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October 2, 2015
NEM New England Energy Policy Summit

NEM is pleased to announce that it will be hosting its New England Energy Policy Summit on October 12-14, 2015 in Cambridge, Massachusetts. A welcome reception will be held on the evening of October 12, 2015, at the Hyatt Regency Cambridge, and a reception will be held the evening of October 13, 2015, at the Harvard Faculty Club. The Summit will also include a new business speed dating feature. Members are encouraged to participate.

An Agenda is hotlinked here. We have confirmed a stellar line-up of keynote speakers and discussants, including:

State Administration and Legislative Officials:
Matthew A. Beaton, Secretary, Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Senator Benjamin Downing, Chairman, Massachusetts Senate Committee on Telecom, Utilities, and Energy
Representative Thomas A. Golden, Jr. Massachusetts House Chair, Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy

Professor William W. Hogan, Raymond Plank Professor Global Energy Policy, Harvard University John F. Kennedy School of Government.
Richard Tabors, PhD., Director, MIT Utility of the Future Project

State Regulators:
Betty Ann Kane, Chairman, District of Columbia PSC
John Betkoski III, Vice Chairman, Connecticut PURA
Christopher Recchia, Commissioner, Vermont PSD
Judith Judson, Commissioner, MA DOER (invited)
Sharon Reishus, Former Chairman, Maine PUC

Anne George, Vice President, External Affairs and Corporate Communications, ISO-NE
Rana Mukerji, Senior Vice President, NYISO

Regulated Utilities:
Stan Blazewicz, Vice President, Business Development, National Grid
Richard Kruse, Vice President, Regulatory, Spectra Energy Partners

Don Dodge, Developer Advocate, Google
Alexander Gruzen, CEO, WiTricity Corporation
Chuck Goldman, EIR, Great Hill Partners, Founder and Strategic Advisory Board, Apperion, Former Apple Executive who helped launch the original iPhone,
Alexandria B. Lynn, President, and CLO, MadHat Media, Inc.

Retail Marketers and DER Providers:
National Energy Marketers Association Board of Directors:
Craig G. Goodman, Chairman and CEO, National Energy Marketers Association
Phil VanHorne, Chairman and CEO, BlueRock Energy
William Kinneary, President, North American Power
Harry Warren, Executive Vice President, Community Energy
Matthew Picardi, Vice President, Shell Energy North America (US), L.P.

NEM National Executive Committee and Policy Development Chairs:
Chris Hendrix, Director of Markets & Compliance, Wal-Mart Stores
Pierre Koshakji, Senior Managing Director, Stream Energy
Gerry Haggerty, President and CEO, SFE Energy
Richard Blaser, Co-CEO, Infinite Energy
Jeff Hendler, CEO, Energy Technology Savings
Walter Moore, President and CEO, APPI Energy
Gary Marchiori, President, EnergyMark
Rick Moore, COO, WGL Energy Services
Kevin McMinn, COO, U.S. Gas & Electric
Tony Menchaca, Chief Marketing Officer, Verde Energy USA Inc.
Garrett Hester, Director of Innovation Implementation, Direct Energy

You may register at this hotlink. A block of rooms has been set aside for the event at the Hyatt Regency Cambridge at the NEM rate of $279/night ((617)441-6494).

House Energy & Commerce Committee Approves HR8

Earlier this week the House Energy & Commerce Committee approved HR8, the North American Energy Security and Infrastructure Act of 2015. The bill has four titles pertaining to infrastructure protection and modernization; 21st century workforce; energy security and diplomacy; and energy efficiency and accountability.

Of particular relevance, the bill approved by the Committee would:
* require RTOs/ISOs with capacity markets to perform an analysis, to be submitted to FERC, that the structure of the market uses competitive market forces to the extent practicable in procuring capacity resources and satisfies performance assurance measures;
* require the establishment of an Office of Compliance Assistance and Public Participation within FERC;
* require GAO to study whether and how the current market rules, practices and structure of each RTO/ISO product just and reasonable rates;
* require the initiation of a rulemaking to consider including on any Energy Guide label products with Smart Grid capability;
* require the Secretary of Energy to report to Congress on recommended U.S. energy security valuation methods; and
* establish a CyberSense program to promote cybersecure products for use in the bulk power system.

