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January 20, 2012
Associated Energy Services (AES) Offers Broad Slate of Wholesale Energy Products and Services

The National Energy Marketers Association (NEM) is pleased to announce that Associated Energy Services is a new division of Spark Energy. Associated Energy Services (AES) is offering integrated upstream and downstream energy services to oil and gas producers, retail suppliers and consumers across North America. Specific to retail marketers, AES offers wholesale supply and asset management, utility scheduling, volume balancing and risk management services. AES experienced professional team offers cost effective, customized energy solutions to retail energy suppliers and to reliably deliver what you need when you need it. Ken Ziober is NEM’s National Wholesale Natural Gas Policy Chair and is the Executive Vice President and CCO of AES. Ken can be reached at (832) 655-4047 or by email at Ken will be at the Charleston Meeting. Please help us congratulate him for creating this important new service for our Industry.

NEM Member Opportunity

A potential opportunity for NEM members has been presented by an institutional investor for mezzanine financing, accounts receivable financing, capital needed for acquisitions and buyours and other financing needs of the retail marketing sector. Those interested in additional information should contact NEM headquarters.

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.

New York
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NFG Filing on Customers Remote Access to Utility Account Numbers

NFG submitted a compliance report with the Commission in response to the Order requiring the utility to consult active ESCOs in its service territory to determine how to recover the costs of the approved plan to provide customers with remote real-time access to utility account numbers.

NFG reports that it sent an email to ESCOs announcing a meeting to determine how to recover the costs of the approved plan via conference call. The email presented two options for remote access - 1) enhancements to the NFG’s SmartPhone system to provide customer's with telephonic access to account numbers at a cost of approximately $90,000; or 2) a web-based approach at a cost of approximately $25,000. NFG said it received 10 votes in favor of at least one of the approaches and 23 votes in opposition (which includes 16 non-responses). Of those ESCOs in favor, the web-based approach was preferred over the SmartPhone approach.

As a result, NFG, "proposes not to implement the plan to provide customers with real-time remote access to their utility account numbers at this time due to a lack of interest. Based upon discussion during the conference call, the Company is willing to implement the Web-based approach if a group of interested ESCOs is willing to develop a plan, no later than December 31, 2012, to self-fund the $25,000 cost." The full text of NFG's Compliance Report is available on the NEM Website.

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NEM Comments on Proposed Intermediate Work Plan for Retail Electric Market

NEM filed comments on the Commission's proposed intermediate work plan to facilitate the continued development of the retail electric market. NEM supports the proposed consumer education initiatives including the utilities mailing of a Commission-endorsed postcard, a tri-fold flyer mailing and a subsequent utility letter that encourages consumers to shop and that includes FAQs. NEM supported the proposal for acceleration of the consumer switching timeframe subject to NEM's previously filed clarifications. NEM supported the implementation of new/moving customer referral programs and a standard offer customer referral program, modeled after the New York program. The incorporation of an opt-in auction program as a component of the upcoming utility default service plan filings was noted as a means of overcoming consumer inertia to remain on utility default service. It was recommended that the auction be targeted at non-shopping customers. NEM suggested a change to the proposed presentation of the utilities' prices to compare on bills to better represent the variable nature of the rate. NEM supported the proposed means of satisfying utility credit requirements and suggested an additional proposed means as well. NEM also noted that changes to the market, for example POR programs, argue in favor of examining current utility credit requirements. The full text of NEM's Comments is available on the NEM Website.

PECO Default Service Program Petition

PECO filed a petition with the Commission for approval of its second Default Service Program (DSP II) for the period from June 1, 2013 to May 31, 2015. For default service supply acquisition, PECO proposes to make changes to its default service supply portfolios, including the use of shorter time periods between the solicitation and delivery of supply products as well as the expanded use of fixed-price full requirements, load-following contracts. PECO also proposes to limit the quantity of contracts with terms extending beyond May 31, 2015. PECO will use an RFP process for supply acquisition.

With respect to default service pricing, PECO would continue its current practice of adjusting default service rates on a quarterly basis for customers with load requirements up to 500 kW and on a monthly basis for large commercial and industrial customers. However, PECO would perform an annual reconciliation of the over or under collection component of the GSA for residential, small commercial and medium commercial customers to replace the existing quarterly reconciliation mechanism. PECO is soliciting competitive supplier participation to provide the commodity service associated with its time-of-use pilot.

In addition to existing retail market measures currently in place at PECO such as POR, a program for releasing customer account information with customer approval, and bill ready billing, the utility proposes to also use an Opt-In EGS Offer Program and a Customer Referral Program. PECO explains that the under the proposed Opt-In program, "EGSs will bid to provide competitive retail electric service to fifty percent (50%) of PECO's non-shopping default service residential customers, who will be randomly selected by PECO. The program will be implemented through a one-time RFP for twelve-month fixed-priced retail service offers from EGSs for service beginning after June 1, 2013. EGSs may submit multiple bids consisting of an offer price and the number of customers to be served at that price, with a minimum of 25,000 customers. Each offer price must be at least five percent (5%) less than PECO's projected PTC for June 1, 2013."

PECO proposes two types of referral programs, a standard offer program and a new/moving customer program. With respect to the standard offer program PECO opines that, "customers would be best served if the Standard Offer Customer Referral Program were administered through a statewide program with a statewide call center. In the event that a statewide program is not implemented, however, PECO proposes to implement a Standard Offer Customer Referral Program in the form of a Supplier of the Month Program."

The full text of PECO's Filing is available on the NEM Website.

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