Document Search
Site Search
Advanced Search
Updates & Alerts
News & Media
Upcoming Meetings
Deregulation Library
Member Services
Ambit Energy
American Power & Gas
APPI Energy
Blue Rock Energy
BP Energy
Clearview Energy
Colonial Group Inc
Columbia Utilities
Crius Energy
Customzed Energy Solutions
Direct Energy
EC Infosystems
Energy Mark
Feller Energy Law
First Energy
Fluentgrid Ltd
Great American Power
IDT Energy
Infinite Energy
Integrys Energy Services
Shell Energy
Liberty Power Corp
LCH Clearnet
National Fuel Resources, Inc
Nodal Exchange
Noco Energy
North American Power
Palmco Energy
Planet Energy
Progress Energy
Public Power
RRH Energy Services LLC
Summitt Energy
Shell Energy
Spark Energy
Sperian Energy
Star Energy
Stream Energy
Suburban energy
Verde Energy USA
Washington Gas Energy Services Inc.
Xoom Energy
March 16, 2018
NEM Upcoming Events

NEM’s 21st Annual National Restructuring Conference will be held April 30 – May 2, 2018, at the Hyatt Regency Capitol Hill Hotel, Washington, DC. A Draft Agenda is available here. You may register at this hotlink.

RTO/ISO Grid Resilience Filings

After terminating the proceeding that it had opened in response to Secretary Perry's proposed rule on grid reliability and resilience pricing, FERC instead opened a new proceeding to examine the resilience of the bulk power system in the RTO/ISO regions. The new proceeding to examine resilience in the RTOs/ISOs is intended to: 1) develop a common understanding of what bulk power system resilience means; 2) understand how the RTOs/ISOs assess resilience in their regions; and 3) evaluate whether Commission action on resilience is appropriate. The RTOs/ISOs submitted required information about resilience last Friday.

While PJM maintained that its Bulk Electric System "is safe and reliable today – it has been designed and is operated to meet all applicable reliability standards," it did recommend a number of improvements for FERC consideration. This included the recommendation that RTOs submit a filing "for any proposed market reforms and related compensation mechanisms to address resilience concerns within nine to twelve months from the issuance of a Final Order in this docket. PJM, together with its stakeholders, is already actively evaluating such potential reforms that advance operational characteristics that support reliability and resilience, including (i) improvements to its Operating Reserve market rules and to shortage pricing, (ii) improvements to its Black Start requirements, (iii) improvements to energy price formation that properly values resources based upon their reliability and resilience attributes, and (iv) integration of distributed energy resources (“DERs”), storage, and other emerging technologies." (PJM's November 2017 White Paper on Proposed Enhancements to Energy Price Formation is available at this hotlink). PJM also suggested that improved coordination and communication requirements were needed between RTOs and natural gas pipelines to address resilience as it relates to natural gas-fired generation.

NYISO's filing detailed its current practices for addressing reliability and resilience as well as activities underway to ensure continued reliable operation and bolster resiliency in response to the evolving New York bulk power system. "The changing portfolio of resources serving the electric needs of New York will require a careful and comprehensive review of the NYISO’s existing market products and operational practices to ensure the continued ability to efficiently and reliably serve New York’s electricity requirements. Such initiatives include: (i) re-evaluating the current Ancillary Services products and shortage pricing values; (ii) ensuring that market price signals continue to incentivize resource performance and production consistent with dispatch instructions; (iii) assessing changes to the measurement of capacity supply resource availability to more accurately reflect resource performance during critical operating periods; (iv) evaluating deliverability and performance requirements for external capacity supply resources; (v) assessing opportunities for enhancements to interregional transaction scheduling and coordination; and (vi) more fully integrating energy storage and distributed energy resources to leverage the capabilities of these emerging resources."

ISO-NE's filing was focused on the fuel security-based challenges to resilience that are faced in that region. "ISO-NE conducted an Operational Fuel-Security Analysis (“OFSA”) to quantify the fuel-security risk, and to frame regional discussions on addressing it. ISO-NE’s goal in addressing the fuel-security risk is to develop a long-term market solution that will maximize the likelihood that generators have sufficient fuel to meet the region’s winter electricity needs. ISO-NE is already actively engaged with regional stakeholders on the region’s fuel-security risk, and has established a process to discuss market-based solutions to address this risk. In the stakeholder discussions, ISO-NE has previously stated that a range of solutions from changes to Pay For Performance parameters to market designs that increase incentives for forward fuel supply and re-supply to inclusion of opportunity costs associated with scarce fuels and emission allowances will need to be evaluated as part of the stakeholder process. Given the complexity of the problem, ISO-NE believes it will be necessary to allow the region sufficient time (through the second quarter of 2019) to develop a solution and test its robustness through New England’s established stakeholder process."

