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March 6, 2020
NEM's 23rd Annual National Energy Restructuring Conference

NEM will convene its 23rd Annual National Energy Restructuring Conference on April 8-10, 2020, at the Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. The conference features a new format and content and is entitled, "Implementing an Effective Energy Strategy for 2020 and Beyond." You may view the Agenda here.

Topics for discussion include:
• The End Game in Energy Competition – Restoring the “Natural” Utility Monopoly
• Why Would any Utility Fear Energy Competition?
• What do Energy Consumers Really Want and Need?
• The Potential Value of a Public Relations Initiative for Our Industry
• Examining what the Bad Players in Retail Energy Sales are Doing to Create Justified Criticism of Our Industry
• The Good, the Bad and the Ugly – Where should NEM focus its Regulatory Response Activities in 2020?
• Energy Competition Advocates – Meet the Organizations that are Fighting the Good Fight!
• Apples and Oranges - Let’s End all Focus on the Utility “Price to Compare”
• A Comprehensive Review of State Activities, and …
• Energy Deregulation Activities in the “Wild” and Trailblazing West

Confirmed meeting participants include:
Willie L. Phillips, District of Columbia PSC Chairman
Dallas Winslow, Delaware PSC Chairman
Bob Burns, Arizona CC Chairman
John W. Betkoski III, Connecticut PURA Vice Chairman
Odogwu Obi Linton, Maryland PSC Commissioner
Upendra Chivukula, New Jersey BPU Commissioner
Valerie Espinoza, New Mexico PRC Commissioner
Sadzi Martha Oliva, Illinois CC Commissioner
Angela O'Connor, Massachusetts DPU Chairman Emeritus
Betty Ann Kane, District of Columbia PSC Chairman Emeritus
John Quackenbush, Michigan PSC Chairman Emeritus
Erin O'Connell-Diaz, Illinois CC Commissioner Emeritus
Wayne Gardner, Pennsylvania PUC Commissioner Emeritus
Steven Lesser, Ohio PUC Commissioner Emeritus

You may use this link to register. Please make your hotel reservations at the NEM rate of $229/night through March 11th at this link.

Consumer Advocates File for Review of PJM Capacity Market Decision

Consumer advocates from New Jersey, the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Delaware have filed a petition with the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals for review of FERC's PJM capacity market order. On December 19, 2019, FERC issued an Order directing PJM to expand its current Minimum Offer Price Rule (MOPR) to address state-subsidized electric generation resources, with certain exemptions. Petitions for Rehearing were filed by stakeholders in mid-January. The consumer advocates requested that the petition be held in abeyance pending FERC's issuance of an Order on the petitions for rehearing. The full text of the Petition is available here.

Click here to view all past updates.
Department Letter on Deceptive Telemarketing Campaign

The Department issued a letter to competitive electric suppliers regarding a deceptive telemarketing campaign. As described in the letter, calls are being made to residential electric consumers as follows:

"calls begin with a pre-recorded message that states that, as a customer of the specified electric distribution company (i.e., Eversource, National Grid, Unitil), the consumer is eligible to receive a 30 percent discount from his/her current monthly electric bill. In some instances, the automated message states that the consumer has been overcharged on previous bills. The pre-recorded message call informs the consumer to “press 1” to find out more about the offer, at which point the consumer is transferred to a live agent. At no point during the message is the name of the competitive supplier identified. The live agent subsequently informs the consumer that, by switching to the unidentified competitive supplier, the consumer can avoid paying charges mandated by statute (e.g., customer, transmission, and renewable energy charges that currently appear on the monthly bill)."

In order to identify the supplier or suppliers on whose behalf the calls are being made, the Department directed all competitive suppliers that have conducted telemarketing campaigns during 2020 to provide the following information:

"1) the name of each third-party vendor that conducted telemarketing on behalf of the competitive supplier during 2020, and for each vendor, all subcontractors that the vendor may have employed for the purpose of such telemarketing; and
2) a statement that the competitive supplier has contacted each of the vendors identified in (1), and that the vendor attested to the supplier that neither the vendor nor any subcontractors engaged in the types of telemarketing calls described above."

Responses are due March 13, 2020. The Department noted that a supplier is responsible for the actions of its third party marketing vendors. The full text of the Department Letter is available on the NEM Website.

NEM Comments in Retail Market Investigation

NEM filed comments on the Tier One initiatives that were proposed for stakeholder consideration in the Department's retail market investigation. The Tier One initiatives pertain to competitive supplier license application review, marketing-related activities, automatic renewal, competitive supplier enrollment reports and the Energy Switch website.

While largely supporting the proposals, NEM suggested a number of modifications and clarifications. Regarding the license review process, NEM recommended that suppliers be given a mechanism to respond to comments received on their applications and that comments be limited to matters germane to the application. The Department proposed a daily notification of door-to-door marketing activity, limited to three municipalities per notice. NEM suggested that suppliers provide two days advance notice that identifies a start and end date for marketing in a particular area, with such notice spanning a week duration. With regards to the proposal to require competitive suppliers to record telemarketing calls in addition to third party verification calls, NEM requested clarification with respect to the telemarketing call record retention policy, particularly regarding how long the records would need to be retained and distinguishing between telemarketing calls that result in an enrollment and those calls that do not.

NEM supported the adoption of a contract summary form for supplier use. NEM also supported the proposal that automatic renewal notifications be provided between thirty and sixty days prior to the expiration of contracts that have such provisions using a proposed automatic renewal notification template.

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

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