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February 14, 2020
NEM's 23rd Annual National Energy Restructuring Conference

NEM will convene its 23rd Annual National Energy Restructuring Conference on April 8-10, 2020, at the Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. An agenda is forthcoming. You may use this link to register.

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Chairman Burns and Commissioner Olson File Draft Retail Electric Competition Rules Package

Chairman Burns and Commissioner Olson's offices prepared a draft rules package for consideration at the upcoming Retail Electric Competition Workshop on February 25-26, 2020. The rules package includes two drafts. Draft A provides that all customers are eligible to shop on Day One of market opening, and POLR service is competitively-provided. Draft A also incorporates rule best practices from Texas (POLR regulations) and Pennsylvania (consumer protection and marketing standards). In contrast, Draft B restricts choice to individual customers with a monthly demand of 100kW or above or an aggregation of customers with a combined monthly demand of at least 400 kW. Draft B permits utilities to continue to provide POLR service, although also permitting competitively-provided POLR.

In order to meet the requirements of the Phelps Dodge decision that effectively ended the Commission's prior attempt to implement retail electric competition, both drafts include rules requiring electric service providers to file for Certificates of Convenience and Necessity, and to offer service subject to a tariff on file with the Commission, including the Commission’s evaluation of the “fair value of the supplier’s property.” Both drafts attempt to create an incentive for utilities to divest competitive assets through the stranded cost recovery mechanism but do not require it. Both drafts also support utility participation in an RTO, ISO, or AZ Independent Scheduling Administrator but do not require it. Both drafts also include a written authorization requirement to switch suppliers.

The full text of the Draft Rules Package is available on the NEM Website.

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Commission Launches New Residential Electric Choice Website and Supplier Portal

This week the Commission announced the launch a new supplier website and new secure portal for licensed residential electricity suppliers. The new website and portal can be accessed at: The Commission said that, "Electricity suppliers should begin registering effective immediately to establish their new account and begin using the new secure portal to upload current residential offers. The Commission anticipates that it will deploy its new MD Electric Choice website for public use in late February 2020. All registrations and open offer uploads must be completed no later than Monday, February 24, 2020. After that date and the launch of the Commission’s MD Electric Choice shopping website, the public will be able to view and compare the current offers that have been uploaded by suppliers through the secure portal." The Commission also clarified that, until the new shopping website is launched, residential suppliers must maintain open residential offers on both the new secure portal and the existing portal accessible at under “Online Services.” The full text of the Notice is available on the NEM Website.

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Renewable Energy Legislation Advances

Two renewable energy bills have passed the House and been referred to the Senate Committee on Commerce and Labor. HB1526 would replace Virginia’s voluntary renewable portfolio standard with a mandatory renewable content requirement for electricity sales. Beginning in 2021, APCo and other retail suppliers in APCo's service territory would be required to meet a 6% RPS program requirement that incrementally increases to 100% by 2050. In 2021, Dominion and other retail suppliers in Dominion's service territory would be required to meet a 14% RPS program requirement that incrementally increases to 100% by 2045.

HB889 would allow customers to purchase renewable energy from a competitive supplier, and remove the current restriction that such purchase is permissible only if a customer’s utility does not offer a renewable energy option. HB889 would also reduce the notice requirement that customers shopping for electricity with a competitive supplier need to provide before returning to utility supply service, from five years to three years. HB889 also requires the Commission to update existing consumer protections for retail electricity consumers, including development of a consumer education website, issuing a quarterly customer satisfaction scorecard about consumer complaints, and adopting an "additional enforcement mechanism to enable the Commission to take timely action in the event that a licensed supplier engages in unscrupulous activity in making sales to retail customers."

The full texts of HB1526 and HB889 are available on the NEM Website.

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