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February 27, 2009
NEM's 12th Annual Global Energy Forum & Membership Meeting

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. The early-bird registration rates for members and non-members end on February 28, 2009. Please register at this hotlink. A block of rooms has been reserved for NEM members at the rate of $279 per night. Contact (202) 739-2001 for reservations and reference group code A-MN.

A number of U.S. and foreign officials have already confirmed their participation in the event. Those confirmed thus far include: Marsha Blackburn, U.S. Congressman, House Energy and Commerce Committee; Gene Green, U.S. Congressman, House Energy and Commerce Committee; H.E. John Bruton, European Commission Ambassador; H.E. Andrejs Pildegovics, Latvian Ambassador; Aleksei Shishayev, Russian Embassy - Head of Economic Section; Marc Spitzer, FERC Commissioner; Garry Brown, NYPSC Chairman; James Cawley, PAPUC Chairman; Alan Schriber, Ohio PUC Chairman; Orjiakor Osiogu, MIPSC Chairman; Robert Curry, NYPSC Commissioner; Stan Wise, GAPSC Commissioner; Nicholas Asselta, NJBPU Commissioner; Erin O'Connell-Diaz, Illinois Commerce Commissioner; Steven Transeth, MIPSC Commissioner; James Kendall, EIA Natural Gas Division Director; Eric Matheson, PAPUC Energy Advisor; Calvin Timmerman, MDPSC Assistant Executive Director; and Chris Hendrix, General Manager, Competitive Energy - Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. The full text of the April Meeting Agenda is available on the NEM Website.

Spark Energy Gas, LP ("SEG") Nominated to NEM Executive Committee

NEM is pleased to announce that Spark Energy Gas, LP ("SEG") has been nominated to NEM's Executive Committee. Spark Energy Gas, LP ("SEG") will be represented within NEM by Jeffrey F. Beicker, Sr. VP of Supply and Chief Risk Officer; Ken Ziober, Sr. VP; Terry D. Jones, Sr. VP; and General Counsel and Casey P. Marcin, Assistant General Counsel.

Spark Energy Gas, LP ("SEG") is a full-service wholesale and retail marketing organization that sells natural gas to wholesale commercial, industrial and end-use retail customers across North America. SEG (formerly known as Utility Resource Solutions, L.P.) was formed pursuant to the May 15, 1998 Texas Revised Limited Partnership Act. It began operations on January 17, 2001, and changed its name from Utility Resource Solutions, L.P. to Spark Energy Gas, LP on February 14, 2007.

Since its inception, SEG has become a leading natural gas marketing organization serving customers in Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, and New York. SEG is independent from utility or pipeline affiliates and provides reliable natural gas services to a diverse group of customers ranging from commercial to utility load.

SEG competitively serves residential, commercial, and industrial needs with the superior service customers deserve. SEG is capable of tailoring its services to fit every customer's natural gas requirements, whether it's purchasing, managing, aggregating, or supplying natural gas. SEG currently serves various industries including, but not limited to, school districts, international hotels, restaurants, hospitals, and other various high-end retailers.

FERC Technical Conference on Pipeline Posting Requirements

FERC will convene a technical conference to discuss aspects of Order 720, Pipeline Posting Requirements under Section 23 of the Natural Gas Act. In particular, Order 720 required major non-interstate pipelines to post scheduled flow information and to post information for each receipt and delivery point with a design capacity greater than 15,000 MMBtu per day. Issues for discussion include: 1) what constitutes major non-interstate pipelines; 2) what constitutes “scheduling” for a receipt or delivery point; and, 3) application of the 15,000 MMBtu per day design capacity threshold. The conference will be held March 18, 2009, beginning at 9AM. An agenda is forthcoming.

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HB 6507, HB 6510 and HB 6512 Would Limit Electric Competition

A series of bills, HB 6507, HB 6510 and HB 6512, were recently introduced that would severely limit the competitive electric market in the State. HB 6507 provides in relevant part, "on and after January 1, 2010, customers with a maximum demand of less than five hundred kilowatts shall receive and pay for electric generation services, designated as basic service, from the electric distribution company in which service territory such customer takes electric service; provided nothing in this section shall be interpreted as abrogating a customer's contract with an electric supplier that was executed and effective on or before January 1, 2010. No customers who have a maximum demand of less than five hundred kilowatts may enter into supplier contracts on or after January 1, 2010, and no such supplier contract shall be renewed except as expressly provided for in a contract entered into before January 1, 2010."

HB 6510 would establish a state power authority to function as the state's electric planning agency. "The authority may own and operate electric power plants and may provide financial assistance, including low-interest loans to encourage the development of necessary electric generation facilities by the electric distribution companies or private entities, provided electricity generated at such facilities shall be sold for use by Connecticut consumers at cost of service with a reasonable rate of return. The authority may enter into contracts with electricity generators, suppliers and consumers and such other persons as necessary to carry out the purposes of this section."

HB 6512 would require the electric utilities to use a portfolio management approach to electric procurement by January 1, 2012. The electric utilities must, "develop a portfolio in a manner that mitigates the variation of the price of the service offered to the electric distribution company's customers by blending short and mid-term market purchases at prevailing market prices with long-term purchases at prices aligned with the cost of electricity production."

The full texts of HB 6507, HB 6510 and HB 6512 are available on the NEM Website.

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MetEd and Penelec Voluntary Pre-Payment Plan Approved

One of the measures approved by the Commission to assist consumers in managing potential price increases at the expiration of utility rate caps was the implementation of voluntary pre-payment (VPP) plans. MetEd and Penelec's rate caps expire December 31, 2010. Under the Commission-approved MetEd/Penelec plan customers on an opt-in basis can elect to pay a VPP charge on a monthly basis from March 2009 through December 2010. Customers would then receive a VPP credit on their bills from January 2011 through 2012 of the amounts collected plus 7.5% interest. Residential and certain small commercial customers may participate in the plan.

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Commission Adopts Revised Customer Disclosure Rules

The Commission adopted revised rules pertaining to marketer disclosures to residential and small commercial customers. The rules modify the requirements for the electricity facts label (EFL) and terms of service documents and are intended to clarify advertising and marketing responsibilities. The Commission adopted definitions of a fixed rate product, indexed product and variable price product and disclosures attendant with the sale of such products. "The commission determines that specific EFL disclosures are required for the indexed and variable price products to alert the customer that the price can change. The commission requires price history for residential variable price products. The commission requires residential variable price products to be only month-to-month and prohibits termination fees on month-to-month contracts. The commission requires the bill to provide residential customers with instructions for how to obtain information about the price that will apply on the next bill for variable price products."

New contracts must conform to the new rules within five months. As to existing contracts, "REPs [have] up to five months to conform contracts and product documents with the requirements adopted in this rule." The full text of the Order is available from NEM headquarters.

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