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December 5, 2014
NEM Winter Executive Committee Meeting

NEM will convene its Winter Executive Committee Policy and Planning Meeting at the Hyatt Regency in Orlando, Florida, on January 26-28, 2015. A Welcome Reception will be held between 5PM and 7PM on Monday, January 26, 2015. A golf outing take place on Monday afternoon before the Reception, and a Membership Dinner will be held on Tuesday night after the Meeting. All day on Tuesday, January 27, 2015, and a half day on January 28, 2015, Members will be prioritizing NEM advocacy issues, states and utility service territories and planning its consumer education and public relations/outreach goals for 2015 and beyond. There is no fee for Executive Committee Members to attend. A Draft Agenda is hotlinked here. Please use this link to register.

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NEM Comments on Retail Electric Market Inquiry

NEM filed Reply Comments on the Commission's retail electric market inquiry. In general, NEM noted the lack of evidence to support a change to the consumer protection regulations that were adopted relatively recently. NEM urged the Commission to reject CUB's proposals to institute a supplier variable "rate band" requirement, to require that suppliers disclose a variable rate formula, or to require that residential variable rate products be tied to an index. NEM opposed the proposal to define "fixed" rate products as those for which the price must remain unchanged for at least three months and a "variable non-index product" as a product whose price changes more frequently than every three months, and for which the price is not formulaically tied to an index. NEM argued the three month time distinction is arbitrary and would be contrary customers common usage and understanding. NEM also opposed the proposal to use a supplier's one-star rating on the RES Complaint Scorecard as a basis for Commission enforcement action. The full text of NEM's Comments is available on the NEM Website.

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Self-Assessment of Ability to Meet Customer Electric Requirements from Utilities and AESs

The Commission issued an Order requiring the Michigan electric utilities, and requesting that alternative electric suppliers, file a self-assessment of their ability to meet their customers’ expected electric requirements and associated reserves during the five-year period of 2015 through 2019. The filing is being requested because of capacity shortfalls expected by 2016 when a number of coal-fired power plants will be retired due to federal environmental regulations. The Commission is hoping to obtain a "meaningful and transparent picture" of the supply outlook and associated risks for the state and for individual providers. The full text of the Order is available on the NEM Website.

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Electric Utilities Implementation of Accelerated Switching

Newly-adopted Commission regulations require the electric utilities to be capable of effectuating a three-business day, off-cycle switch by December 15, 2014, when a residential or small commercial customer requests a change in electric supplier. The electric utilities sought a number of waivers to the new requirement.

At the Commission's agenda meeting yesterday it granted the electric utility waivers as follows:

* PPL - The Commission granted PPL a temporary waiver for multiple off-cycle, three-business day switching of metered accounts for the period from December 15, 2014 through July 31, 2015. In the interim, PPL must implement the following measures by December 15, 2014: "(i) make a single off-cycle three-business day switch within a single billing period from either default service or an EGS to either a new EGS or default service; (ii) after one off-cycle switch has been made for a single billing cycle, make an on cycle switch to either a new EGS or default service with service to become effective for the next billing period; and (iii) upon verbal request from the customer, make one additional manual off-cycle switch within a single billing period to be returned to default service within three business days." The Commission also granted PPL a temporary waiver for multiple off-cycle, three-business day switching of non-metered accounts for the period from December 15, 2014, through September 30, 2015. The full text of the PPL Order is available on the NEM Website.

* PECO - PECO was granted a temporary waiver of the regulatory definitions of “billing month” and “billing period” in order to effectuate the three day switching rule. PECO intends to use a short-period bill, the Bill On Supplier Switch (BOSS) approach, to mark the transition to or from a supplier. Use of this approach will allow PECO to meet the ordered December 15, 2014, implementation date. The full text of the PECO Order is available on the NEM Website.

* Duquesne - Duquesne's waiver request was granted to the extent that it will be required to provide for one off-cycle switch and one on-cycle switch per bill period for approximately 91% of its customer base from December 15, 2014, until July 31, 2015. This must be implemented beginning on December 15, 2014. The full text of the Duquesne Order is available on the NEM Website.

* First Energy - FirstEnergy's implementation waiver was granted for metered account multiple off-cycle, three-business day switching for the period of December 15, 2014, through June 15, 2015, subject to the condition that it implement its interim switching measure for every metered customer that permits a second off-cycle switch to default service upon customer request, without conditions. The full text of the FirstEnergy Order is available on the NEM Website.

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