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November 4, 2011
Upcoming NEM Meetings

January 2012 Executive Committee Meeting - NEM’s Annual Winter Executive Committee Meeting will be held at the headquarters of SCRA in Charleston, South Carolina on January 24-25, 2012. The Winter Executive Committee Meeting is where Executive Committee members set NEM's course for the coming year. Many thanks to Bill Mahoney and SCRA for hosting the Winter Executive Committee meeting.

You may register for the meeting at this hotlink. NEM has a room block at the Hilton Garden Inn Charleston Airport, 5265 International Blvd in North Charleston, SC. You may register for the hotel at this hotlink or call the reservation number 843-308-9330 or 1-800-HILTONS and reference group code NLL.

Click here to view all past updates.
Gas Standards Workgroup

The Commission issued an order approving the Test Plan and Competitive Gas Supply Process and Transaction Manual devised by the RM 35 Implementation Work Group. Uniform electronic transactions were previously approved. Having reached this milestone, a new Maryland Gas Standards Working Group will be formed and meet quarterly during its first year and at least annually thereafter. The first meeting will take place late January or early February. The full texts of the Order and Working Group Report are available on the NEM Website.

Click here to view all past updates.
Order on Columbia Gas SCO Auction

OCC and OPAE previously filed objections to Columbia Gas' transition to a Standard Choice Offer (SCO) auction and requested that the Commission suspend Columbia's proposal to conduct an SCO auction in favor of conducting an Standard Service Offer (SSO) auction. Upon review, the Commission concluded that the process set forth in Columbia's approved settlement providing for the transition from an SSO to an SCO in 2012 should proceed. OCC and OPAE sought rehearing of the determination. The Commission has now denied rehearing finding that, "[the statutes] actually support Columbia's move to an SCO, because, as reflected in the record in this case, the SCO will advance the ttansition to a
competitive market by giving consumers choices regarding their natural gas service provider." The Commission also rejected arguments that the SCO would constitute switching a consumer without its consent. The Commission also found that the record evidence, including results of SCO auctions for other Ohio gas utilities, demonstrated anticipated benefits of Columbia's move to the SCO auction. The full text of the Order is available on the NEM Website.

Click here to view all past updates.
NEM Comments on Electric Utility Default Service Plan Filings

The Commission issued a Tentative Order setting forth intermediate recommendations from Staff as to how the electric utilities should develop the format and structure of their upcoming default service plans. NEM filed comments generally supporting the recommendations as they achieve a balance among the interests of the stakeholders in providing regulatory certainty, providing a platform that permits innovative market structures to be implemented as soon as is practicable, and facilitating improved informed consumer shopping. NEM did however question the proposal to move from the current quarterly adjustment of utility default service rates for residential and small commercial customers to semi-annual energy rate adjustments and/or reconciliation adjustments. Default service rates should remain at least as market-based as they are at present. The Tentative Order does not offer a justification for making default service rates less reflective of current market conditions. Nor can NEM discern what that rationale might be in the context of a proceeding intended to facilitate market development. Accurate, transparent and market-based default service rates are a pivotal component of a robust retail energy market and informed consumer decisions. The full text of NEM's Comments are available on the NEM Website.

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