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March 1, 2013
NEM's 16th Annual National Restructuring Conference

NEM’s 16th Annual National Restructuring Conference will be held April 29, 30, and May 1, 2013, at the Embassy Suites Convention Center, Washington DC. A Draft Agenda is available here. You may register at this hotlink.

We already have numerous confirmations from many of the public officials that have the greatest impact on our industry, including Chairman John Wellinghoff, Chairman, FERC; Phillip D. Moeller, Commissioner, FERC; Tony Clark, Commissioner, FERC; Garry Brown, Chairman NYPSC; John D. Quackenbush, Chairman, MIPSC; Betty Ann Kane, Chairman, DCPSC; Ronald A. Brise, Chairman, FLPSC; Daniel Esty, Commissioner, CT DEEP; Tim Echols, Commissioner, GAPSC; James Cawley, Commissioner, PAPUC; Erin O’Connell-Diaz, Commissioner, ICC; Kelly Speakes-Backman, Commissioner, MDPSC; Jeanne Fox, Commissioner, NJBPU; Kenneth Anderson, Commissioner, TXPSC; Orjiakor Isiogu, Commissioner, MIPSC; and Steve D. Lesser, Commissioner, OHPUC. Please contact headquarters ASAP if you are interested in sponsoring this event.

New Jersey
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Staff Proposal on Purchase of Receivables/Utility Consolidated Billing

Board Staff has issued a POR/Utility Consolidated Billing proposal. The Staff proposal provides that:
• All of the electric and gas utilities would be required to offer POR and utility consolidated billing to all residential and small to mid-sized commercial customers. POR programs for large C&I customers would be offered at the utilities’ option.
• POR would only be available for supplier commodity charges, not any additional competitive services.
• The current restriction on customer eligibility for UCB (dropped to dual billing within the past 12 months) would be relaxed to allow customers to participate that are not 90 days or more in arrears.
• The policy of dropping electric customers to dual billing that are 60 days in arrears would be changed to 120 days, in alignment with the current practice of the gas utilities.
• The utilities would be required to provide suppliers with timely arrearage reports.
• Staff does not recommend any change to current discount rates or consolidated billing fees.

Comments are due March 11, 2013, and replies are due March 18, 2013. A stakeholder meeting is tentatively scheduled for the week of March 18th. The full text of the Staff Proposal is available on the NEM Website.

New York
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NEM Reply Comments on Retail Energy Market Review

NEM filed reply comments in the Commission's inquiry into the retail access market. NEM's reply comments urged the Commission to initiate two different proceedings. First, before any substantial modification of the existing market structure is considered, the extremely volatile residential utility default prices and their departure from competitive levels should be fully investigated and transparently examined by the Commission. Bundled utility rates that are used to form the basis of default service rates should be examined by all stakeholders in sufficient detail so that at the end of this investigation: (1) residential consumers are able to make a true “Apples-to-Apples” comparison of retail energy prices to residential consumers can be made, (2) consumers can be properly and accurately educated, (3) the Commission website can be properly informed, (4) misrepresentations/misconduct can be quickly and accurately identified, and (5) all consumers as well as their suppliers can be properly protected.

Second, NEM recommended that a separate track of the investigation or a new docket be opened in which the various different types of conduct and misconduct be identified and a reasonable, prudent and understandable system of corrective actions, restitution standards and/or penalties, if and when appropriate, can be fully considered by all stakeholders and clarified by the Commission.

The full text of NEM's Reply Comments is available on the NEM Website.

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ANOPR on Natural Gas Licensing Requirements

The Commission initiated a rulemaking proceeding last year to review its existing natural gas supplier licensing requirements. Upon its review of comments submitted by NEM and other stakeholders, the Commission has now issued an ANOPR proposing changes to the definitions of marketplace entities and attendant licensing obligations.

The Commission proposes to add definitions of the terms "aggregator" and "broker" to the regulations as follows:

Aggregator - an entity, licensed by the Commission, that purchases natural gas and takes title to it as an intermediary for sale to retail customers.

Broker - an entity, licensed by the Commission, that acts as an agent or intermediary in the sale and purchase of natural gas but does not take title to natural gas supply.

The Commission proposes to delete the term "marketing services consultant" from the regulations. The regulations are proposed to instead include a new definition of "non-selling marketer" and a revised definition of "nontraditional marketer" as follows:

Non-selling marketer - A commercial entity, such as a telemarketing firm, door-to-door company or auction-type website, that provides marketing services to retail customers for a licensed NGS's natural gas supply services.

Non traditional marketer - A community-based organization, civic, fraternal or business association, or common interest group that works with a licensed NGS as an agent to market natural gas service to its members or constituents. The nontraditional marketer may not require its members or constituents to obtain its natural gas service through a specific licensed NGS and may not be compensated by the licensed NGS if members or constituents enroll with a licensed NGS.

The proposed regulations would require the newly defined agents and brokers to be licensed as well as a non-selling marketer that is under contract to more than one licensed NGS or which has a contract with an end-user retail natural gas customer. Nontraditional marketers are not required to be licensed, and non-selling marketers under contract to only one licensed NGS may not be required to be licensed. NGSs would be responsible for the actions of nontraditional marketers and non-selling marketers with whom they have an exclusive relationship.

Comments on the ANOPR are due thirty days after its publication in the PA Bulletin. The full text of the ANOPR is available on the NEM Website.

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