned utilities in Pennsylvania, from having to implement an electronic data interchange (EDI) system associated with customer choice until 25% of their customers chose an alternative electric supplier. Although the percent of customers switching had not yet reached the threshold level required to implement an EDI system, the Companies wanted to proactively take steps in preparation for customer choice in their territories. The Companies asked MCR to facilitate a review of their processes and, if needed, develop a Request for Proposal (RFP) to solicit a third party vendor to implement the new EDI solution.
MCR worked with the Companies to review the requirements for PA PUC customer choice, PJM (the regional transmission organization) and EDI; assess the Companies’ existing billing system; develop a gap analysis and identify options for closing the gap. We also worked with the client team to create an RFP that detailed the business, technology and performance requirements to implement an EDI solution, and identify third party vendors whom could complete the requirements. MCR assisted in the evaluation of RFP responses and facilitated the selection of a billing system vendor. We provided benchmarked costs of systems with similar functionality to ensure that any action on the part of the Companies would serve their customers in a fair and equitable manner. MCR developed and sponsored expert rebuttal testimony on behalf of the Companies during their filing for a surcharge to cover costs associated with implementing the new EDI system.
Our work laid a foundation that provides the Companies with guidelines and knowledge to implement the processes and systems necessary to provide customer choice within its franchised service territories. MCR’s process reviews included interfaces with the current billing system and external systems used by the electric generation suppliers and PJM. MCR assisted in the selection of the vendor for the customer choice EDI enhancements. A PA PUC Administrative Law Judge recommended in support of the Companies’ requested surcharge, which was based upon the least cost solution to the Companies, and MCR’s testimony. However, after reconsideration, the PA PUC decided the Companies would be required to request cost recovery in the next base rate case.