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November 30, 2012
NEM Winter Executive Committee Meeting

Please mark your calendars for NEM's Winter Executive Committee Meeting to be held on January 28-30, 2013. The meeting will once again be held at SCRA located at 5300 International Blvd, North Charleston, South Carolina. Many thanks to Bill Mahoney and SCRA for graciously hosting us. You may register for the meeting at this hotlink. Accommodations for the meeting have been arranged at the Hilton Garden Inn. Please use this hotlink to make your hotel reservations.

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WGL Discount Rates Established

At its Agenda Meeting this week, the Commission established discount rates for WGL. The approved discount rates are, "0.98% for residential customers and 0.00% for non-residential customers, applicable to suppliers serving Washington Gas Light Company’s customers to become effective with the January 2013 billing cycle and to accumulate any excess with respect to the 0.00% factor. These discount rates represent a full four year amortization period of the IT implementation costs." In its initial filing WGL had proposed discount rates of 6.97% for residential receivables and 0.17% for non-residential receivables. WGL’s current discount rates are 4.39% and 0.83% for residential and non-residential receivables, respectively. The Commission adopted the recommendations of NEM and other suppliers to extend the amortization period for the Information Technology cost component of the discount rate and to include the late payment charges collected by WGL in its calculation of the discount rate. This resulted in the reduced rate that the Commission approved. The full text of the Letter Order on WGL's Discount Rate is available on the NEM Website.

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Governor Snyder's Energy Message

This week Governor Snyder delivered a Message to the Michigan legislature on "Ensuring our Future: Energy and the Environment." Snyder's message promoted the importance of adaptability and the goals of excellent reliability, an affordable price and a protected environment. He suggested that the Commission and private industry should partner to develop a Strategic Natural Gas Reserve for Michigan. He also stressed the importance of transmission infrastructure, particularly with respect to the Upper Peninsula. Snyder stated that, "Until we see more of what the nation’s energy policy will be, and what the effects are on Michigan, it would be a mistake to again change our energy framework. In 2015, we will be in a better position to know what effects federal policies are having on our reliability and on the markets for electricity. We will have reached our 10 percent goal for renewable energy, and will have well-established efficiency programs, so we will be in a good position to set higher goals in both these areas. We will need solid information about the effects of our policies and the energy marketplace to make good decisions. This coming year, I will invite the Legislature and Michigan citizens to tell me what information we will need to fairly evaluate our energy policies, and we will embark on an effort to collect and analyze those facts. Then, by 2015, we will all be able to implement new decisions about our energy framework that will enhance Michigan’s adaptability, reliability, affordability and environment." The full text of Governor Snyder's Energy Message is available on the NEM Website.

New York
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Commission Begins Proceedings on Natural Gas Service Expansion and Generation Facility Retirements

In order to address issues highlighted in Governor Cuomo's Energy Highway Blueprint, the Commission has opened proceedings on the expansion of natural gas service in the state as well as generation facility retirements.

The proceeding on the expansion of natural gas service will review the "existing natural gas system, the manner in which existing Commission and utility policies are implemented, the role Commission and utility policies play in maintaining, improving and expanding the system, and how Commission policies may be modified to enhance the potential benefits to New Yorkers from an expanded and/or more reliable natural gas system." A technical conference will be held at the Commission's Albany headquarters on January 9, 2013, in which the utilities and other stakeholders will present information on this topic. The full texts of the Notice and Order are available on the NEM Website.

The Commission also initiated a proceeding to solicit a Reliability Contingency Plan for the retirement of the nuclear facilities of the Indian Point Energy Center. The development of additional Reliability Contingency Plans for other facilities will be addressed at a later time. The full text of the Order Initiating Proceeding is available on the NEM Website.

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