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November 18, 2005
Rasky Baerlein Strategic Communications Elected to NEM Executive Committee

NEM is pleased to announce that Rasky Baerlein Strategic Communications has been elected to the Executive Committee. With offices in Boston and Washington, D.C., Rasky Baerlein Strategic Communications offers an extensive range of public relations, public affairs and promotional services, including media and government relations, crisis management, grassroots initiatives, lobbying, and marketing communications. Rasky Baerlein has also volunteered to assist NEM with public relations and marketing programs. The company will be represented within NEM by Joseph Baerlein, President, and Marc Bane, Vice President, Marketing Services.

Upcoming NEM Events

Please mark your calendars for NEM's Annual Membership Meeting and National Restructuring Conference on April 25-26, 2006, in Washington, DC at the Marriott Metro Center. Those members interested in sponsoring the event should contact headquarters. Advertisements for the event, including sponsor information, receive international media distribution.

NEM's Winter Executive Committee Meeting will be used to assess our advocacy priorities for the coming year. We are finalizing plans for a venue. The event will likely be held during the third week of January.

New York
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Case Schedule Set in NYSEG Electric Rate Case

The ALJ in NYSEG's electric rate case has set the following schedule for the proceeding:

November 18, 2005 - Submission of Tariff Leaves
January 9, 2006 - NYSEG-Provided Updates
February 6, 2006 - Prefiled Testimony Addressing NYSEG's Rate Filing
February 20, 2006 - Prefiled Testimony Responding to Previous Testimony
March 22, 2006 - Evidentiary Hearings Begin
April 26, 2006 - Initial Briefs Due
May 10, 2006 - Reply Briefs Due

NYSEG Purchase of Receivables Settlement

A settlement has been filed on a NYSEG purchase of receivables (POR) program. By the terms of the settlement, NYSEG's POR program will begin January 1, 2006, and NYSEG "will purchase accounts receivable at a discount and without recourse for electric and gas commodity sales by ESCOs/marketers that provide commodity service in NYSEG's territory. For ESCOs that have been participating in the Company's consolidated billing option as of this effective date, NYSEG will also purchase those ESCOs' arrearages incurred on or before January 1, 2006, at a discount and without recourse." The initial electric discount rate will be 1.01% and the initial gas discount rate will be 1.66%, subject to annual adjustment. The program will remain in effect through December 31, 2008, with the possibility for further extension. The full text of the Settlement Proposal is available on the NEM Website.

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Testimony Filed in Support of DEO Exiting the Merchant Function

An Ohio gas marketers group and NEM submitted testimony in support of DEO's proposal to exit the merchant function. The testimony was by former FERC Chairman Martin Allday, under whose tenure FERC issued Order 636 that permitted interstate pipelines to exit the natural gas merchant function for jurisdictional customers in exchange for becoming open access carriers. Allday testified that, "Order 636 permitted the interstate pipelines to exit the merchant function, yet did not result in price fly-ups or a less reliable system. In fact, it contributed to more efficient gas pricing." He further stated that, "Order 636 showed that regulated operators of gas pipeline systems need not be required to supply natural gas commodity in order to assure reliable, equitably price natural gas service. In fact, much can be gained by allowing the market to direct gas commodity pricing, while access to pipeline systems and the cost of transport remains regulated."

The gas marketers also submitted testimony describing how the current GCR mechanism distorts the "price to beat" for consumers and that DEO's proposed standard service offer would improve the quality of price signals received by consumers. This improvement would permit the DEO program, which is already one of the most competitive natural gas markets in the country, to become even more so since marketers will be better able to make offers and on a more frequent basis. They also testified that DEO's proposal should be modified to permit separate auctions for PIPP and the Standard Service Offer. The PIPP should be conducted as it is currently, "a winner take all single sealed bid." A descending clock auction should be used for the Standard Service Offer.

The full text of the Testimony is available on the NEM Website.

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Commission Requests More Input on Default Service Rules

The Commission decided to request additional comment on default service regulations. Comments are to address, "recent comments from the Independent Regulatory Review Commission (IRRC); changes in federal law as a result of the Energy Policy Act of 2005; and cost-recovery issues related to the state's Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards Act."

Commissioner Shane's Motion on the matter argued that default service providers may need to commit to long term contracts for alternative energy portfolio resources (AEPS) to achieve the goal of the legislature to increase the supply of said resources to consumers. At issue is the language of the Electric Choice law that requires default service be provided at "prevailing market price" and how that can be accomplished through long term contracts. Shane said, "Over the past several months, it has become clear to me that many believe that the Commission's decision on a Duquesne Light POLR case (P-00032071) precludes the use of long-term contracts for energy acquisition under the prevailing market requirements of 66 Pa.C.S. 2807. This belief may have also been supported by the Commission's proposed Default Service Provider regulations. In addition, the default energy acquisition methods employed in adjoining retail choice states supports the proposition that energy acquisition contracts should extend for no more than three years." Shane argued that the Duquesne case "should not be used as guidance" for alternative energy portfolio resources.

The full text of the Commission's Order reopening the default service rules for comment will be posted on the NEM Website when made available electronically.

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