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March 15, 2019
NEM Events

NEM's 22nd Annual National Energy Restructuring Conference will be held April 10-12, 2019, at the Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill. You may register here.

The following state PUC Chairs and Commissioners will participate in the event: Dallas Winslow, Chairman, Delaware PSC; John Betkoski, III, Vice Chairman, CT PURA; Odogwu Linton, Commissioner, MDPSC; Upendra Chivukula, Commissioner, NJBPU; Norman Saari, Commissioner, MIPSC; Diane Burman, Commissioner, NYPSC (invited); Valerie Espinoza, Commissioner, NMPRC; Boyd Dunn, Commissioner, AZCC; Tim Echols, Vice Chairman, GAPSC; and John Rosales, Commissioner, ICC.

A number of former state regulatory commissioners have confirmed their participation as well including Angela O’Connor, former Chair, MADPU; Betty Ann Kane, former Chairman, DCPSC; John Quackenbush, former Chairman, MIPSC; Erin O’Connell-Diaz, former Commissioner, ICC; Catherine Sandoval, former Commissioner, CAPUC; and Ann McCabe, former Commissioner, ICC. Additional invitations to federal and state officials are outstanding.

A Draft Agenda is available here. Sponsorships are available. Please contact headquarters if you are interested in sponsorship.

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Commission Opens Rulemaking on Direct Access Expansion

At yesterday's agenda meeting, the Commission voted to open a rulemaking on the expansion of direct access to additional nonresidential customers as required by SB237. SB237 provides that,

"On or before June 1, 2019, the commission shall issue an order regarding direct transactions that provides as follows: (1) Increase the maximum allowable total kilowatt-hours annual limit by 4,000 gigawatt hours and apportion that increase among the service territories of the electrical corporations. (2) All residential and nonresidential customer accounts that are on direct access as of January 1, 2019, remain authorized to participate in direct transactions."

SB237 also requires the Commission to make recommendations by June 1, 2020, to the legislature on the expansion of direct access to all nonresidential customers.

The Order identifies the following issues for consideration:

"I. How should the Commission implement Section 365.1(e) of SB 237?

1. Whether the Commission should adopt Staff’s proposal, noted below, or a different approach.

Staff’s proposal:
a. The 4,000 GWh is apportioned as a percentage of the load for the full service territory of an IOU, excluding residential and existing Direct Access load, irrespective of which load serving entity currently serves the remaining load.
b. To comply with year-ahead Resource Adequacy requirements, and address potential cost-shifting, customers enrolled as a result of the 4,000 GWh expansion will not begin service until January 2020.
c. Eligibility to enroll new Direct Access customers is based off the waitlist that went into effect on January 1, 2019.

2. Whether there are any timing or process issues related to the increase in Direct Access load and the Commission’s rules and regulations for Resource Adequacy, the Integrated Resource Plan, and the Power Charge Indifference Adjustment.

3. Whether the Commission must take any additional action to comply with Section 365.1 (e)(2) of SB 237’s mandate that “[a]ll residential or non-residential customer accounts that are on [D]irect [A]ccess as of January 1, 2019, remain authorized to participate in direct transactions.”

4. Any other substantive issues necessary to implement Section 365.1.

II. With respect to the DACC Petition, the parties may comment on the following:

1. Whether the Direct Access Monthly Report, which IOUs provide to the Commission, should be revised to denote Direct Access load that is reserved and, therefore, not available to assigned to customers who are on the waitlist. Load will be considered as reserved if it is assigned to a customer who has a pending load replacement, load relocation, or account transfer.

2. Whether Direct Access customers should be permitted to relocate to a new location on the same premises."

The full text of the Proposed Revised Order Instituting Rulemaking is available on the NEM Website.

New York
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Order Adopting Revisions to UBP for Distributed Energy Resource Suppliers

The Commission adopted revisions to the existing UBP for Distributed Energy Resources Suppliers (DERS). Rules were added pertaining to early termination fees, production guarantees, and escalation clauses. The Commission decided that mass market Community Distributed Generation contracts may include a notice requirement of no more than 90 days and a termination fee of no more than $200. If a cancelling customer satisfies the notice requirement and finds their own replacement, subject to the customer eligibility requirements set by the DERS, the termination fee must be waived. The Commission also encouraged, but did not require, DERS to waive the termination fee in other situations, such as where the company is able to immediately replace the cancelling customer from a waiting list. The Commission declined to impose a limit on early termination fees for on-site solar installations.

The Commission decided to require that purchase contracts, as well as other contracts where charges do not depend on actual system production, include production guarantees. Production guarantees assure a certain level of monthly or annual generation by the generation system, in kilowatt-hours (kWh), and a remedy if that level is not met.

Finally, the Commission declined to adopt new limitations on escalation clauses, but did require that if a contract includes an escalation clause, that the escalation rate, calculation methodology, and applicable formula be identified and illustrative examples of the prices resulting from the escalation clause be included.

The UBP-DERS revisions apply to service to mass market customers, defined in the order as "customers in a distribution electric utility’s residential or small commercial service class and not billed based on peak demand." The rule revisions become effective for new contracts entered into after May 1, 2019.

The full text of the Order is available on the NEM Website.

Green Button Connect Working Group Meeting

A second working group meeting to discuss the development of Green Button Connect (GBC) terms and conditions will be convened by Staff on March 26, 2019, at 10:30 A.M. at the Commission’s New York City Offices. The purpose of the discussion at the meeting is for parties to provide input on the Data Security Agreement and Self Attestation form provisions, as filed in the Commission's cybersecurity proceeding, as they relate to GBC.

The agenda for the meeting is as follows:
1. Introduction
2. Utility overview of status of GBC development and implementation
3. Technical aspects: identifying and determining how they fit into the terms and conditions
4. Review of current Data Security Agreement and Self Attestation provisions
5. Next steps

In addition to in-person participation, a webex participation option will also be provided. The full text of the Notice of Working Group Meeting is available on the NEM Website.

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