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January 14, 2011
NEM Winter Executive Committee Meeting

NEM's Winter Executive Committee will take place January 17-19, 2011, at the Doral Hotel and Resort in Miami, Florida. The Agenda is available at this hotlink. Many thanks to Doug Marcille and U.S. Gas and Electric for hosting the Winter Meeting. Hotel reservations should be made at this hotlink.

You may register for the Winter Executive Committee Meeting at:

North American Power LLC (NAP) Nominated to NEM Executive Committee

The National Energy Marketers Association (NEM) is pleased to announce that North American Power LLC (NAP) has been nominated to NEM's Executive Committee. North American Power (NAP) will be represented by Kerry Breitbart, Founder and CEO; Carey Turnbull, Chairman; Bill Kinneary, President and Chris Sattler, Chief Operating Officer.

North American Power (NAP) is an energy supplier that is licensed by the Dept. of Public Utilities and offers a direct sales income opportunity. North American Power is located in Norwalk, CT and announced its pre-launch back in March 2010, with plans to cover states such as Maryland and Pennsylvania. This particular company is special because their management consists of leaders who have real experience in the energy industry. The founders, Kerry Breitbart and Carey Turnbull, have a combined 50 plus years in the energy industry and they are well financed. Mr. Breitbart was the CEO of The United Companies, a company that brokered energy products with a combined value of 750 billion annually. Mr. Carey Turnbull was one of the founding partners of the Amerex Energy company, one of the most well known wholesale brokers of natural gas and electricity worldwide.

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Hearing on Agent Licensing

The Commission has scheduled a legislative-style hearing to consider comments received in its inquiry into agent licensing. The hearing will take place on February 25, 2011, at 10AM at the Commission's Baltimore office. The Commission previously asked:

1. Should sales representatives and non-traditional agents be required to obtain a license to operate as electricity or gas brokers? Please explain your reasoning and offer any legal or policy support for your conclusion.
2. If there are circumstances or conditions that would warrant licensing of some sales representatives and non-traditional agents but not all, please state how you believe the Commission should distinguish between those needing a license and those who should not be required to obtain one. Please provide any legal or policy support for this position.

NEM recommended in its comments that a bright line test be utilized to determine whether agents need to be licensed as follows: Agents, including non-traditional agents, that transparently represent a supplier on an exclusive basis should not need a separate license.

The full text of the Notice of Hearing is available on the NEM Website.

Commission Rejects Proposal on Uniform Electronic Transaction Gas Standards

Upon review, the Commission rejected the proposal on uniform electronic transaction standards for gas proposed by the stakeholder working group, finding that it provided inadequate explanation and insufficient documentation of the recommended methodology. In relevant part, the Commission therefore directed that, "a revised Working Group report, Gas Standards, and associated electronic transactions documentation be rewritten by the RM-35 Implementation Working Group and resubmitted for Commission approval by June 30, 2011." The utilities use of XML was approved on a temporary trial basis pending submission of evidence and rationale supporting its permanent adoption. The full text of the Order is available on the NEM Website.

New Jersey
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Working Group Meeting on POR and PTC

BPU Staff is forming a working group to examine the issues of purchase of receivables and the price to compare. The first meeting will take place on February 8, 2011, at 10AM in the Board Hearing Room in Newark. The agenda is as follows:

"A. Purchase of Receivables:

Drop to dual billing: when this is done, how and when information on delinquent accounts is reported to TPSs, differences between gas and electric industry operations, etc...

B. Price to Compare:

1. Calculation and components of each distribution company’s Price to Compare for each customer class;
2. Presentation of the current Price to Compare on customer bills;
3. Presentation of the Price to Compare data (current, historical and pending requests for changes) on distribution company websites.
4. Possible future amendments to the Board’s Energy Competition Rules at N.J.A.C. 14:4-7.4 (a)4 and (b)2. These sections require that marketing materials targeting residential customers must include certain information. If the Price to Compare data on distribution company websites is expanded, should we consider modifying these requirements so that the marketing materials could include a link to these websites rather than the actual information?"

The full text of the Notice of Working Group Meeting is available on the NEM Website.

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Rules Adopted on Gas PTC, POR and Capacity Release

The Commission adopted final rules to facilitate retail gas market competition. The rules will:

"Reformulate the “price to compare” used by consumers to judge whether the price offered by a competitive NGS is better than the one being offered by the incumbent NGDC;

Make permanent rules for establishing voluntary purchase of receivables programs; and

Provide guidance to ensure that the release, assignment or transfer of capacity by an NGDC to a NGS is nondiscriminatory and is at the applicable contract rate."

On the reformulation of PTC that will remove defined procurement costs from utility distribution rates and place said charges in the SOLR service charge, NEM's recommendations were recognized. "As noted by the National Energy Marketers Association (NEM), the PTC as proposed will provide consumers with a more meaningful basis upon which to compare utility commodity offerings and competitive supply offerings because it will bear a greater resemblance to market conditions and more fully reflect the utilities' full costs of providing commodity service." "In summary, it is a level playing field for all market competitors that we seek. As noted by NEM, in the absence of full rate unbundling, shopping customers are penalized with a double payment of commodity-related costs - those paid to the competitive supplier from which they are currently receiving service and to the utility from which they are no longer receiving commodity service. Unbundling of utility rates avoids this inequitable result." The full text of Chairman Cawley's Motion is available on the NEM Website. The final Order will be posted on the NEM Website when made available electronically.

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