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March 5, 2005
Request for Policy Conference Call of the NEM Members

As NEM has announced in previous updates, NEM is participating in a Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania proceeding. Columbia has proposed to offer two fixed commodity price services.

In a complaint filed with the Commission, NEM expressed concern that the proposed services will not allow for a proper transition to a competitive natural gas market in Columbia's service territory. This case is now moving forward, with a pre-hearing conference scheduled for March 15. With settlement discussions ongoing and the procedural schedule about to be set, it is critical that NEM establish its positions and strategies in this proceeding.

In addition, the Judge has announced that the record in this case will close on April 14. For that reason, a detailed conference memorandum must be submitted identifying witnesses, an issues list, a proposed procedural schedule and the subject of testimony. This filing is due by April 13, 10am.

NEM Headquarters has scheduled a conference call to discuss the Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania fixed commodity price services proceeding. The call has been scheduled for Tuesday, March 8 at 2pm ET. The dial-in information is listed below:

Date: March 8
Time: 2pm ET
Telephone Number: 1-913-643-5111
Passcode: 209337

We encourage NEM members to participate in this call in order to develop NEM's settlement and litigation positions.

NEM's Annual Restructuring Conference.

NEM's Annual Spring Restructuring Conference will be held at the Marriott Metro Center on April 26-27, 2005 in Washington, DC. The VIP reception will be held at the Canadian Embassy. Many thanks to Centrica, Commerce Energy Group, ESG, Excelergy, Interstate Gas Supply, Constellation NewEnergy, Proliance and SAP for offering to sponsor this event.

Speakers this year include FERC Chairman Patrick Wood, Commissioners Brownell and Kelly, CA Deputy Secretary of Energy Joseph Desmond, NYPSC Chairman William Flynn, Orange and Rockland Ulilities President John McMahon, MADTE Chairman Paul Afonso and Chairman Alan Schriber from Ohio confirmed to speak. In addition to those mentioned above, Michigan PSC Chair Laura Chappelle, Ronald Cerniglia of the New York PSC, Jeanne Fox of the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities, and CA PUC President Michael R. Peevey have also confirmed.

Sessions will include: 1) Serving the Public Interest : Shifting Commodity Risks to the Marketplace, Modification of the Obligation to Serve and Incentives for Sustainable Growth; 2) Transition to a Competitive Market – Cutting Edge Accelerated Customer Migration Strategies, Incentives and Timing of Utilities’ Exit from the Merchant Function. To sign-up for this conference or view the agenda for the two day event, please click here.

Natural Gas Council Submits White Papers to FERC

FERC released for comment the Natural Gas Council's white papers on natural gas interchangeability issues and on liquid hydrocarbon dropout. Comments are due April 1, with a technical conference expected to be scheduled shortly.

AGL Challenges FERC Requirement to Submit an Operating Conditions Statement Regarding its Release of Capacity to Gas Suppliers in Georgia

AGL has requested that FERC either not require AGL to file a Statement of Operating Conditions or require that any shipper who releases interstate pipeline capacity in conjunction with a state retail unbundling program be required to file a Statement of Operating Conditions.

Click here to view all past updates.
ComEd Announces Plans to Use a Wholesale Auction Beginning in 2007

With the price freeze ending at the end of 2006, ComEd filed a plan to set its rates beginning in 2007 by a wholesale, reverse auction. After the first year, suppliers could bid for 1, 3 or 5 year contracts.

Exelon, ComEd's parent company, would be able to participate in the auctions.

CILCO and Illinois Power also filed to establish basic generation services, effective January 2, 2007, through a procurement/auction process.

Illinois Considers Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Programs.

Governor Blagojevich submitted a Sustainable Energy Plan to the Commission for consideration. According to the Governor, the plan is a general consensus of the key stakeholders and includes several recommendations of the Energy Task Force. The proposed plan includes a renewable energy portfolio standard (along with renewable energy procurement requirements for utilities and suppliers) and an energy efficiency portfolio standard.

The plan considers the use of renewable energy trading and recommends competitive 10-year or longer contracts for renewable energy procurement. The plan recommends at least 2% renewable resources by 2006, with 8% by 2012, with 75% generated by wind. For energy efficiency and demand reduction, the plan recommends 10% of projected annual load growth for 2006 to 2008, with 25% for 2015 to 2017. The plan also recommends competitive, 10-year or longer contracts with efficiency services providers.

The Commission requested comments on the Governor's proposal. Comments are due by March 9. The Commission's list of questions for comment is available on NEM's website by clicking here.

Click here to view all past updates.
Maryland Working Groups Continue to Meet

The competitive issues working groups continue to meet. At least for some of the subteams, as most issues have been identified, the negotiating sessions are scheduled to begin. Meetings are scheduled for March.

