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October 16, 2009
Winter Executive Committee Meeting

January 2010 Executive Committee Meeting - NEM’s Annual Winter Executive Committee Policy and Planning Meeting will be held January 19 & 20, 2010, at the headquarters of South Carolina Research Authority in Charleston, South Carolina. NEM’s room rate has been secured at $129.00 per room per night at the Hilton Garden Inn Charleston Airport, 5265 International Blvd., N. Charleston, SC 29418. The Executive Committee sets the course for NEM’s advocacy in the coming year at this meeting. Many thanks to Bill Mahoney and South Carolina Research Authority for the generous offer to host this meeting. Please use this hotlink to register.

Ambit Energy (AMBIT) Elected to NEM Executive Committee

The National Energy Marketers Association (NEM) is pleased to announce that Ambit Energy (AMBIT) has been elected to NEM's Executive Committee. Ambit Energy will be represented by Jere W. Thompson, Jr., Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Chris Chambless, Co-Founder and Chief Marketing Officer, Jim Timmer, Chief Financial Officer, John Burke, Chief Information Officer, Jim McFelea, Senior Vice President, Operations and Carl Williams, Director of Business Development.

Ambit Energy was founded in 2006 with the vision of being the finest and most respected energy provider in the United States. As a result, they're one of the fastest growing retail energy providers in the markets in which they operate. CEO Jere Thompson located Ambit's offices in a renovated warehouse in the historic West End district of downtown Dallas, Texas, and bought $19 fold-up tables to use as desks. He assembled an experienced team of executives who shared his goals for integrity, excellence, and frugality. In 2008, Ambit achieved profitability and recorded revenues of almost $200 million. The company expects to double that in 2009. And members of the executive team, including Mr. Thompson, still sit at those $19 fold-up tables.

"We're bringing innovation to an industry that's been around for a 100 years, that's never seen it before," said Mr. Thompson. "I think that's what you'll continue to see from Ambit Energy going forward."

Their employees and Independent Consultants are the heart and soul of Ambit Energy. They treat them right, help them reach their personal goals, emphasize high standards of integrity and excellence, and obsessively keep their costs low. As a result, their customers are the real winners.

House Committee Passes OTC Derivatives Regulation Legislation

The House Financial Services Committee passed legislation this week that would require the comprehensive regulation of the OTC derivatives marketplace. The bill would require that all standardized swap transactions between dealers and large market participants, called "major swap participants," must be cleared and traded on an exchange or electronic platform. A "major swap participant" is anyone that, "maintains a substantial net position in swaps, exclusive of hedging for commercial risk, or whose positions creates such significant exposure to others that it requires monitoring." Standardized swap transactions that involve end-users would not be required to be cleared. The bill provides parallel regulatory frameworks for the regulation of swap markets, dealers and major swap participants between CFTC and SEC. Reporting and recordkeeping will be required of all OTC derivative transactions.

Order on Discounted Charges to Asset Manager Replacement Shippers

Pursuant to FERC's review of the pipelines Order 712 compliance filings, the question arose as to whether pipeline tariffs must make provision for the same discounts to be provided to an asset management replacement shipper as is provided to a primary firm shipper. The Commission declined to establish a blanket requirement that pipelines provide the same discounted or negotiated usage or fuel charges to an asset management replacement shipper as was provided to a primary firm shipper. Rather, pipelines should utilize FERC's selective discounting policy on a case-by-case basis, subject to the requirement of no undue discrimination. If the asset management replacement shipper is similarly situated to the releasing shipper, the pipeline is required to pass through the discounted or negotiated rate to the asset manager. The full text of the Order is available on the NEM Website.

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Orders on Electric Utilities POR Plans

The Commission issued additional Orders BGE, Pepco and Delmarva's RM17 compliance plans, following the approach taken in the previous Order on Allegheny's RM17 compliance plan pertaining to a POR program. The Commission rejected the proposals of BGE, Pepco, and Delmarva to utilize a surcharge to collect POR program implementation and uncollectible costs from distribution customers finding that, "The Commission is not willing to impose the cost of implementing customer choice on ratepayers, especially in a manner that absolves suppliers of all cost and risk. The proposed surcharge methodology leaves suppliers with neither. Supplier should bear an appropriate share of the cost and risk of their business - risks already mitigated by the new regulatory requirement that the utilities purchase their receivables." The utilities must propose a POR discount percentage that includes: "1) commodity-related bad debt collections; 2) program development and operations costs associated with COMAR provision implementation, including administrative and collection costs; and 3) the risk associated with the continuation of the supplier-customer relationship." The Commission approved the utilities POR implementation dates as follows: BGE -April 2010; Pepco - April 1, 2010; and Delmarva - December 7, 2009. The full texts of the Orders are available on the NEM Website.

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Commission Approves Gas Choice Tariff Settlement

The Commission approved a settlement agreement on natural gas choice consumer protections pursuant to a review of the utilities' gas customer choice tariffs. By the terms of the settlement, customers can terminate their participation with a competitive supplier at any time after the unconditional cancellation period, through verbal or written means. Customers enrolled through electronic or verbal means must have the entire contract provided to them by U.S. mail or verifiable electronic mail postmarked within seven days of the customer's electronic or verbal enrollment. The maximum early termination fee for residential contracts for one year or less is capped at $50 and for residential contracts of a duration of longer than one year capped at $100. The maximum early termination fee for small commercial contracts of one year or less is capped at $150 and for small commercial contracts of a duration longer than one year capped at $250. Contracts must be executed by a customer or legally authorized person. Consumers, MichCon, MGU, and SEMCO must file conforming gas choice tariffs within 30 days of the Order. The full texts of the Order and Settlement are available on the NEM Website.

Order on Consumers Self-Implementation of Gas Rates

New state law changed the process for review of utility rate cases. The Commission has issued an order establishing a process to apply for review of Consumers recently filed gas rate case. Absent a Commission order that prevents or delays Consumers' self-implementation of its proposed rate increase, the rates would go into effect on November 18, 2009. The Commission decided that Consumers must file a proposed tariff by October 19, 2009, of the rates it proposes to self-implement between November 18, 2009, and May 22, 2010. Parties' responses to the tariff must be filed by October 23, 2009. A hearing will be held on October 27, 2009, in which Consumers shall provide support for the reasonableness of its proposed tariffs. The full text of the Order is available on the NEM Website.

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Duquesne Files Default Service Plan

Duquesne filed a proposed Default Service Plan for the period January 1, 2011, through May 31, 2013. Duquesne proposed that large C&I customers be offered day ahead hourly spot pricing. Medium C&I customers will be supplied with laddered full requirements fixed price supply obtained via semi-annual RFPs. Residential customers will be offered a fixed rate for the 29-month term of the Plan. Duquesne plans to continue its current POR program and to continue to have a supplier ombudsman. Duquense will make available up-to-date customer list information and has improved its EDI processing. The full text of Duquesne's Default Service Plan is available on the NEM Website.

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