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December 8, 2006
NEM Winter Executive Committee Meeting

Please mark your calendars for NEM's Winter 2007 Executive Committee Meeting. It will be held January 18-19, 2007, in Charleston, South Carolina. Please register for the event using this hotlink. A room block has been set aside at the Hilton Garden Inn (843-308-9330).

Many thanks to the South Carolina Research Authority for offering to host the meeting again this year.

Altergy Fuel Cell Powers California State Christmas Tree

The State of California has become the first state in the nation to power its official Christmas tree using a fuel cell system. Altergy Systems is the designer and manufacturer of the fuel cell system being used. By utilizing the fuel cell technology, California demonstrates its commitment to clean energy - the fuel cell system is non-polluting because its byproduct is water. In addition, LED light bulbs were used on the tree rather than traditional incandescent light bulbs. There is a 98% energy savings using LED rather than incandescent bulbs. Congratulations to Eric Mettler, President and CEO, and Terry Carlone, CAO, of Altergy Systems for this significant achievement.

California
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Petition for Investigation to Reinstate Direct Access

A number of energy suppliers, small and large use customers and interest groups filed a petition with the Commission requesting that it institute a rulemaking or investigation to establish rules for the reopening of the direct access retail market with the goal that the market be reopened by January 1, 2008. The Petitioners argue that a number of factors support the Commission's reopening the direct access market. These include: 1) the legislature did not intend for the direct access suspension to continue indefinitely; 2) the rationale for suspending direct access, namely to eliminate cost shifting, has been addressed; and 3) principles of statutory interpretation justify the Commission acting to end the suspension. The full text of the Petition is available on the NEM Website.

Maryland
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Gas Consumer Protection Regulations Meeting

Staff will convene a meeting on December 12, 2006, at 11 AM at BGE Spring Gardens to discuss gas consumer protection regulations as a corollary to the electric regulations proposed in RM 17. Those that wish to attend should notify Annette Garofalo (agarofalo@psc.state.md.us). Attendees will consider and review: 1) currently effective consumer protection regulations which are applicable to gas companies and electric companies; 2) proposed new COMAR 20.53 (applicable to electric companies and suppliers only); 3) a draft for discussion of proposed new COMAR 20.59 (applicable to gas companies and suppliers only); and 4) an issues list based on items sent to Staff by interested persons. The draft COMAR 20.59 is intended as an adaptation of proposed new 20.53 for gas. A copy of the Meeting Materials is hotlinked here.

Allegheny Power Rate Stabilization Proceeding

The Commission has begun a proceeding to investigate a rate stabilization plan for Allegheny Power (AP). AP's residential rate caps are set to expire Demceber 31, 2008, after having been frozen since 1999. The Commission noted that, "absent the rate caps, customers' rate would have changed periodically to reflect the true cost of electricity supply service." However, given the prolonged rate freeze, the Commission is, "concerned about the magnitude of the potential price increases affecting residential customers all at once without an opportunity for family budgets to adjust to market rates over a period of time." Accordingly, the Commission initiated the investigation to explore "opportunities available under the Public Utility Companies Article to provide AP's customers with a more measured transition to market-based pricing." The full text of the Order Initiating Proceeding is available on the NEM Website.

Michigan
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MGU Proposed "Pooling by Pipeline" Option

MGU filed an application proposing to offer an additional "Pooling by Pipeline" option for its transportation customers. This would give customers an additional option for balancing gas deliveries and consumption. MGU currently provides for an Imbalance Paper Pooling Option whereby customers that cause multiple deliveries at any receipt point to the utility may, for balancing purposes, pool those deliveries together (subject to certain requirements). The Pooling by Pipeline would be an additional option customers can avail themselves of if they utilize a common up-stream transportation provider. Customers would be required to provide MGU with 90 days notice prior to the due date for nominations for the month of effective service whether it chooses to use the Pooling by Pipeline or Imbalance Trading Option. The full text of MGU's Application is available from NEM headquarters.

New Jersey
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Energy Master Plan Working Groups

Initial working group meetings in support of the state's Energy Master Plan will be held December 12 and 13, 2006, in the BPU's Newark Board Hearing Room. The Energy Master Plan is intended to provide a long-term energy vision to address New Jersey's energy needs through the year 2020. The working groups and meeting times are as follows:

1. Energy Efficiency & Demand Response Working Group - December 12, 2006, 9AM-12PM;
2. Renewables Working Group - December 12, 2006, 1PM-4PM;
3. Conventional Supply: Electric Working Group - December 13, 2006, 9AM-12PM;
4. Conventional Supply: Natural Gas & Petroleum (non-transportation) Working Group - December 13, 2006, 1PM-4PM.


RSVP to energymasterplan@bpu.state.nj.us by December 11, 2006, indicating the order of priority of working groups you intend to join. You may also participate by conference call - call in number 866-255-8320 and passcode 898759. Additional working groups will be formed to address issues related to Safety & Reliability, Pricing and Outreach & Education.

New York
Click here to view all past updates.
O&R Market Supply Charge Modification

As ordered by the Commission, O&R submitted a proposal to modify its Market Supply Charge (MSC) with a proposed effective date of February 1, 2007. The Commission had directed O&R to change its MSC to separately show actual market prices from costs and adjustments, such as hedging gains and losses, that are currently reflected in the MSC.

O&R proposes to base the modified MSC on weighted average hourly prices, with single, class-specific monthly MSC that apply to each customer class. The MSCs will be separated into two components. The "Market Price of Electric Supply" will reflect the market price of supply, and an MSC Adjustment will recover prior month cost reconciliations, as well as hedging costs and benefits. The "Market Price of Electric Supply" will be comprised of a load shape weighted average of the hourly supply charges for a) energy, b) ancillary services and NYPA Transmission Adjustment Charge, and c) capacity. Comments on O&R's proposed MSC modifications are due January 8, 2007. The full text of O&R's Proposal is available on the NEM Website.



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