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October 2, 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.

Clean Energy Jobs and American Power Act Introduced in Congress

Senators Boxer and Kerry introduced the Clean Energy Jobs and American Power Act this week in Congress. Cap and trade under the bill is denominated as "Pollution Reduction and Investment (PRI)." PRI is intended to be a mechanism that sets pollution reduction targets and then uses market incentives to achieve the targets, as readjusted year by year. The bill summary claims that PRI would apply only to the largest polluters in the country, about 7,500 facilities. Over 98 percent of American businesses and all farmers would not be covered. The goal is to achieve a drop in carbon pollution by 20% by 2020 and 80% by 2050 from 2005 levels. The bill includes provision for consumer energy bill rebates and a market stability fund intended to moderate prices. The full text of the Bill is available on the NEM Website.

NYSEG, NGrid and NYMPA Settlement on NYISO Invoicing and Meter Errors

NYSEG, National Grid and NYMPA filed a settlement agreement at FERC in resolution of a prior petition filed by NYSEG to direct NYISO to correct its invoices to market participants in NYSEG and National Grid subzones caused by metering errors that occurred from 1999 to 2008. The metering errors caused an overstatement in NYSEG's subzone Unaccounted for Energy (UFE) and an understatement in National Grid's subzone UFE. The settlement includes a methodology by which the erroneous UFE calculations caused by the metering errors could be "more accurately reallocated to the correct market participants." The Settling Parties request that FERC permit late interventions and extend the comment period for stakeholders. The full texts of the Motion and Settlement Agreement are available on the NEM Website.

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Commission Opens Inquiry into Long-Term Contracting

In reviewing the recent petition by CPV requesting that the Maryland utilities be required to enter into 20-year contracts for output from a CPV generating station, the Commission concluded it should undertake a broader examination of whether Maryland needs new generating facilities. Specifically, the Commission has opened a new proceeding, "to investigate whether it should exercise its authority to order electric utilities to enter into long-term contracts to anchor new generation or to construct, acquire, or lease, and operate, new electric generating facilities in Maryland." Additionally, parties interested in making proposals for Maryland-situated generation were directed to submit their proposals into the case. Said proposals should address facility location, megawatts to be produced, type of generation technology, commercial operations date, and contract length for long-term contracts and are due by December 1, 2009. The full text of the Order is available on the NEM Website.

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Order Establishing Procedures for Electric Load Allocation Under the 10% Choice Cap

The Commission adopted procedures to implement the state law requirement that, "no more than 10% of an electric utility's average weather adjusted retail sales for the preceding calendar year may take service from an alternative supplier at any time." The procedures define how choice load will be administered and allocated. The procedures establish a ranked grouping system to determine whether and how different types of customers are served under the 10% cap. The electric utilities will calculate the cap based on the weather-adjusted retail sales of the preceding calendar year, with an initial cap filed on the 1st of January each year and a final cap filed on the 1st of February each year. A utility's cap calculation can be challenged through a complaint filed by February 15th of the relevant year. The electric utilities must implement a cap tracking system and post information on their websites about energy allotments. The full text of the Order is available on the NEM Website.

Direct Participation of Retail Customers in the RTO Market

In response to FERC Order 719 pertaining to the ability of aggregators of retail customers to bid demand response directly into an RTO market, the Commission has initiated a proceeding to develop rules and regulations for the direct participation of Michigan retail customers into an RTO wholesale market. The Commission further decided that the participation of Michigan retail customers in an RTO market should be temporarily restricted pending the outcome of the case. Initial comments in the case are due December 4, 2009, and reply comments are due January 6, 2010. The full text of the Order is available on the NEM Website.

New York
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Commission Accepting Comment on Utility Austerity Plans

Earlier this year, the Commission required the utilities to file austerity plans prompted by economic conditions in the State. Of note, in NFG's austerity filing it detailed its plan to issue customer bill credits in the amount of approximately $6.2 million. NFG suggested this be accomplished, "through either existing bill mechanisms or a 'one-time' bill credit." NFG also suggested that customers should be provided with a utility fixed price option [FPO] in addition to the bill credits. NFG "proposes to offer a FPO again on a limited basis in order to provide customers with the ability to 'lock in' to lower gas costs, if they remain available, for a fixed period of time. The FPO could be designed generally in accordance with the requirements contained in the Commission's 1997 Order [on gas utility FPOs]. The Company recognizes and agrees that the purpose of a FPO is to ameliorate volatility and not necessarily to produce savings. However, an FPO is nonetheless a proven sales item that should be made available as another means of enabling customers to gain greater control over household costs." The full text of NFG's Filing is available on the NEM Website. Comments on the austerity plans are due November 16, 2009.

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