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April 24, 2015
NEM 18th Annual National Energy Restructuring Conference

NEM will convene its 18th Annual National Energy Restructuring Conference on April 29th-May 1st, 2015. This year the conference will focus on “Redesigning Wholesale and Retail Energy Markets - Enhanced Reliability, Consumer Services and Advanced Technologies." The conference will begin with a Welcome Reception on the evening of April 29th at the Georgetown Club. The next two days of substantive discussion will take place at the Embassy Suites, Washington, DC Convention Center.

Featured speakers will include: CFTC Chairman Timothy Massad; FERC Commissioner Philip Moeller; FERC Commissioner Tony Clark; FERC Commissioner Colette Honorable; MD Senate Majority Leader Catherine Pugh; FLPSC Commissioner Lisa Polak Edgar, President of NARUC; DCPSC Chairman Betty Ann Kane; MIPSC Chairman John D. Quackenbush; NCUC Chairman Edward Finley; DEPSC Chairman Dallas Winslow; PAPUC Commissioner James H. Cawley; PAPUC Commissioner Gladys Marie Brown; PUCO Commissioner Steven D. Lesser; GAPSC Commissioner Tim G. Echols; MDPSC Commissioner Anne Hoskins; NJPBU Commissioner Dianne Solomon; NJBPU Commissioner Upendra J. Chivukula; RIPUC Commissioner Paul J. Roberti; PJM Executive Vice President Andrew L. Ott; NYISO Vice President Market Operations Emilie Nelson; PJM Market Monitor Dr. Joseph Bowring; Former FERC Chairman Jon B. Wellinghoff; Former FERC Commissioner Marc Spitzer; Former NYPSC Chairman Garry Brown; Former ICC Commissioner Erin O’Connell-Diaz; PAPUC Eric Matheson; MDPSC Calvin Timmerman and Obi Linton.

You may register for the conference at this hotlink. The Agenda is available here.

New York
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Technical Conference on ESCO Eligibility Criteria and DER Provider Oversight

Staff will convene a Technical Conference on the development of rules for the oversight of Distributed Energy Resource (DER) providers and products, as well as to discuss proposals for new eligibility criteria for ESCOs. The Conference will take place May 12, 2015, at 9:30AM at the Commission's Albany offices. Staff was directed in the REV Order to develop rules for oversight of DER providers. Staff hopes to discuss, "the design, structure, and level of supervision of DER providers that will be appropriate to ensure consumer protections, while at the same time enable markets to develop through fair competition." With respect to ESCO eligibility criteria, "a review of the ESCO eligibility requirements to reflect lessons learned, changes in the marketplace, and implement additional structure for the market is appropriate." A list of discussion topics will be issued prior to the Conference. Subsequent to the Conference, Staff will issue detailed proposals for comment. The full text of the Notice of Technical Conference is available on the NEM Website.

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Order on Supplier Oversight Fees

The Commission issued an Order adopting a methodology for the assessment of supplier oversight fees as authorized in legislation passed last year. The Commission changed the methodology from that originally proposed, recognizing the arguments made by NEM that supplier intrastate operating revenues were not an appropriate basis upon which to allocate indirect costs. Under the methodology adopted, "the Commission will combine direct and indirect costs to establish the NGS and EGS total costs of regulatory oversight. The annual fee for each individual NGS or EGS within these groups will be based on: (1) the direct costs incurred based on employee time sheet data and (2) an allocation of indirect costs based on the ratio of NGS/EGS costs to total Commission direct costs. Individual NGS or EGS firms will be charged a rate based on the particular entity’s total gross intrastate operating revenues. Further, each NGS and EGS shall pay a minimum $350 fee, regardless of reported gross intrastate operating revenues. The total of all NGS and EGS fees computed in this manner will be designed to equal the total reasonable cost of their regulatory oversight for the fiscal year." The full text of the Order is available on the NEM Website.

Tentative Order on Natural Gas Supplier-Oriented Utility Consolidated Bill

The Commission issued a Tentative Order to provide for a more supplier-oriented, natural gas utility consolidated bill. Following changes previously adopted for the electric market, the Commission proposes that natural gas utility consolidated bills provide for: the inclusion of the natural gas supplier’s logo on the bill; the expansion of bill messaging space allotted to NGSs from two to four lines; and the inclusion of a Shopping Information Box. These changed are proposed with the intent of consumers, "developing a stronger recognition of, and relationship with, his or her NGS," as well as to, "increase customer awareness when participating in the competitive retail natural gas market." The changes are proposed to be implemented by implemented by June 1, 2016.

The Commission additionally requested comment on the inclusion of supplier inserts with the bill. The Commission declined to propose that utilities be required to include additional line items for supplier value-added services charges. Comments are due June 8, 2015. The full text of the Tentative Order is available on the NEM Website.

Tentative Order on Utility Web Portal for Sharing Smart Meter Data

The Commission issued a Tentative Order on the electric utilities development of a standardized solution for the acquisition of historical interval usage (HIU) and billing quality interval use (BQIU) data via a secure web portal. This proposal builds on the efforts of the workgroup tasked with developing a solution. The Commission proposes that electric utilities with smart meter requirements implement within eight months the Single User – Multiple Requests (SU-MR) option, and within twelve months, the System-to-System (StS) functionality.

Commissioner Cawley issued a statement on the importance of capitalizing on the investments in advanced metering and data sharing to benefit all consumers. He raised additional questions for stakeholder comment as follows:
"1. What are the implementation costs for the SU-MR option, as well as the StS solution?
2. Assuming the StS functionality is to be implemented, what are the incremental costs of the SU-MR option? In other words, are the implementation costs for the SU-MR solution reduced if the StS solution is implemented?
3. Can the Green Button solution serve as an effective substitute for the SU-MR option?
4. If the Green Button solution is currently not an effective substitute, can its functionality or access limits be modified, and at what cost, to make it suitable for this purpose?
5. Is it practical for all system users to use the StS solution, or is this more costly and burdensome than the SU-MR solution for lower data volume users?
6. What other standards are appropriate for this working group to establish in order to assure that a consistent solution is developed across all EDCs?"

Comments are due May 25, 2015. The full texts of the Tentative Order and Commissioner Cawley's Statement are available on the NEM Website.

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