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January 14, 2012
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. The Agenda for the meeting is linked here.

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.

Great Bay Energy, LLC (GBE) Elected to NEM Executive Committee

NEM is pleased to announce that Great Bay Energy, LLC (GBE) has been elected to NEM's Executive Committee. Dennis C. Flaherty, CEO will represent Great Bay Energy, LLC within NEM. Great Bay Energy LLC (GBE) is a Puerto Rico, multi–member limited liability company established in 2010 and registered with the FERC as a wholesale electric utility. GBE's business is the purchase and sale of wholesale electric transmission and energy on a monthly, daily, and hourly basis in the U.S. wholesale electric markets. The market impact of GBE's business is the reduction of wholesale electric energy and transmission costs.

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Smart Meter Inquiry

The Commission has initiated an inquiry into smart meters in response to concerns expressed by individuals and municipalities with respect to the installation of smart meters. The electric utilities were required to file information on the following: "(1) The electric utility’s existing plans for the deployment of smart meters in its service territory; (2) The estimated cost of deploying smart meters throughout its service territory and any sources of funding; (3) An estimate of the savings to be achieved by the deployment of smart meters; (4) An explanation of any other non monetary benefits that might be realized from the deployment of smart meters; (5) Any scientific information known to the electric utility that bears on the safety of the smart meters to be deployed by that utility; (6) An explanation of the type of information that will be gathered by the electric utility through the use of smart meters; (7) An explanation of the steps that the electric utility intends to take to safeguard the privacy of the customer information so gathered; (8) Whether the electric utility intends to allow customers to opt out of having a smart meter; and 9) How the electric utility intends to recover the cost of an opt out program if one will exist." The electric utilities submissions are due by March 16, 2012. Parties may file comments in response by April 16, 2012. Staff must file a report on comments received and smart meter information from other jurisdictions by June 29, 2012. The full text of the Order Opening Docket is available on the NEM Website.

New York
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Central Hudson Proposal on Winter Bundled Sales Service

Central Hudson filed proposed tariff changes with the Commission to make its Winter Bundled Sales (WBS) Service mandatory for all suppliers serving Service Classification Nos. 6, 12 & 13 customers. The change is proposed to become effective with the twelve month period beginning April 1, 2012, and for each succeeding twelve month period. "Currently, Retail Suppliers must either elect WBS, or take the Balancing Service Option under which suppliers take assignment of additional capacity, for twelve months, for all customers in their Retail Access pool. Given the growth in the Company’s Retail program over the past several years, the move to require suppliers to take WBS will reduce the amount of capacity released to suppliers through the mandatory ‘slice-of-system’ and allow the Company to delay adding more capacity, including Canadian capacity requiring import rights and other domestic capacity where the liquidity of such capacity is yet to be determined, to the capacity available for the Retail program. Additionally, this change will result in all Retail Suppliers paying the same costs for the additional capacity needed to meet customers’ requirements during the winter months while at the same time simplifying Central Hudson’s administrative responsibilities for the Retail Program." Comments on the proposed changes are due February 27, 2012. The full text of Central Hudson's Proposed Filing is available on the NEM Website.

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Inquiry into Time-Differentiated and Dynamic Pricing

With the stated purpose of, "assur[ing] that the pricing options available to consumers for competitive retail electric service are consistent with state policy," the Commission opened an inquiry into time-differentiated and dynamic pricing of retail electric service. The Commission is requesting comment on "whether electric utilities and/or competitive retail electric service (CRES) providers should offer pricing options for all consumers with advanced or interval meters that reflect the time varying prices in wholesale electricity markets and additional dynamic pricing options such as pre-paid, indexed, and other variable rates." The Commission is also interested in exploring the possible use of an on-line bill-to-compare calculator to permit comparisons of alternative retail electric services.

The Commission requests specific comments on the following:
"(a) Should EDUs offer consumers with advanced or interval meters time-differentiated or dynamic retail rates to ensure that such options are available to such consumers? In addition to or in conjunction with Commission-approved time of use programs, should such choices include dynamic pricing options that reflect time varying PJM Intercormection, LLC (PJM) market prices?
(b) Should EDUs offer consumers with advanced or interval meters two-part dynamic pricing, such that the offer provides a dynamic price signal and a hedging or insurance component that addresses consumer risk aversion?
(c) Are there specific forms of dynamic or time differentiated pricing which should be offered to different groups or classes of corisumers who have the requisite metering?
(d) Should the Commission support well designed field tests by EDUs and/or CRES providers of additional time-differentiated or dynamic pricing options and various approaches to and combinations of consumer education, targeted messaging, information feedback, and/or enabling technology to better assess what options may work best for consumers and have the greatest beneficial impacts?
(e) What barriers, if any, are there to CRES providers offering dynamic pricing to consumers with advanced or interval meters? What steps, if any, should the Commission consider to encourage or to remove barriers to CRES providers offering packages that include dynamic pricing?
(f) Should EDUs and/or CRES providers develop and implement a plan to better inform eligible consumers regarding time-differentiated and dynamic pricing options? If so, what should such plans include?"

Comments are due March 14, 2012. The full text of the Entry is available on the NEM Website.

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Proposed Rulemaking on Natural Gas Supplier Licensing

Currently, natural gas marketing services consultants and nontraditional marketers are not required to be licensed by the Commission. Rather, the licensed NGS is responsible for any violations of the Natural Gas Choice statute, regulations or orders or for any fraudulent, deceptive or other unlawful marketing or billing acts committed by the marketing services consultant or nontraditional marketer. However, over time certain of these entities have sought and been granted NGS licenses even though they are not required to do so. The Commission has now opened a review to determine: "(1) whether the exemption from NGS licensing of marketing services consultants and nontraditional marketers should be discontinued; and (2) whether all natural gas aggregators, marketers and brokers should be required to be licensed as NGSs in order to offer natural gas supply services to retail customers. At a minimum, initiating this proposed rulemaking will allow the Commission to receive comments to determine if our NGS licensing regulations conform with the plain language of the Act, and reflect the current business plans of NGSs appearing before this Commission so that we can determine whether continuing these exemptions is in the public interest." The Commission noted that current licensing exemptions remain in effect during the pendency of this proposed rulemaking. Comments on the proposed rulemaking are due sixty days after publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin. The full text of the Proposed Rulemaking Order is available on the NEM Website.

Proposed EDI Modifications

The Electronic Data Exchange Working Group has proposed two data control changes for statewide implementation. The first would add Change Control #085, which would add a marker that would identify a customer as a net metering customer in an EDI segment on enrollment response and in historical usage transactions. This would require the electric utilities to notify the supplier if customer generation is present on a customer's account both prior to and during enrollment. The second proposal, Change Control #087, is to include Peak Load Contribution data and the Network Service Peak Load value with the customer's Historical Usage and Historical Interval Usage data when that information is provided to the customer. It is proposed that these changes be implemented within twelve months after Commission approval, unless an electric utility already has plans to make systemwide modifications that would incorporate these changes at a later time. Comments are due thirty days after entry of the Order. The full text of the Tentative Order is available on the NEM Website.

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