The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has ordered the New York Independent System Operator, Inc. to reopen and resettle billings for electricity it supplied during the November/December 2012 billing periods, and to refund to DWT client GDF Suez Energy Resources, NA over-charges erroneously billed to Suez as a result of Hurricane Sandy. GDF Suez Energy Resources, NA v. New York Independent System Operator, Inc. and Consolidated Edison Company of New York, Inc., 149 FERC ¶ 61,257 (2014). Suez was represented in this proceeding by Jim Mitchell, a partner in the Washington, DC office of DWT.
During the Fall of 2012, Suez supplied electricity to various retail customers in lower Manhattan, including a large office building at 55 Water Street. Electricity to serve those customers was purchased by Suez from the NYISO and delivered through the distribution system of Consolidated Edison Company of New York, Inc.
Flooding caused by Hurricane Sandy disrupted the supply of electricity to lower Manhattan and damaged the electric service meters in that area. Therefore, bills for electricity supplied by the NYISO during November and December 2012 were estimated bills that were based on historical consumption patterns. Con Ed, which was responsible for metering deliveries, subsequently determined that the electricity consumption attributed to 55 Water Street during that period was over-stated by more than 260%. However, the revised estimates for electricity consumed during that period were not made available by Con Ed until the time allowed in the NYISO Tariff for revision of settlements had expired. As a result, the NYISO was unable to issue corrected bills after the extent of the billing error had been determined without a FERC order.
In its order, the FERC found that Hurricane Sandy was an extraordinary event. The FERC further concluded that its failure to order payment of refunds would cause significant injustice, because the delay in preparation of the revised estimates precluded Suez from challenging its bills for electricity supplied during November and December 2012 within the time allowed under the NYISO Tariff. In a concurring statement, FERC Commissioner Philip D. Moeller encouraged the NYISO and all other regional transmission organizations “to work with their stakeholders to ensure that they have transparent processes for correcting invoices and provide market participants with sufficient time to remedy lost or invalid meter data.”