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October 23, 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.

CFTC Review of Potential Signficant Price Discovery Contracts

CFTC has identified additional ICE and NGX contracts for which it will make a determination as to whether they are "significant price discovery contracts [SPDCs]." These contracts include: Henry Financial Swing contract; Henry Financial Basis contract; Henry Financial Index contract; Fuel Oil—180 Singapore Swap contract; and the Socal Border Financial Basis contract on ICE. These contracts include: Phys,1 BS,2 LD1 3 (US/MM), AB–NIT 4 (‘‘Alberta Basis’’); (2) Phys, BS, LD1 (US/MM), Union-Dawn 5 (‘‘Union-Dawn Basis’’); (3) Phys, FP,6 (CA/GJ),7 AB–NIT (‘‘Alberta Fixed-Price’’); (4) Phys, FP, (US/MM), Union-Dawn(‘‘Union-Dawn Fixed-Price’’); and (5) Phys, ID,8 7a 9 (CA/GJ), AB–NIT (‘‘Alberta Index’’) contracts on NGX.

Exempt Commercial Markets with SPDCs are subject to self-regulatory and reporting requirements and CFTC oversight authorities with respect to those contracts. Factors that CFTC will examine in making a determation of an SPDC include: the contract’s material liquidity, price linkage to other contracts, potential for arbitrage with other contracts traded on designated contract markets or derivatives transaction execution facilities, use of the ECM contract’s prices to execute or settle other transactions, and other factors. Comments are due November 4, 2009. The full texts of the Notices are available on the NEM Website.

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Hearing Scheduled for Gas Utilities RM35 Compliance Filings

The Commission has scheduled a hearing to consider the gas utilities' proposed compliance plans to implement RM35. The hearing will be held December 8, 2009, at 10AM. Comments on the plans are due December 1, 2009. The full text of the Notice of Hearing is available on the NEM Website.

RM35 requires utilities offering utility consolidated billing to elect to either purchase supplier receivables or to prorate customer payments. In their compliance plans, BGE, Columbia and Chesapeake all proposed to purchase supplier receivables. WGL proposes to implement pro-ration of payments. BGE's POR discount rate is intended to recover "prudently incurred costs associated with the purchase of receivables, such as supplier uncollectible expenses, credit and collection expenses, operational costs incurred by BGE that are directly associated with COMAR 20.59, and a risk component of 1.25% that will be paid to BGE for retention by its shareholders to compensate BGE for the risk associated with the continuation of the supplier-customer relationship." Columbia's POR discount rate will reflect its: "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." Columbia will make a separate filing detailing the computation. Chesapeake proposed a 1% POR discount rate, to reflect the uncollectible expense in its last base rate case.

The utilities implementation dates for POR/pro-ration are proposed as follows: BGE - April 2010; Columbia - January 2011; Chesapeake - 2nd quarter of 2010; and WGL - mid-October 2010. The full texts of the BGE, Columbia, Chesapeake and WGL Compliance Filings are available on the NEM Website.

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Commission Clarification of Customer List Information Availability

PPL sought clarification of the Order on measures to minimize barriers to retail competition in its service territory. Specifically, with respect to the issue of customer lists, PPL maintained that there was an inconsistency between Commission regulations, a prior Order and the Commission's website about policy on the disclosure of customer information. In resolution, the Commission directed PPL to update its customer database and release the following information at least thirty days prior to the expiration of its rate cap: customer name, account number, rate class and subclass, service address and billing address. With regard to the release of customer telephone numbers, the Commission was concerned about the effect of Do Not Call prohibitions. It therefore, "direct[ed] . . . Chief Counsel to obtain a legal opinion from the Attorney General regarding this ambiguity." The full text of the Order is available on the NEM Website.

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