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November 7, 2008
NEM Fall Leadership Roundtable

NEM convened a very successful and well-attended Fall Leadership Roundtable last week in Newark, New Jersey. Many thanks to IDT Energy for hosting the meeting and to Global Contact Services for hosting the reception. Roundtable participants included NYPSC Chairman Garry Brown, NYPSC Commissioner Robert Curry, NJBPU Commissioner Nicholas Asselta, NJBPU Commissioner Frederick Butler, and Delaware State Senator Harris McDowell as well as Eric Matheson, Energy Advisor to Pennsylvania PUC Chairman Cawley, and Angelina LaRose, Office of Oil and Gas/Energy Information Administration. They briefed attendees on the many important regulatory developments in their States.

NEM also elected its 2008-09 leadership team as follows:

Chair Emeritus (2005-08): Bill Kinneary (Vice President, Market Development, Infinite Energy)
Chair, Executive Committee: Harry Warren (President, Washington Gas Energy Services)
Vice Chair, Executive Committee: Scott White(President, IGS Energy)

National Energy Policy Chairs

Wholesale Electricity Policy: Matthew Picardi (Vice President-Regulatory Affairs, Shell Energy N.A.), Chair, Phil Van Horne, (President, Bluerock Energy), Co-Chair

Wholesale Natural Gas Policy: Kyle Hupfer (Vice President and General Counsel, Proliance Energy), Chair, Steve Sherman (Attorney for Proliance Energy), Co-Chair

Retail Natural Gas Policy: Steve Maslak (CEO, Gateway Energy Services), Chair, Michael Fallquist (COO, Commerce Energy), Co-Chair

Retail Electricity Policy: Chris Hendrix (Director of Markets & Compliance, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. & Texas Retail Energy, LLC), Chair

Retail Consumer Pricing, Demand Response and Economic Development: Angie Beehler (Sr. Director, Energy Regulation/Legislation, Wal-Mart), Chair, Stephen Bennett (Retail Policy Manager - East/Midwest, Exelon Energy), Co-Chair

Consumer Information Access and Best Practices: Jim Mathers (President, CASA), Greg Alcorn (President and CEO, Global Contact Services), Co-Chairs

Advanced Energy and Environmental Technology Policies: Bill Mahoney (President and CEO, South Carolina Research Authority), Bob Block (Board Member, USCL), Co-Chairs

Consumer Outreach, Education and Public Relations: David Wanounou (COO, IDT Energy), Chair

Congressional Outreach: Kimberly August (Director, Regulatory and External Affairs, Washington Gas Energy Services), Chair

The full text of the NEM 2008-09 Leadership is available on the NEM Website.

Upcoming NEM Meeting Dates

NEM's Winter Executive Committee Meeting will be held at Infinite Energy/Intelligent Energy headquarters at 7001 SW 24th Avenue in Gainesville, Florida. The meeting will take place January 20-21, 2009. Please register at this hotlink. A block of rooms has been reserved at the Hilton University of Florida Conference Center at 1714 SW 34th Street, Gainesville, Florida at a rate of $139 per night. Contact 352-371-3600 for reservations.

NEM's 12th Annual Global Energy Forum & Membership Meeting will be held April 28 & 29, 2009. The meeting will be held at the Embassy Suites Washington D.C. - Convention Center located at 900 10th Street, NW, Washington, DC. Please register at this hotlink. A block of rooms has been reserved for NEM members at the rate of $279 per night. Contact 202-719-1421 for reservations.

Annual Enforcement Report

FERC's Office of Enforcement Staff issued an annual report on 2008 enforcement activities of the Commission. The report provides an overview and statistics about enforcement activities. The report also provides illustrative examples of violations for which the Commission approved settlement and those that were closed without assessment of a civil penalty. These include violations of capacity release and shipper must have title rules. The full text of the 2008 Enforcement Report is available on the NEM Website.

