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April 16, 2010
NASDAQ OMX Commodities Clearing Company (NOCC) Becomes NEM Executive Committee Member

The National Energy Marketers Association (NEM) is pleased to announce that North American Energy Credit and Clearing Corp. (NECC) has been acquired by NASDAQ OMX Commodities Clearing Company (NOCC). NASDAQ OMX Commodities Clearing Company (NOCC) has elected to assume NECC’s seat on NEM’s Executive Committee. NASDAQ OMX Commodities Clearing Company will be represented within NEM by George Sladoje, President & Chief Executive Officer; John Flory, Senior Managing Director – Strategic Planning; Michael Kane, Senior Managing Director – Operations; Steve Sladoje, Senior Managing Director – Finance, Trading Services & Settlements; Seth Wilson, Senior Managing Director – Risk; and Richard Gutierrez, Sales and Trade Support.

NASDAQ OMX Commodities Clearing Company (NOCC) recently purchased North American Energy Credit and Clearing (NECC). Its parent NASDAQ OMX is the world’s largest exchange company, supporting transactions on six continents. NASDAQ OMX Commodities has been supporting the clearing of NordPool, the world’s most mature electricity market, for 15 years and has 420 energy members from 21 countries. The acquisition of NECC, which provided credit risk management and clearing-style services in both physical and financial electricity and natural gas in the US, allows NASDAQ OMX Commodities to apply its world leading experience to the US energy market. NOCC, as the most hedger friendly clearing solution, is pleased to support the members of NEM in reducing the cost of credit in the wholesale energy markets that is ultimately passed on to US consumers.

NASDAQ OMX Commodities Clearing Company (NOCC) provides a credit risk management solution that is customized to accommodate the unique requirements of physical energy market participants--that is comprehensive credit protection from transaction through the delivery and settlement in a manner that consolidates cash collateral requirements. NOCC's services pertain primarily to 'over-the-counter' traded power and natural gas contracts in the US.

NEM's 13th Annual National Energy Restructuring Conference

NEM's 13th Annual National Energy Restructuring Conference - NEM will convene its 13th Annual National Energy Restructuring Conference at the Embassy Suites Hotel Washington D.C. Convention Center on April 27th & 28th, 2010. This year’s theme is “Renaissance in Energy Markets.” Topics of discussion will include Competitive Energy Supply, Demand, Prices and Economic Opportunities. Please use this hotlink to register for the event.

We have already confirmed a number of key regulators and legislators and this promises to be a "can't miss" event. Confirmed participants include: Congressman James Clyburn, Majority Whip (D-SC); U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (Ind-VT); Congressman Joe Barton (R-TX) (invited); Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) (invited); Congressman Glenn Thompson, Jr. (R-PA); Congressman Fred Upton (R-MI); Jon Wellinghoff, FERC Chairman; Daniel Poneman, Deputy Secretary of Energy; Marc Spitzer, FERC Commissioner; James Cawley, PAPUC Chairman; Alan Schriber, OH PUC Chairman; Douglas Nazarian, MDPSC Chairman; Manuel Flores, ICC Chairman; Orjiakor Osiogu, MIPSC Chairman; David Armstrong, KYPSC Chairman; Sharon Reishus, ME PUC Chairman; Betty Ann Kane, DCPSC Chairman; Erin O'Connell Diaz, ICC Commissioner; Sherman Elliott, ICC Commissioner; Nicholas Asselta, NJBPU Commissioner; Catherine Pugh, MD State Senator; Jess Totten, TX PUC Director; Eric Matheson, PAPUC Energy Advisor; and Calvin Timmerman, MDPSC.

State of the Markets Report 2009

Staff presented its annual State of the Markets Report at the FERC agenda meeting this week. Among the observations in the Report:
1- Average natural gas prices were down more than 50 percent from 2008 to 2009 across the U.S.;
2- Electricity demand declined 4.2% in 2009;
3- 12GW of demand resources cleared capacity markets in PJM, ISONE, and NYISO;
4- Prompted by lower electricity demand and lower fuel costs, electricity prices fell by half in 2009; and
5- Of the 25 GW of new generating capacity in 2009, 84% was natural gas and wind generators.
The full text of the State of the Markets Report 2009 is available on the NEM Website.

Technical Conference on Credit Reforms in Organized Electric Markets

FERC announced that Staff will convene a technical conference on issues related to its proposed rulemaking on credit reforms in the organized wholesale electric markets. The conference will be held May 11, 2010, at 9AM at FERC's Washington, DC headquarters. Additional details will be forthcoming. The full text of the Notice of Technical Conference is available on the NEM Website.

