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October 21, 2011
Upcoming NEM Meetings

January 2012 Executive Committee Meeting - NEM’s Annual Winter Executive Committee Meeting will be held at the headquarters of SCRA in Charleston, South Carolina on January 24-25, 2012. The Winter Executive Committee Meeting is where Executive Committee members set NEM's course for the coming year. Many thanks to Bill Mahoney and SCRA for hosting the Winter Executive Committee meeting.

You may register for the meeting at this hotlink. NEM has a room block at the Hilton Garden Inn Charleston Airport, 5265 International Blvd in North Charleston, SC. You may register for the hotel at this hotlink or call the reservation number 843-308-9330 or 1-800-HILTONS and reference group code NLL.

NOPR on Electric Market Surveillance

FERC issued a NOPR proposing to require each RTO/ISO to electronically deliver to the Commission, on an ongoing basis, data related to the markets that it administers. "Ongoing electronic delivery of data relating to physical and virtual offers and bids, market awards, resource outputs, marginal cost estimates, shift factors, financial transmission rights (FTR), internal bilateral contracts, and interchange pricing will facilitate the Commission’s development and evaluation of its policies and regulations and will enhance Commission efforts to detect anti-competitive or manipulative behavior, or ineffective market rules, thereby helping to ensure just and reasonable rates." The Commission found that with the increasing sophistication of the markets that the required data reporting must keep pace.

The Commission further clarified that most of the data discussed in the NOPR is already collected by the RTOs/ISOs and this NOPR would not create a new obligation for an RTO/ISO to collect specific data to the extent it does not already do so. Additionally, the RTOs/ISOs would not be required to aggregate or materially modify the data prior to its electronic delivery to the Commission.

Comments are due 60 days after publication in the Federal Register. The full text of the NOPR is available on the NEM Website.

Click here to view all past updates.
Rulemaking on Electric ABC Licensing Rules

The Commission adopted final rules pertaining to the licensing of retail electric agents, brokers and consultants (ABCs). The rules implement statutory changes. The rules explicitly exempt from licensing, "Any person or entity acting exclusively on behalf of a single RES on condition that exclusivity is disclosed to the customer," as well as, "Any person or entity that attempts to procure retail electric service on behalf of, or sell retail electric service to, a third party that has an aggregate billing demand of all of its affiliated electric service accounts in Illinois of greater than 1,500 kW."

The proposed rules would also require licensed ABCs to make disclosures that they: are not employed by the electric utility in the applicable service territory; price per kwh and total anticipated cost of the proposed customer contract, inclusive of all fees and commissions received by the licensee; and, if applicable, that the licensee will be receiving compensation from the supplier. The full texts of the Order and Final Rules are available on the NEM Website.

Click here to view all past updates.
Establishment of Electric Choice Portal for Suppliers

The Commission has established a secure portal for use by electricity suppliers with active offers available in the State. State law requires the Commission to maintain the portal to receive, on at least a monthly basis, information about open offers to supply electricity from electricity suppliers. The minimum information required to be provided by electricity suppliers is as follows:
1. the terms of any open offers to supply electricity, including:
a. the duration of the contract;
b. the cost of electricity per kilowatt-hour; and
c. any cancellation fees; and
2. a link to the web site of each electricity supplier with an open offer to supply electricity.

Each electric supplier must provide its email domain name to: by October 27, 2011. Electricity suppliers may begin using the portal as of October 28, 2011. The full text of the Notice is available on the NEM Website.

Click here to view all past updates.
Proposed Rulemaking Order on Marketing and Sales Practices for Residential Energy Market

The Commission issued a Proposed Rulemaking Order on marketing and sales practices for the retail residential energy market. The Proposed Rulemaking Order has now been published in the Pennsylvania Bulletin, estsblishing a comment due date of December 20, 2011.

The proposed rules are based on Interim Guidelines adopted by the Commission last fall and are proposed to be applicable to both electric and gas suppliers. Some areas in which the proposed rules differ from the Interim Guidelines are as follows:

1) the proposed rules include a definitions section, amongst which is a definition of "agent." "Agent" is defined as, "A person who conducts marketing or sales activities, or both, on behalf of a single licensed supplier. The term includes an employee, a representative, an independent contractor, or a vendor. For natural gas suppliers, the term 'agent' also includes 'marketing services consultant' or 'nontraditional marketer.'" The Commission proposes that agents that provide marketing and/or sales support services to more than one supplier are to be included in the definition of "agent" and required to follow the regulations.
2) The agent training requirement in the Interim Guidelines is proposed to be expanded to include a supplier's obligation to ensure that its vendors and independent contractors have provided the same training to their employees, agents or independent contractors.
3) Agent compensation by a supplier shall be designed so as not to promote or encourage behavior that is contrary to the regulations.
4) The transaction verification process requirement does not apply to transactions completed by the customer without the involvement of the agent.
5) Suppliers must provide general information to the utility in advance of its sales or marketing efforts that may generate customer inquiries to the utility. The utility may only use the information to inform its CSRs to allow to respond to customer inquiries.

The full text of the Proposed Rulemaking Order is available on the NEM Website.

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