The full text of HR8 approved by the House Energy & Commerce Committee is available on the NEM Website.

Click here to view all past updates.
Interim Decision on Residential Variable Electric Rates

The Authority issued an Interim Decision in its investigation into issues associated by P.A. 15-90, banning residential variable electric rates effective October 1, 2015. The Authority stated the overall impact of the Act to be - "after October 1, 2015, electric suppliers and residential customers are left to enter into only fixed term contracts, with a minimum term of four billing cycles. . . . [P]re-existing variable contracts are permitted to continue, unless they contain specific renewal terms that are prohibited by the Act." Subsequent to October 1st, contract renewal provisions may be constructed in one of three ways: returning the customer to standard service; retaining the customer at the original fixed contract rate until a new contract is entered into or the supplier returns the customer to standard service; or renewing the customer to a new fixed term of no less than four billing cycles.

The Authority also suggests that communications with consumers by all market participants include the following information:

"* If you are a commercial or industrial customer, you are not affected by this new law.
* If you are a residential customer and signed up for electric supplier generation service on or before September 30, 2015, this law does not affect your current contract until renewal.
* If you are a residential customer and wish to sign up for electric supplier generation service on or after October 1, 2015, you will be restricted to fixed term offers of no less than four billing cycles. These new fixed contracts will contain specific language about what happens at the end of the initial fixed term.
* If you are unhappy with your current rate you may seek to negotiate a new rate with your current supplier, switch to another supplier or return to EDC Standard Service. Be aware of the terms and conditions of your current contract and whether any early termination or cancellation fee would apply."

In summary, the Authority stated, "the Act is clear and unambiguous about variable pricing in residential contracts starting on and after October 1, 2015. Residential contracts entered into or renewed on and after that date may not include variable pricing. Licensed electric suppliers are prohibited from contracting with residential customers for variable products either through an initial term or on a renewal basis, on and after October 1, 2015. To do so would violate Conn. Gen. Stat. §16-245 and such action would be subject to penalty under Conn. Gen. Stat. §16-41. Licensed electric suppliers may include renewal language in new contracts that either returns customers to EDC Standard Service, keeps the customer on the original fixed contract rate, or starts a new fixed price term of no less than four billing cycles."

The full text of the Interim Decision is available on the NEM Website.

New York
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NEM Comments on Proposed Revisions to ESCO Eligibility Criteria

NEM filed comments on the Staff Proposal regarding revisions to the Uniform Business Practices (UBP) with respect to eligibility requirements for ESCOs to participate in New York’s retail energy markets. Of particular note, Staff proposes that ESCOs be required to use standard contracts for service to residential customers and standard contract terms in non-residential contracts. Staff proposes to modify Section 2 of the UBP to require the inclusion of additional information in the ESCO application package. Staff proposes to add and revise terms in the Definitions Section of the UBP.

NEM recommended in its comments that the Commission consider enhancements to the Customer Disclosure Statement to achieve increased consumer understanding in lieu of imposing a restrictive standard contract requirement that will deter ESCO product innovation and differentiation. NEM offered alternative approaches to the increased information reporting proposed to be required with the ESCO application package. NEM also discussed problems associated with the proposed definitions of “fixed price” and “green energy."

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

NEM Comments on Commission Oversight of DER Suppliers

NEM filed comments on the Staff Proposal regarding standards for Commission oversight of Distributed Energy Resource Suppliers (DERS). NEM made the following recommendations:
1) Because the proposed definitions of DER and DERS are so broad, it is imperative that the Commission make clear that its oversight will be limited to those transactions that constitute the sale of DER services into the Commission-jurisdictional Distributed System Platform (DSP) markets.
2) ESCOs should not be competitively disadvantaged through the imposition of a disproportionate regulatory compliance burden that increases costs of doing business and renders their DER product offerings less competitive.
3) The proposal to institute a marketing standard that requires DERS to use energy commodity forecasts based on multi-year averages of utility pricing in marketing materials will not provide consumers with meaningful or comparable data for evaluating offers.
4) To promote the goal of consumer understanding of DER product offerings without restricting innovation, the Commission should focus on the development of a DERS Customer Disclosure Statement, rather than the development of a standardized DERS contract.

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

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