NEM previously submitted comments on the proposed rulemaking in which it supported:
•The proposed requirement for a seven day settlement cycle, if and as applied equally to all market participants. NEM opposes the proposal to later move to mandatory daily settlement. NEM suggests that an optional daily settlement/margining process and an efficient e-scheduling capability be added to the NYISO market and preserved in other RTO/ISO markets so that market participants have the right to bilaterally obtain alternate settlements that might better fit their situation. This range of settlement/margining options allows market participants to optimize their particular capital situation and thereby make more capital available for investment in clean demand side negawatts (e.g., demand response, energy efficiency, and on-site renewable generation).
• The proposed $50 million cap on unsecured credit as applied per market participant, with the clarification that “market participant” be defined such that the $50 million cap applies to the individual retail marketer and is not applied in aggregate to the financing companies that back multiple retail marketers in the marketplace. NEM also supports the concept of an aggregate cap applied to corporate families.
• The elimination of unsecured credit in financial transmission rights markets if applied evenly to all market participants.
• The clarification of the RTO/ISO status in netting transactions, in order to support this valuable market function.
• The implementation of minimum participation criteria that reflect the unique position of retail energy marketers and their contribution to well-functioning organized wholesale electric markets.
• Increased certainty for market participants as to what constitutes a “material adverse change” that will require posting of additional collateral.

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

FERC Adopts NAESB Demand Response M&V Standards

FERC adopted regulations to incorporate business practice standards of NAESB that categorize various demand response products and services and to support the measurement and verification of these products and services in wholesale electric energy markets. The NAESB Phase I M&V standards identify operational information about demand response products that system operators need to make available to participants in markets where such products are offered and address performance evaluation methods appropriate to use for demand response products. FERC found that, "The new standards will facilitate development of standardized business practices for measuring and verifying demand resource products and services for the wholesale electric market. In addition, they will help create a framework for a more seamless electronic marketplace by providing consistent terms and definitions that can be used in electronic protocols across both the wholesale and retail electric markets." The full text of the Order is available on the NEM Website.

Proposed Rulemaking on Affiliate Rules

FERC issued a proposed rulemaking to amend its current affiliate restriction regulations. "Specifically, the Commission is proposing to revise the separation of functions and information sharing provisions of those affiliate restrictions to explicitly state that employees that determine the timing of scheduled outages or that engage in economic dispatch, fuel procurement, or resource planning may not be shared under the Commission's market-based rate affiliate restrictions adopted in Order 697." Comments are due sixty days after publication in the Federal Register. The full text of the NOPR is available on the NEM Website.

Click here to view all past updates.
Examination of Electric Utilities Price to Compare

The Commission initiated a proceeding to examine the Price to Compare that appears on the electric utilities' monthly customer bills and websites. The Commission decided the review was appropriate in view of its recent adoption of new Competitive Electric Supply regulations. Specifically, the Commission will, "investigate whether the 'price to compare' as calculated by the IOUs and set forth on a customer's monthly bill, is an effective tool that facilitates or influences a customer's decision regarding whether to select a competitive electric supplier and provides sufficient and accurate information to make the comparison between the competitive offers and Standard Offer Service (SOS) provided by the customer's IOU."

The Commission set forth questions for utilities and other interested stakeholders to comment on:

"Questions for Utilities
• How are you calculating the price to compare?
• How is the price to compare displayed on the bill?
• Does any explanation accompany the price to compare number on the bill? If so, what is that explanation?
• Where is the price to compare found and how is it displayed on your website?
• How often does the price to compare get updated?
• What are the costs and other implications of listing more than one price to compare, e.g., the current and next Standard Offer Service price along with the applicable dates of each?

Question for Commenters
• What calculation and display of the price to compare would be of most use to customers, and why?"

Comments are due May 7, 2010. A legislative-type hearing will be held June 1, 2010. The full text of the Notice Initiating Proceeding is available on the NEM Website.

Click here to view all past updates.
PUC Comparison of Current Market Prices with Capped Electric Generation Prices

The Commission released its quarterly comparison between current market prices for electric generation and capped rates currently paid by consumers. The charts show differences between capped rates and estimated market prices at the end of the second, third and fourth quarters of 2008, all of 2009 and the first quarter of 2010 for MetEd, PECO, Penelec, and Allegheny, the electric utilities with rate caps expiring December 31, 2010. Information for PPL was not included because its rate caps expired December 31, 2009. The report notes that, "Comparing the charts illustrates that if current market trends continue, consumers may be able to achieve better prices through a competitive electric generation supplier when rate caps expire. The PUC expects that large industrial and commercial customers that acquire their supply from competitive retail electric generation suppliers will likely be able to secure supply at rates below the prices for default service from the utilities. Large customers are encouraged to proactively engage competitive suppliers to obtain further estimates for electricity for the post-rate cap period." The full text of the Comparison Charts is available on the NEM Website.

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