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April 13, 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 confirmed 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.
Order on ComEd Rate GAP Tariff

The Commission approved ComEd’s Rate GAP tariff, intended to implement the provision of the Illinois Power Act [IPA Act] pertaining to municipal aggregation. The statutory language on municipal aggregation provides as follows:

"Notwithstanding Section 16-122 of the Public Utilities Act and Section 2HH of the Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act, an electric utility that provides residential and small commercial retail electric service in the aggregate area must, upon request of the corporate authorities or the county board in the aggregate area, submit to the requesting party, in an electronic format, those account numbers, names, and addresses of residential and small commercial retail customers in the aggregate area that are reflected in the electric utility's records at the time of the request. Any corporate authority or county board receiving customer information from an electric utility shall be subject to the limitations on the disclosure of the information described in Section 16-122 of the Public Utilities Act and Section 2HH of the Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act, and an electric utility shall not be held liable for any claims arising out of the provision of information pursuant to this item (2)."

The Commission made the following determinations with respect to the language of IPA Act and its implementation by ComEd in its Rate GAP tariff:
•The term “small commercial retail customer” as referred to in Section 1-92 of the IPA Act shall be defined in accord with the Section 16-102 of the PUA [Public Utilities Act] as a non-residential customer who consumes 15,000 kWh or less annually.
•The term “retail customer” as referred to in the IPA Act shall be defined in accordance with Section 16-102 of the PUA to include customers that are “receiving or eligible to receive tariffed services from an electric utility.” The Commission interpreted tariffed services to mean delivery service, and therefore, all customers whether they receive commodity supply from ComEd or a competitive supplier, receive tariffed service from the utility. As a result, ComEd will provide a municipality with a list of customers including those both on delivery service and supply service.

Although the Commission interpreted the term “retail customer” that would be included in the list provided to the municipality expansively, it is important to note that ComEd in its Rate GAP tariff proposed to provide a requesting municipality with information in two steps. First, ComEd will provide a requesting municipality with a list of names and addresses of all Rate BES (default supply service), Rate BESH (utility hourly pricing service) and Rate RDS (delivery service only, competitively supplied commodity) customers, as well as generic load profile, aggregated load and usage data. Second, ComEd will provide the municipality with a list of account numbers only for those customers taking service under Rate BES and that have not opted out of the aggregation. (see proposed Sheet 409.1).

Staff has been charged with investigating the Commission’s statutory authority to initiate a rulemaking to develop statewide standards for the municipal aggregation program. Staff must report back its findings and recommendations within sixty days of issuance of the Order.

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

SB3765 on Door-to-Door Sales Practices

The Illinois legislature is considering SB3765 on door-to-door sales practices. The Senate passed the measure, and it has been referred to the House Rules Committee. The bill would provide as follows:

"Beginning in 2013, the Office of Retail Market Development shall review the practices of door-to-door sales within both the electric and natural gas market, gather input from all interested parties, and present to the Commission, the General Assembly, and the Governor a plan to identify problems in door-to-door sales and recommend any possible solutions or improvements for either legislative action or rulemaking by the Commission."

The full text of SB3765 is available on the NEM Website.

Click here to view all past updates.
Order Requiring Utilities to Enter into Contract for Gas-Fired Generation

The Commission issued an Order concluding a multi-year inquiry into whether to require electric utilities to enter into long-term contracts for generation, including issuance of a draft and amended RFP. The Commission determined that demand would require the new generation. Factors cited by the Commission underlying its decision included the uncertainty associated with coal-fired generation and its potential retirement both in and out of state; issues with relying exclusively on demand response resources; and the need to diversify the state's generation mix. The Commission also found that it, "cannot rely on PJM's Reliablity Pricing Model to deliver new generation in Maryland." Based on the record in the case, as well as generation building commitments stemming from the Constellation-Exelon merger, the Commission found there was a need for one new plant in the range of 650 to 700 MW in SWMAAC starting in 2015. The utilities entering into the contract shall recover their costs through the SOS surcharge. In summary, the Commission found, "that the long-term demand for electricity in Maryland, and specifically in the SWMAAC zone, compels us to order new generation in the amount of 650 to 700 MWs in the SWMAAC zone in Maryland by 2015. We find that the Bid of CPV Maryland, LLC to build a 661 MW natural gas-fired combined cycle facility in Charles County with an in-service date of June 1, 2015 will provide the needed new generation at the lowest cost to SOS ratepayers, and we accept that bid. We direct BGE, Pepco and Delmarva to negotiate and enter into a Contract for Differences with CPV Maryland, LLC , and to recover their costs (or return their credits) through the SOS surcharge." The full text of the Order is available on the NEM Website.

Click here to view all past updates.
Proposed Rulemaking on Natural Gas Supplier Licensing

Currently, natural gas marketing services consultants and nontraditional marketers are not required to be licensed by the Commission. Rather, the licensed NGS is responsible for any violations of the Natural Gas Choice statute, regulations or orders or for any fraudulent, deceptive or other unlawful marketing or billing acts committed by the marketing services consultant or nontraditional marketer. However, over time certain of these entities have sought and been granted NGS licenses even though they are not required to do so. The Commission has now opened a review to determine: "(1) whether the exemption from NGS licensing of marketing services consultants and nontraditional marketers should be discontinued; and (2) whether all natural gas aggregators, marketers and brokers should be required to be licensed as NGSs in order to offer natural gas supply services to retail customers. At a minimum, initiating this proposed rulemaking will allow the Commission to receive comments to determine if our NGS licensing regulations conform with the plain language of the Act, and reflect the current business plans of NGSs appearing before this Commission so that we can determine whether continuing these exemptions is in the public interest." The Commission noted that current licensing exemptions remain in effect during the pendency of this proposed rulemaking. The NOPR has now been published in the PA Bulletin setting the date for comments as June 14, 2012. The full text of the Proposed Rulemaking Order is available on the NEM Website.

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