It is highly recommended that all prospective and current ESCOs be familiar with the Uniform Business Practices (UBP) which govern the business transactions between ESCOs and utilities, NYS Public Service Commission compliance requirements and enforcement mechanisms, and the treatment of consumer protections and marketing standards.
Contact Christine Bosy, 518-486-2432, for general questions or additional information requests regarding the ESCO eligibility application process. The applicant’s completed retail access application package should be filed electronically through the Department’s Document Matter Management System (DMM) in matter number 15-00555. Applicants can register to e-file here.
Note: Energy Brokers and/or Aggregators
The New York State Department of Public Service does not require licensing of Energy Brokers or Aggregators. Before making a decision to provide energy broker services in New York, you should review our Uniform Business Practices. If you are marketing on behalf of one marketer or a dozen marketers, you are considered an independent contractor of an ESCO and therefore must comply with the UBP Marketing Standards.
Application Filing Requirements
In order to become an eligible ESCO in New York State to supply electricity and/or natural gas to residential or non-residential consumers, the applicant is required to file a retail access application package.
The retail access application package (RAAF) should be e-filed through the Department’s document matter management system (DMM) in matter number 15-00555. Applicants can register to e-file here.
Once the retail access application package has been completed and reviewed, including compliance requirements for EDI Phase l testing, environmental disclosure statements and HEFPA criteria for residential customers, a letter of eligibility will be issued to an ESCO from the NYS Department of Public Service (DPS).
The letter must be presented to the utility by the applicant prior to initiating contact with the utility to fulfill the requirements in its retail access program, which includes a financial creditworthiness review, completion of the EDI Phase III testing and execution of any operating and billing agreements.
The applicant may not actively market to or enroll customers in a utility service territory until both the DPS and utility filing requirements have been completed.
If the application package contains information that is considered trade secret or sensitive for competitive market security reasons, the applicant may request the NYS DPS to withhold disclosure of the information, pursuant to the Freedom of Information Law (Public Officers Law, Article 6) and NYS Public Service Commission regulations (16 NYCRR §6-1.3). To file with trade secret status, you are required to submit a trade secret letter addressed to the Records Access Officer, the entire application and a redacted application in DMM matter number 15-00555.
The following must be provided in order to complete the applicant’s application package:
o Assignment of sales agreements
- Retail Access Application Form
- Copy, and proof of acceptance, of your registration with the NYS Department of State
- Comprehensive copy of your standard Sales Agreement(s) (UBP Section 2, Eligibility Requirements), including presentation of Customer Disclosure Statement (UBP, Section 2, Attachment 1)
- Marketing Representative ID Badge (UBP, Section 10, Marketing Standards)
- Marketing Standards Quality Assurance Plan (UBP, Section 10, Marketing Standards)
- Sample forms of notices to be sent upon: (UBP, Section 5, Changes in Service Providers)
o Discontinuance of service
o Transfer of 5000 or more customers to other providers
If any information required with this application package is not enclosed, please attach a detailed explanation, and when it will be provided.
Maintaining ESCO Eligibility
- Sample(s) of your billing format(s) (UBP, Section 9, Billing and Payment Processing)
- Procedures you will use to obtain customer’s authorization for historic usage and credit information (UBP, Section 4, Customer Information)
- Procedures you will use to enroll customers for supply service (UBP, Section 5), e.g., via telephone (Section 5, Attachment 1), via Internet (Section 5, Attachment 2) or via written sales (Section 5, Attachment 3) solicitation
- Copies of informational and promotional materials used for mass marketing purposes
- HEFPA documents, if providing energy supply to residential customers
- Internal procedures for the prevention of slamming or cramming (UBP, Section 1, Definitions)
- A list of entities, including contractors and sub-contractors, that will market on behalf of your ESCO.
- Attestation that you will comply with the requirements of New York State's Environmental Disclosure Program, if you intend to serve electric customers
- NYS DPS Office of Consumer Services Service Provider Form
There are reporting and compliance requirements in the UBP which are required in order to maintain eligibility as an ESCO in New York State. Failure to provide advance notice of any changes to the Retail Access Application Form (RAAF) and application package; or, failure to adhere to the procedures and policies provided may result in, among other things, suspension or revocation of ESCO eligibility status.
An ESCO must –
- Notify the DPS of any major changes of information in the RAAF and application package that had been previously submitted for its compliance review process.
- Submit to the DPS, by January 31 every year a statement that the information in the RAAF and application package is current. If, this is not the case, then the ESCO must provide any revisions to this information to the DPS. Annual Compliance Instructions
- Update all the information submitted in its original RAAF and application package to the DPS every three years, from the starting date of the DPS eligibility letter.
- If the provision of commodity service has not started within two years of the date of the DPS eligibility letter, it may be required to conduct additional EDI Phase I testing prior to processing customer enrollments.
Additional information on other requirements for maintaining ESCO eligibility status in New York State, and consequences for failure to do so, may be found in UBP Section 2, Eligibility Requirements.