Notwithstanding the fact that ERCOT is not a FERC-jurisdictional RTO/ISO, ERCOT submitted a filing on its resilience-related activities. ERCOT discussed that its market is designed to ensure resource adequacy by compensating generators for remaining available during conditions of energy scarcity. "PUCT rules now allow wholesale prices for electricity in the ERCOT Interconnection to rise as high as $9,000 per MWh — substantially higher than in other RTO-ISO regions—based on scarcity. And in 2014, at the direction of the PUCT, ERCOT became the first ISO to implement an operating reserve demand curve (ORDC), which allows system-wide energy prices to rise in proportion to the scarcity of operating reserves. Like other American wholesale markets, ERCOT also uses locational pricing to ensure that the prices generators are paid reflect the relative need for energy at each point in the system. These scarcity- based pricing mechanisms not only encourage sufficient long-term investment in generation, but also help to ensure that generation owners maintain their units to maximize availability during a variety of possible system disturbances. In short, ERCOT’s scarcity pricing mechanisms are designed to alleviate the need for many resilience-based regulatory controls."

CAISO urged the consideration of regional differences in the resilience inquiry. For example, there are no coal resources in its footprint, one retiring nuclear unit and declining natural gas-fired units. The weather-based challenges faced in the CAISO region are also different. SPP echoed the sentiment that a "one-size-fits-all approach to resilience is not appropriate" due to regional differences. MISO reported that its grid is resilient. It suggested that FERC consider enhancements to inter-regional operations and congestion management that will support grid resilience. It suggested that transmission planning processes be improved in their consideration of resilience attributes. It also discussed the importance of utilizing information technology that can mitigate cyber and physical threats to its operation of the grid.

The full texts of the Grid Resilience Filings are available on the NEM Website.

Click here to view all past updates.
Proposed Energy Modernization Plan

Commissioner Tobin introduced a proposed Energy Modernization Plan for consideration. Chief among the elements of the proposal is the goal of relying on eighty percent clean energy resources by 2050, including solar, hydro, wind, nuclear, energy efficiency and other measures such as energy storage. The plan also proposes expanding energy storage in the state to 3000 MW by 2030.

Subsequent to the proposal, Staff issued a Notice of Inquiry to explore the associated issues. This may lead to a formal rulemaking. The NOI identified an extensive of list of questions for comment related to public interest/cost benefit; policy framework; clean energy; energy storage; forest health/biomass-related energy; dispatchable clean energy; energy efficiency; electric vehicle; resource and transmission planning; process-related issues; and security and reliability/resiliency.

With regards to a policy framework, comment was specifically sought on "any energy policy in Arizona you deem to be outdated, explain why, and identify proposed improvements to these policies," as well as "the role of traditional regulated energy providers changing in the future as a result of market and technological changes." With regards to the 80% clean energy resource target, comment was specifically sought on how distributed energy resources should be factored into the target and also how customer-owned DER should be factored into the target.

Comments on the NOI are due April 23, 2018. The full texts of the Proposed Energy Modernization Plan and Notice of Inquiry are available on the NEM Website.

Click here to view all past updates.
Proposed Revisions to Competitive Electricity Provider Consumer Protection Rules

The Commission is proposing revisions to the competitive electricity provider (CEP) consumer protection rules. This is in response to legislation effective at the end of 2017 as well as complaints received by its Consumer Assistance and Safety Division. The Commission is proposing to apply the new statutory requirements to both residential and small non-residential customers, notwithstanding that the language is clearly directed to service to residential customers only.

The legislation added requirements to Chapter 32 of the electric restructuring law. The law specifically provides that:

"4-B. Residential consumer protections. As a condition of licensing, a competitive electricity provider that provides or proposes to provide generation service to a residential consumer:
A. Shall disclose, before entering into an agreement to provide service to a residential consumer, to the residential consumer where the residential consumer can obtain information with which to compare the service provided by the competitive electricity provider and the standard-offer service;
B. May not renew a contract for generation service without providing a residential consumer with notice of renewal in advance by mail;
C. May not renew a contract for generation service at a fixed rate that is 20% or more above the contract rate in the expiring contract without the express consent of the residential consumer;
D. May not renew a contract for generation service for a term that is longer than the term of the expiring contract or 12 months, whichever is shorter, without the express consent of the residential consumer; and
E. May not impose an early termination fee for any contract for generation service that was renewed without express consent from the residential consumer.
If a residential consumer does not provide the express consent required by paragraphs C and D, the residential consumer must be transferred to standard-offer service.

4-C. Residential consumer protection through transmission and distribution utility bill information. The monthly utility bill for a residential consumer that elects to receive generation service from a competitive electricity provider must contain the following:
A. A website address or other resource that residential consumers can access to obtain information that provides independent information as determined by the commission that allows residential consumers to compare terms, conditions and rates of electricity supply; and
B. A statement that directs the residential consumer to the competitive electricity provider for more information on the residential consumer's contract, including its terms, and that provides the telephone number of the competitive electricity provider."

