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March 23, 2012
NEM's 15th Annual National Restructuring Conference

Since this is the beginning of NEM’s 15th Year, we have made special plans to celebrate this milestone at our 15th Annual National Restructuring Conference in Washington, DC on April 24 and 25, 2012. The Conference will be held at the Embassy Suites DC Convention Center, 900 10th Street, NW, Washington, DC. The Agenda is available at this hotlink.

Public Service Commission Chairs, Commissioners and other elected and appointed officials from around the country have already started to confirm their participation. Your sponsorship and support would be very helpful to make this NEM Event the best ever.

Sponsorship opportunities for this event can be viewed online at this hotlink.

Early registration for the April event is available online at this hotlink.

Click here to view all past updates.
Legislature Considers SB450

The Energy and Technology Committee is considering SB450, An Act Concerning Energy Conservation and Renewable Energy. The bill would change the renewable portfolio standard such that any Class I renewable energy certificate may be used to satisfy the renewable energy requirements in the year during which such certificate is generated and the following two years. It would also require that on and after January 1, 2012, not less than twenty-five per cent of the applicable requirements be generated from micro-grids.

The bill would also modify the definition of electric door to door sales as follows:

"For door-to-door sales to customers with a maximum demand of one hundred kilowatts, which shall include the sale of electric generation services in which the electric supplier, aggregator or agent of an electric supplier or aggregator solicits the sale and receives the customer's agreement or offer to purchase at a place other than the seller's place of business, provided such agreement or offer to purchase resulted from an unsolicited sales call, be conducted (i) in accordance with any municipal and local ordinances regarding door-to-door solicitations, (ii) between the hours of ten o'clock a.m. and six o'clock p.m., [unless the customer schedules an earlier or later appointment,] and (iii) with both English and Spanish written materials available. Any representative of an electric supplier, aggregator or agent of an electric supplier or aggregator shall prominently display or wear a photo identification badge stating the name of such person's employer or the electric supplier the person represents."

The full text of SB450 is available on the NEM Website.

Click here to view all past updates.
Electric Consumer Education Inquiry

The Commission issued a Notice of Inquiry on electric consumer education issues in Fall 2011 as required by statute. NEM filed comments in the proceeding. Based on its review of comments received, Staff prepared and filed recommendations with the Commission. The Commission approved Staff's recommendations at its Bench Session this week. With respect to the display of residential complaint information on, Staff recommended using a six-month rolling average for the computation of residential complaint statistics. Staff recommended the information be presented in a Complaint Scorecard format showing how each of the alternative retail electric suppliers’ rate of complaints compares to the average rate of complaints for the entire residential market by using a star ranking method. Staff also noted that simple customer inquiries will not be included in the presentation of the complaint statistics. Staff recommended using actual customer complaint numbers in presentation of the supplier Complaint Summary. The full text of Staff's Report and Recommendations is available on the NEM Website.

Click here to view all past updates.
Commission Approves Continuation of NIPSCO Gas Choice Program

The Commission approved a Settlement between NIPSCO and stakeholders that would indefinitely extend its gas choice program, under its Alternative Regulatory Plan (ARP) for gas service. The choice program had been offered since 1997 on a pilot basis. In approving the Settlement the Commission determined that, "the NIPSCO Gas ARP as modified in the Settlement will continue to provide benefits to NIPSCO, its customers, and its competitors and should be approved. Customers will benefit by having a choice of service suppliers and competitive rate options, while retaining the ability to receive traditional regulated GCA service. NIPSCO's competitors will benefit because they will continue to have access to markets through the direct assignment of upstream pipeline and storage capacity operational flexibility through enhanced access to on-system storage, and a new nominating option under the revised SAS Contract that mirrors capacity allocations made to NIPSCO's PPS and DependaBill products. NIPSCO will continue to benefit from an expanded service portfolio which will enable it to more efficiently compete with umegulated service providers and more fully utilize its resources. The modified NIPSCO Gas ARP will continue to provide NIPSCO with market-based pricing provisions in a number of its tariffs as well as incentive mechanisms for its gas purchase activities, both of which are consistent with the competitive market." By the terms of the Settlement the gas choice program will be subject to review by the parties at the end of the first year and every two years thereafter to assess any changes that may be needed. The full texts of the Order and Settlement are available on the NEM Website.

Click here to view all past updates.
NEM Comments on Electric Supplier Online Posting Requirement

The Commission issued a series of questions, previously raised by Commission Staff, about Public Utilities Article § 7-507(j) which provides that: “An electricity supplier shall post on the Internet information that is readily understandable about its services and rates for small commercial and residential electric customers.” The Commission issued the questions for comment, “in preparation for the potential implementation of more specific guidelines or regulations for the electronic publishing of information for consumers." NEM recommended in its comments that the Commission find that an electric supplier has satisfied the requirement under Section 7-507(j) of posting information that is “readily understandable about its services and rates” using the following two-step analysis:
1) If an electric supplier currently has a generally available offer, the electric supplier should post it online; otherwise,
2) In the case of customized, negotiated rate offerings, the electric supplier should post language online to the effect that the consumer “should contact the supplier for a quote.”
The full text of NEM's Comments is available on the NEM Website.

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