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October 1, 2010
NEM Upcoming Events

Please mark your calendar for NEM's Fall Leadership Roundtable on October 18-20, 2010, in Harrisburg, PA. The conference will take place at the Hilton Harrisburg on One North Second Street. You may register for the Fall Meeting in Harrisburg at this hotlink.

Our Annual Winter Executive Committee Meeting is scheduled for January 17-19, 2011, in Miami at the famous Doral Hotel and Resort. Many Thanks to Doug Marcille, Vice Chair of NEM’s Executive Committee and CEO of US Gas and Electric for hosting this upcoming Executive Committee Meeting.

Click here to view all past updates.
Order on Rate Impact Limitation Provision

The Commission issued an Order interpreting the rate impact limitation provision set forth in recently enacted legislation that required it to conduct a competitive solicitation for proposals for long-term contracts from deep-water offshore wind energy pilot projects or tidal energy demonstration projects. In particular, the Commission was concerned with whether the rate impact limitation provision was applicable to transmission and subtransmission customers. The Commission found that, "we interpret the rate impact limitation provision of the Act to mean that customers may not experience a rate impact any greater than the assessment charged to their customer class pursuant to subsection 4. Because transmission and subtransmission level customers do not pay an assessment under subsection 4, they cannot be exposed to any rate impact from ocean energy long-term contracts." The full text of the Order is available on the NEM Website.

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OPC Questions About Network Marketing Model

In the context of a gas broker license application of a company utilizing a network marketing model, OPC raised some questions for Commission consideration. "OPC has identified the need for further inquiry by the Commission into the operation and use of independent representatives in a network model used by licensed energy brokers in Maryland. Specifically, OPC believes that the Commission should open a generic inquiry into the question whether independent representatives require separate broker licenses. Further, whether or not such independent representatives require separate licenses, OPC believes that the increasing use of such a model signals the need to evaluate whether the existing supplier consumer protection regulations are sufficient to address consumer protection issues raised by such a model.

. . .

Furthermore, it is imperative that the customer understand who is working for whom when approached by a broker or an independent representative. An inquiry or new rule-making proceeding would be an appropriate vehicle.

In the meantime, OPC would recommend that the Commission Staff make uniform inquiries with all broker applicants to determine whether a network marketing model, or similar model involving independent contractors will be used by the broker. Furthermore, OPC recommends that the Commission state in its letter orders approving broker licenses that the brokers are fully responsible for the marketing, soliciting and contracting activities of any independent representatives used by the broker."

The full text of OPC's Comments is available on the NEM Website.

New York
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Technical Conference on ESCO Consumer Bill of Rights Law

Staff will convene a technical conference on October 6, 2010, beginning at 10:30AM to discuss the implementation of the ESCO Consumer Bill of Rights law that was passed this summer. For consideration is a draft ESCO Consumer Bill of Rights and modifications to the UBP. The technical conference will take place in the Department’s 4th Floor Board Room, 90 Church Street, New York City. The full texts of the Notice of Technical Conference, Draft ESCO Consumer Bill of Rights, Proposed Modifications to the UBP, and the ESCO Consumer Bill of Rights Law are available on the NEM Website.

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