The Commission has proposed to implement the new law requirements with the following rule provisions:
1) CEPs must provide prospective customers with written information for comparing the CEP's rate with the standard offer service rate and a link to the Commission's website listing of standard offer rates;
2) Shopping customer bills must include the website address and phone number of the Office of Public Advocate for the provision of independent information on electric rates as well as a statement directing the customer to the CEP for more information on its Terms of Service;
3) Regarding renewals, if a customer does not provide express consent when required under the rules, the customer shall be returned to standard offer service. One of the two advance notices of renewal must be provided by US Mail. A CEP may not renew a contract for service for longer than the current term of the contract or twelve months, whichever is shorter, without the customer's express consent. CEPs are prohibited from renewing a fixed rate contract that is 20% or more above the expiring contract without a customer's express consent; and
4) CEPs may not impose an ETF for any contract for generation service that was renewed without the customer's express consent.

Additionally, the Commission proposes to apply the following requirements for in-person solicitations at a customer's premises:

"a. Provide written notice to the Commission and the local police department prior to commencing in-person solicitation of customers, which notice shall state the dates and times when the in-person solicitation will occur and identify the individual employees or representatives who will conduct the in-person solicitation;
b. Produce identification, to be visible at all times thereafter, which prominently displays in reasonable size type the full name of the CEP and the employee or representative, as well as the CEP's telephone number for inquiries, verification, and complaints, and shall leave such identification with the potential customer upon request;
c. Clearly state that the employee or representative is not working for and is independent of the potential customer's electric utility;
d. State that if the potential customer purchases electricity from the CEP, the potential customer's electric utility will continue to deliver the potential customer's electricity and will respond to any outages or emergencies. This requirement may be fulfilled by an oral statement to the potential customer, or by written materials left with the potential customer;
e. Terminate the in-person contact with the potential customer when it is apparent that the potential customer's language skills are insufficient to allow the potential customer to understand and respond to the information conveyed, or where the potential customer or another third party informs the CEP, or its representative, of this circumstance;
f. Record by audio all communications with the potential customer, commencing when the initial contact is made with the potential customer and ending when the employee or representative leaves the potential customer's premises. The recording shall include the potential customer's name and address and be maintained by the CEP for at least 12 months after the date of the solicitation and shall be made available in a format amenable to electronic conveyance to the Commission upon request;
g. Require its employee or representative to leave the potential customer's premises prior to any third-party verification call during which the customer enrollment is confirmed; and
h. Not pay or otherwise compensate its employee or representative based on whether a potential customer accepts the CEP's service."

The full text of the Notice of Rulemaking is available on the NEM Website.

Click here to view all past updates.
Gubernatorial Candidate Positions on Energy Issues

The Nevada Independent recently published an article detailing the gubernatorial candidates positions on energy issues. Regarding the energy choice ballot initiative, Attorney General Laxalt (R) is cited as favoring the measure (noting his supportive comment at NEM's Western Energy Summit last fall). Jared Fisher (R) is likewise noted as supporting the measure. Treasurer Dan Schwartz (R) and Clark County Commissioner Chris Giunchigliani (D) were noted as being cautiously in favor. Finally, Clark County Commission Chair Steve Sisolak (D) was cited as having “'remaining concerns' mostly related to how it could affect jobs, energy rates and rural communities. He also wants to see the recommendations put forward by the governor’s commission before taking a firm position on it." The article also discussed the candidates positions on raising Nevada's RPS to 50% by 2030, exiting the Paris climate accord, and phasing out EPA's Clean Power Plan. The full text of the Nevada Independent Article is available at this hotlink.

New York
Click here to view all past updates.
Commission Approves NIMO Rate Settlement

The Commission approved a three year electric and natural gas rate settlement for NIMO, including issues impacting ESCOs. The electric and natural gas Merchant Function Charges (MFCs) will continue, with certain modifications. NIMO's capacity release program, commencing in the winter of CY 2018/19, will be modified to provide ESCOs with a slice of the system. Implementation details will be addressed in technical meetings with the industry. Regarding ESCO billing charges, the electric billing charges to ESCOs will be as follows: $0.98 to an ESCO that supplies electricity to an electric-only customer and $0.49 to an ESCO that supplies electricity to a dual electric and gas customer. The gas billing charges will be as follows: $0.98 to an ESCO that supplies gas to a gas-only customer and $0.49 to an ESCO that supplies gas to a dual gas and electric customer. The customer backout credit equals the ESCO billing charge. The charge for an ESCO-initiated disconnection for nonpayment will be $50 at the meter and $209 at the pole (for electric) and $50 for ESCO gas customers. The full texts of the Order and Settlement are available on the NEM Website.

* Member Login :

User ID: 



*****   Click Here to stop receiving NEM Regulatory Updates    *****

3333 K Street, N.W., Suite 110
Washington, D.C. 20007
Tel: (202) 333-3288     Fax: (202) 333-3266

© Copyright 2004 National Energy Marketers Association