NYISO Filing on Lake Erie Loop Flows

NYISO filed a request with FERC to extend revisions to its tariff that preclude the scheduling of External Transactions over eight Scheduling Paths around Lake Erie. The Commission had previously approved the measures on a temporary basis. NYISO maintains that, "Until there are adequate operational controls in place to ensure that actual and scheduled flows around Lake Erie are reasonably closely aligned, or until the NYISO working with its Market Participants and neighboring ISOs and RTOs is able to develop an alternative solution, the NYISO expects that removing the Tariff prohibition against scheduling power via the eight circuitous Scheduling Paths . . . would result in an increase in circulating power flows around Lake Erie and a resumption of the undesirable market impacts . . ." NYISO reports that it, "has begun the process of working with its Market Participants to develop potential alternative solutions to loop-flow concerns. The NYISO intends to engage its sister ISOs and RTOs around Lake Erie in dicussions on loop-flow issues in 2009." The full text of the NYISO Filing is available on the NEM Website.

Click here to view all past updates.
Workshop on Retail Electric Competition

As directed by the Commission, Staff will convene a public workshop on retail electric competition on November 14, 2008. The workshop will begin at 9:30AM and end at 12PM. The agenda for the meeting is as follows: 1) introduction and welcome; 2) overview of retail electric competition in Arizona; 3) discussion of whether retail electric competition is in the public interest; 4) discussion of potential risks and benefits of retail electric competition; and 5) conclusion and next steps. The full text of the Meeting Notice and Agenda is available on the NEM Website.

Click here to view all past updates.
Proposed Rules for Licensing Retail Electric Agents, Brokers and Consultants

The Commission issued proposed rules for the licensure of retail electric agents, brokers and consultants to implement newly enacted sections of the Public Utilities Act. The proposed rule defines which entities are subject to the licensing requirement and the contents of the license application. It would require licensees to have at least one year of managerial experience with a business enterprise and experience in the electric industry of at least one year. Entities must execute a $5,000 license or permit bond. The proposed rules also include a code of conduct and an annual reporting requirement.

Comments are due November 26, 2008. The full text of the Proposed Rules is available on the NEM Website.

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Commission Adopts Rules to Implement SB 221

As part of the process of implementing SB221, the Commission has adopted rules that incorporate new or revised requirements on electric line extensions, minimum service and safety standards, and interconnection standards. The rules also revise provisions on the operations of competitive retail electric suppliers, and include environmental disclosure standards. The full text of the Rules (Part 1 and Part 2) is available on the NEM Website.

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Comments on Gas POR Programs

NEM and many members submitted comments in support of providing utilities with the ability to terminate customers for the non-payment of receivables as part of a Purchase of Receivables (POR) program. The specific issue of utility termination of customers for nonpayment of receivables in POR programs arose in the most recent Columbia Gas rate case. The Commission recently rendered a decision in this case finding that, “POR programs that treat utility-supply and NGS-supply customers equally regarding termination rights remove barriers to the development of competition.” However, the Commission determined that, “past precedent” consisting of a 1999 Order on Customer Service Guidelines prevented it from approving Columbia’s termination of customers for nonpayment of receivables in a POR program at this time. This proceeding was initiated to receive comment on the impact of this outstanding 1999 Order.

The comments argued that the Customer Service Guidelines Order issued in 1999 does not constrain the Commission from permitting utilities to terminate for non-payment of receivables. That Order was issued at a time when the market was in its relative infancy and reflects concerns held in a prior time and that are not reflective of the market conditions realized today. Notwithstanding this opinion, it was recognized that the Commission may wish to revise the Guidelines to remove any regulatory uncertainty that may otherwise impede the utilities from expeditiously implementing POR programs. The full text of the Comments is available on the NEM Website.

Electric Retail Market Working Group

Staff will hold the first meeting of the electric Retail Market Working Group on November 12, 2008, beginning at 1:30PM. The meeting will take place in Hearing Room 3 of the Commission's Harrisburg offices. In the Commission’s Final Policy Statement on Default Service and Retail Electric Markets it, “identified a number of issues where opportunities exist to enhance customer choice and facilitate the development of retail markets." These issues are information and data access, rate and bill ready billing, purchase of receivables, referral programs, supplier tariffs, and retail choice ombudsmen. These issues are the subject of the Retail Markets Working Group. Comments on these issues were solicited at the beginning of the summer. Those that will be attending should RSVP to Lawrence Barth of the Commission Staff at The full texts of the Meeting Agenda and NEM's Comments are available on the NEM Website.

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