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March 27, 2009
NEM's 12th Annual Global Energy Forum & Membership Meeting

NEM's 12th Annual Global Energy Forum & Membership Meeting will be held April 28 & 29, 2009. The meeting will be held at the Embassy Suites Washington D.C. - Convention Center located at 900 10th Street, NW, Washington, DC. The early-bird registration rates for members and non-members end on February 28, 2009. Please register at this hotlink. A block of rooms has been reserved for NEM members at the rate of $279 per night. Contact (202) 739-2001 for reservations and reference group code A-MN.

A number of U.S. and foreign officials have already confirmed their participation in the event. Those confirmed thus far include: James Clyburn, U.S. House Majority Whip; Marsha Blackburn, U.S. Congressman, House Energy and Commerce Committee; Gene Green, U.S. Congressman, House Energy and Commerce Committee; H.E. John Bruton, European Commission Ambassador; H.E. Andrejs Pildegovics, Latvian Ambassador; Aleksei Shishayev, Russian Embassy - Head of Economic Section; Marc Spitzer, FERC Commissioner; Philip Moeller, FERC Commissioner; Garry Brown, NYPSC Chairman; James Cawley, PAPUC Chairman; Alan Schriber, Ohio PUC Chairman; Orjiakor Isiogu, MIPSC Chairman; Donna Nelson, TX PUC Commissioner, Robert Curry, NYPSC Commissioner; Stan Wise, GAPSC Commissioner; Nicholas Asselta, NJBPU Commissioner; Erin O'Connell-Diaz, Illinois Commerce Commissioner; Steven Transeth, MIPSC Commissioner; James Kendall, EIA Natural Gas Division Director; Harris McDowell, Delaware Senate; Eric Matheson, PAPUC Energy Advisor; Calvin Timmerman, MDPSC Assistant Executive Director; and Chris Hendrix, General Manager, Competitive Energy - Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. The full text of the April Meeting Agenda is available on the NEM Website.

CFTC Adopts Rule on Significant Price Discovery Contracts

CFTC adopted rules implementing the CFTC Reauthorization Act of 2008, pertaining to improved oversight of Exempt Commercial Markets (ECMs) on which significant price discovery contracts (SPDCs) are traded or executed. The new rules establish procedures under which the Commission will determine an ECM contract to perform a significant price discovery function. Relevant factors to such determination include price linkage, arbitrage, material price reference, material liquidity and other material factors. The rules also provide guidance for compliance with nine statutory core principles for ECMs with SPDCs and extend the applicability of existing regulations for registered entities to ECMs with SPDCs. The full text of the Final Rules are available on the NEM Website.

S.672 Would Give FERC "Cease and Desist" Authority

S.672, the "Natural Gas and Electricity Review and Enforcement Act" was introduced by Senator Cantwell. The bill would give FERC "cease and desist" authority to augment FERC's anti-manipulation authority. FERC would be able to get an injunction in federal court to prevent a market participant from engaging in behavior in violation of the Natural Gas Act, Natural Gas Policy Act or Federal Power Act. The full text of S.672 is available on the NEM Website.

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Order in Nicor Rate Case and Peoples/North Shore File Rate Cases

As part of the resolution of Nicor's gas rate case, the Commission approved a settlement of small volume choice program issues. The Order approved the following: "1) Customer Select customers shall receive a credit for gas in storage as part of the Transportation Service Credit; 2) Nicor will calculate Supplier‘s end-of-month Storage Inventory Target Levels during the winter as a percentage of month-end storage capacity, as opposed to a percentage of the preceding November 1 inventory; 3) that Customer Select Suppliers shall be allowed to cycle annually the additional operational balancing storage capacity of 6 times the Group‘s MDCQ effective as of the first May following the effective date of the tariff, and, also, permit the combined storage capacity of 34 times the Group‘s MDCQ as the basis for calculating monthly storage inventory target levels and the daily storage injection capacity; 4) to include the Account Charge in the base rates of all eligible customers; 5) to eliminate the $10.00 Group Addition fee as it relates to switching from one supplier to another and recover these costs through base rates; 6) to extend the number of days that a customer has to select a new Customer Select Supplier after returning to Nicor from another Customer Select Supplier from 45 to 120 days; 7) to make available to Customer Select Suppliers a residential customer mailing list; and, 8) to continue to meet with interested Customer Select stakeholders." The full text of the Nicor Order is available on the NEM Website.

On a related note, Peoples Gas and North Shore Gas have filed new rate cases. The full text of Peoples Gas Rate Filing is available at:
The full text of the North Shore Gas Rate Filing is available at:

New York
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Comment Sought on O&R Report on Expansion of ESCO Referral Program

O&R was directed in its last electric rate case to evaluate the feasibility of expanding its ESCO referral program to include new service customers. O&R filed a report detailing how this could be accommodated, including changing enrollment transactions that would require changes in its Customer Information Management System and Retail Access Information System. For electric customers under the proposed program expansion, "the enrollment becomes effective immediately upon service activation, without any notice to the customer or opportunity to rescind." "For gas service activations, the process will have to be revised somewhat in order to allow for the release of capacity and appropriate scheduling of gas deliveries by ESCOs. All ESCO gas service must commence on the first of the month. However, the Company can accommodate a process that would allow a new customer to elect PowerSwitch for its gas service so long as that election was made at least 15 days prior to the first of the month (and no more than 25 days prior to the first of the month) and the PowerSwitch enrollment does not become effective until the first of the month. In these circumstances, if service was activated prior to the first of the month, the customer would begin service taking O&R's gas commodity service and would become an ESCO customer on PowerSwitch on the first of the following month." O&R estimated first year implementation costs for the program expansion to be approximately $46,000 and on-going maintenance costs to be $4,100 annually. O&R proposed that marketers participating in PowerSwitch fund the costs.

The Commission has requested comments on O&R's report. Comments are due May 11, 2009. The full text of O&R's Report is available on the NEM Website.

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Proposed Rulemaking on Gas Utilities PTC, POR Programs and Capacity Release

The Commission issued a proposed rulemaking intended to foster the development of the retail natural gas market and to aid consumers in comparison of marketer and gas utility pricing. Specifically, the proposed rules would:
1) reformulate the utility “price to compare”;
2) establish permanent rules for utility voluntary POR programs;
3) provide guidance on non-discriminatory capacity release, assignment and transfer; and
4) change how recoverable costs related to competition activities and regulatory assessments are handled.

Additionally, Vice Chairman Christy issued a statement on the proposed rules voicing a number of concerns including: 1) the advisability of moving from quarterly to monthly gas price adjustments; 2) whether moving embedded gas procurement costs from base rates to the PTC would result in utility stranded costs; 3) whether the Commission should develop a monthly projection of natural gas prices for the ensuing twelve months to improve information available to consumers; and 4) consumers lack of knowledge of effective migration riders. Christy requested comment on these issues as well.

Comments on the Proposed Rulemaking are due 45 days after publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin.

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