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February 24, 2017
NEM 20th Annual National Energy Restructuring Conference

NEM will convene its 20th Annual National Energy Restructuring Conference on April 26th-28th, 2017. The conference will begin with a Welcome Reception on the evening of April 26th at the University Club in Washington, DC. The next two days of substantive discussion will take place at the Hyatt Regency Capitol Hill.

You may register for the conference at this hotlink. A Draft Agenda is forthcoming.

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Commission and OPC Propose Changes to Marketing Rules

The Commission issued a second Notice of Proposed Rulemaking pertaining to rules governing the licensure and bonding of electric suppliers. A prior NOPR on these rules was issued in 2015, and this second NOPR reflects comments received on the prior proposal. The proposed rules would require:
1) suppliers to provide a one-time notice to the Commission as soon as they begin marketing in the District;
2) each door-to-door sales representative/agent must present a company photo identification to customers as part of the solicitation process, and suppliers must keep a record of the representatives/agents identities, including the photo identification;
3) suppliers that contract electronically with customers, "shall provide the Commission with the electronic accessibility necessary to monitor the Licensee's compliance;"
4) suppliers must attest to the Commission that their sales and marketing and regulatory personnel have read relevant provisions of the Commission's regulations, and in the case of a supplier using an independent contractor or vendor to perform marketing or sales activities on its behalf, the supplier must confirm that all of the sales and marketing personnel of the contractor or vendor have read the relevant provisions of the Commission's regulations;
5) suppliers shall notify the Commission at least sixty days prior to the cessation of business for all or a class of customers;
6) in the case of supplier default, a supplier, "shall immediately notify its customers of its default by electronic mail, if possible, or by telephonic communication followed by written notice and send written notice by electronic mail to the electric company and Commission notifying them of its default;"
7) suppliers shall certify annually that their regulatory contact or compliance personnel have completed the Commission's Electricity Supplier Education Workshop;
8) suppliers must submit to the Commission a copy of their Privacy Protection Policy that protects against the unauthorized disclosure or use of customer information about a customer or a customer's use of electricity;
9) grounds for Commission action against a supplier; and
10) in the case of customer cramming, the supplier must refund to the customer three times the amount of the unauthorized charges paid.

Comments on the NOPR are due March 20th. The full text of the Second Notice of Proposed Rulemaking is available on the NEM Website.

OPC filed a Petition with the Commission requesting that it modify the regulations known as the Utility Consumer Bill of Rights (CBOR). OPC proposes changes be adopted with specific applicability to competitive suppliers. These proposed changes include:
1) requiring energy suppliers that claim their offerings possess "unusual or special attributes" to maintain substantiating documentation of such claims to be available upon request by customers, utilities, the Commission or OPC;
2) solicitations to residential customers would need to be in writing, include all fixed and variable rate components, renewal provisions and applicable fees as well as a statement that enrollment could impact eligibility for certain low income assistance programs;
3) in the case of home solicitations, the energy supplier must include a statement that it is not a representative of any District utility company;
4) extending the period of a customer's right to cancel from the current 3 business days to 7 business days for home solicitations;
5) extending the right of contract rescission from the current 3 day period to 14 days;
6) in the case of telephonic enrollment, require the supplier to mail a written contract to the consumer within 3 business days of the contracting conversation and require the customer to return the signed contract for the consumer to become obligated thereunder; and
7) amend the definition of "energy supplier" to include "persons engaged in distributed generation."

OPC also recommends the creation of a new CBOR Working Group to discuss recommendations on CBOR amendments.

The full text of OPC's Petition is available on the NEM Website.

New York
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Order on Utility CES Tariff Filings

The Commission issued an Order adopting a Clean Energy Standard (CES) cost recovery framework for the utilities and directing the filing of conforming tariff amendments. Utilities are to recover costs associated with RECs, ZECs and any ACP payments through a volumetric per kilowatt-hour (kWh) surcharge billed to their retail commodity customers. Each utility is to establish a forecasted, fixed rate for a twelve month period for recovery of RECs, ZECs and ACP costs, inclusive of uncollectibles. Surcharge recoveries and actual costs will be compared and reconciled in the following twelve month period. Interestingly, the Commission also decided that, "In an effort to maintain general consistency among the Utilities and limit customer confusion resulting from the addition of new lines on customers' bills, the Commission finds it preferable to recover the costs of RECs, ZECs, and ACPs, through existing supply mechanisms and bill lines. The Utilities should however track these costs separately and file the effective rates on statements and have them available through their websites, so the charges and rates associated with the recovery of costs related to RECs, ZECs and ACPs may be reviewed by customers."

Costs associated with Tier 2 Maintenance Contracts and Backstop Charges are to be recovered through a volumetric kWh delivery charge billed to all delivery service customers. Specifically, the utilities are to recover the cost of Tier 2 Maintenance Contract and Backstop Charges through existing SBC bill lines for energy usage subject to the SBC.

The full text of the Order on Utility CES Tariff Filings is available on the NEM Website.

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