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January 9, 2009
Upcoming NEM Meeting Dates

NEM's Winter Executive Committee Meeting will be held at Infinite Energy/Intelligent Energy headquarters at 7001 SW 24th Avenue in Gainesville, Florida. The meeting will take place January 20-21, 2009. Please register at this hotlink. A block of rooms has been reserved at the Hilton University of Florida Conference Center at 1714 SW 34th Street, Gainesville, Florida at a rate of $139 per night. Contact 352-371-3600 for reservations.

NEM's 12th Annual Global Energy Forum & Membership Meeting will be held April 28 & 29, 2009. The meeting will be held at the Embassy Suites Washington D.C. - Convention Center located at 900 10th Street, NW, Washington, DC. Please register at this hotlink. A block of rooms has been reserved for NEM members at the rate of $279 per night. Contact 202-719-1421 for reservations.

Technical Conference on Credit and Capital Issues Affecting the Electric Power Industry

FERC will convene a technical conference on credit and capital issues affecting the electric power industry in order to provide the Commission with insight into the impacts of the financial markets crisis. The conference will be take place January 13, 2009, from 1PM to 5PM in the Commission Meeting Room of FERC's D.C. headquarters. The conference will consist of two panels. The first panel will address access to capital and cost of capital for operations and long-term investment. The second panel will address credit issues in short-term electricity markets, including a comparison of how credit is managed in other commodity markets. The full text of the Notice of Technical Conference is available on the NEM Website.

FERC Staff's 2008 Assessment of Demand Response and Advanced Metering

FERC Staff issued a report on demand response and advanced metering finding that, "advanced metering penetration and potential peak load reduction from demand response have increased since 2006." Specifically, "advanced metering penetration (i.e., the ratio of advanced meters to all installed meters) has reached about 4.7 percent for the United States." Approximately eight percent of U.S. customers are in some kind of demand response program with the potential demand response resource contribution from all U.S. demand response programs estimated at 41,000 MW, or about 5.8 percent, of U.S. peak demands. The report identifies a number of regulatory barriers including, "the limited number of retail customers on timebased rates. Another is restrictions on customer access to meter data, making information retrieval for customers and their independent aggregators of retail customers time consuming and expensive. Timely access to customer meter data allows aggregators to assess the demand reductions achieved by their customers. There is also an increased need to accurately measure load reductions so as to ensure confidence in the ability of demand response providers to actually provide demand response service when needed. Another barrier is the scale of financial investment required to deploy enabling technologies during an economic downturn. Finally, the availability of only a limited variety of demand response programs that accommodate the operating needs of potential demand response providers may also be a barrier." The full text of the FERC Staff Report is available on the NEM Website.

New York
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NFG Proposed Change to Capacity Release Charge

NFG filed a proposed amendment to its retail access tariff to add a provision to charge replacement shipper marketers a price for released capacity equal to NFG's weighted average cost of capacity (WACOC). NFG made the filing pursuant to FERC Order 712 that recognizes an exemption from the bidding requirement for capacity releases at less than the maximum rate pursuant to a state retail access program. NFG states that charging the WACOC to marketers directly is preferable to its current method of allocating slices of capacity at a cost approximating WACOC or releasing capacity at maximum rates subject to a true-up mechanism. By the terms of the proposal, NFG would calculate a capacity release rate for Mandatory Upstream Transmission Capacity, "to be effective each April 1st for the twelve month release term equal the weighted average cost of capacity (WACOC) for this under each pipeline's gas tariff filed with FERC." NFG proposes the change be effective March 19, 2009. The full text of the NFG Filing is available on the NEM Website.

ALJs Recommended Decision in ConEd Electric Rate Case

The ALJs in the ConEd's electric rate case issued a Recommended Decision addressing portions of the case, with a subsequent Recommended Decision expected on the remainder. The ALJs recommend that the Commission determine the "minimal but reasonable costs of the Company's provision of electric delivery service." The ALJs estimate that the level of incremental electric revenues needed based on such costs is $632.447 million. Regarding ConEd's competitive service rates (MFC, competitive metering charges, billing and payment processing), the RD notes that determination of said rates is dependent on the sales forecast recommended by the ALJs and should be addressed in briefs on exceptions. On the issue of outreach and education, the ALJs recommend restoration of a portion of the 1.6 million Power Your Way outreach and education program to fund a Green Power Campaign, a Green Power bill insert and ConEd's maintenance of an up-to-date list of retail electric energy suppliers. Briefs on Exception to the RD are due January 27, 2009, and Briefs Opposing Exceptions are due Feburary 11, 2009. The full text of the Recommended Decision is available on the NEM Website.

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Commission Adopts Interim POR Program Guidelines

In order to provide guidance to the gas utilities that make voluntary POR program filings by March 31, 2009, the Commission issued interim POR program guidelines. The guidelines provide, with respect to program design, that a gas utility may purchase receivables at a discount from licensed suppliers, but only receivables associated with natural gas supply service charges. POR programs can include only residential and small business customer accounts. Participating suppliers must use utility consolidated billing. The gas utility can terminate service to customers for failure to pay supplier charges. The guidelines also provide that a supplier's account receivables can be used to satisfy the security requirement for supplier licensing. The Commission also reiterated its intention to initiate a POR rulemaking in early 2009. The full text of the Interim POR Program Guidelines is available on the NEM Website.

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