Click here to view all past updates.
Hearings Scheduled for NSTAR's Reconciliation Filings for 2004

The Commission has set for hearing the various NSTAR Electric companies' reconciliation filings for 2004 regarding transition, transmission, standard offer, and default service costs. Boston Edison's public hearing is set for March 15, with written comments and interventions due by March 11. The public hearing for Cambridge Electric and Commonwealth Electric is also scheduled for March 15, with interventions and comments due by March 11.

Massachusetts Investigates Release of Gas Customer Data

In July 2004, a petition was filed to require utilities to make certain information available to commercial and industrial gas customers' agents and suppliers on a quarterly basis. The information included names, addresses, usage levels, and capacity assignment numbers. Comments were filed in January. The Associated Industries of Massachusetts recommended that the Commission adopt the electricity rules for the release of customer information, except for large commercial and industrial customers.

New Jersey
Click here to view all past updates.
New Jersey Schedules Informational Seminars for Large Business Customers

New Jersey will be holding informational meetings conducted by the utilities and suppliers for large business customers, particularly commercial and industrial electric customers who purchase hourly-priced services (CIEP) or who have accounts with peak demands of at least 750 kW.

The meetings for customers in the PSE&G service territory are: March 17 and March 21. For JCP&L, the meetings are March 29 and April 1. For Conectiv, the meeting is scheduled for April 6.

The meetings are to discuss how businesses can control their electricity costs, identify pricing trends, find suppliers, make sense of price offers, and switch to suppliers.

New Jersey Continues to Work on EDI Issues

The EDI Working Group continues to meet to clean up the EDI Implementation Guides and to discuss new issues.

New York
Click here to view all past updates.
NiMo Settlement Discussions Continue, with Some Suppliers Filing for a Procedural Schedule

In February, two suppliers requested that the Commission establish a procedural schedule concerning the review of NiMo's competitive opportunities development plan, which was filed by NiMo in December 2004.

Collaborative discussions currently continue, with the goal of NiMo filing a revised plan. Staff has circulated Staff's proposal among the parties. A copy of Staff's proposal is available for NEM members by contacting NEM Headquarters.

The next collaborative meeting is scheduled for March 14.

NYSERDA Proposes Gas Efficiency Program for ConEd's territory

NYSERDA has proposed a revised gas efficiency program for ConEd's service territory, which will be implemented by NYSERDA. The revised plan includes changes to NYSERDA's original proposal filed in December 2004. After the Commission reviews and considers the proposal (which will be subject to public comment), the program is expected to continue through September 27, 2007.

Click here to view all past updates.
Marketers and Consumers Request Rehearing of AEP Rate Plan

Various parties, including the Consumers' Counsel, the Ohio Energy Group and a group of suppliers, requested rehearing of AEP's rate stabilization plan for the post-market development period. Some of the requests argued that AEP's plan does not include competitive bidding to determine AEP's rates.

In FirstEnergy's proceeding, requests for rehearing also were filed, along with responses to the requests for rehearing. The issue of fixed-rate pricing for returning customers was raised by some parties, while other parties argued that the fixed prices approximated the pricing that would have been obtained at auction while also providing certainty. A number of cities have filed an appeal of the Commission's order.

The issue of pricing for returning customers also is an issue on rehearing for CG&E.

Ohio Legislature Reviewing Electric Restructuring

Utilities, Consumers' Counsel and marketers continue to testify before the Ohio legislature regarding electric restructuring.

Potential Commission Nominees Announced

The Ohio Commission Nominating Council submitted 4 names to be considered by Governor Taft for appointment to the Commission. Governor Taft has 30 days to select a nominee or request a new list of names from the Nominating Council, with the appointee subject to Senate confirmation.

The nominees are: Ronda Hartman Fergus; G. Raymond Lorello; Susan L. Norton; and James M. Teitt.

Click here to view all past updates.
Pennsylvania Requests Comments on Proposed Default Service Regulations

The proposed regulations governing default service were published recently in the Pennsylvania Bulletin. Comments on the proposed regulations are due April 15. NEM is drafting comments on the proposed regulations and invites all members to submit any concerns or issues that you would like addressed. A draft copy of the comments will be circulated in late March.

Click here to view all past updates.
Reliant and Consumers Reach Settlement on Price to Beat

Reliant Energy and consumer groups are reported to have reached a settlement regarding the "price to beat". Reliant will pass through all stranded cost charges and make base-rate adjustments for fuel twice a year. On March 29, the Commission is expected to issue the benchmark natural gas price for establishing the fuel factor.

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