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April 3, 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. Our preferred rate expires April 4th - please book your accommodations before rooms run out.

A number of U.S. and foreign officials have already confirmed their participation in the event. Those confirmed thus far include: Byron Dorgan, U.S. Senate; Jim DeMint, U.S. Senate; 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; Lee Terry, U.S. Congressman, House Energy and Commerce Committee; H.E. John Bruton, European Commission Ambassador; H.E. Michael Wilson, Canadian 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; Elizabeth Noel, D.C. Office of the People's Counsel; James Kendall, EIA Natural Gas Division Director; Harris McDowell, Delaware Senate; Eric Matheson, PAPUC Energy Advisor; Calvin Timmerman, MDPSC Assistant Executive Director; John Hofmeister, Citizens for Affordable Energy; and Chris Hendrix, General Manager, Competitive Energy - Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (Recent confirmations in bold). The full text of the April Meeting Agenda is available on the NEM Website.

Discussion Draft of Clean Energy Legislation Released

Congressmen Waxman and Markey released a discussion draft of clean energy legislation entitled, "The American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009." The draft would require retail electricity suppliers to meet a gradually increasing percentage of their load with electricity generated from renewable resources. The requirement would begin at 6% in 2012 and increase up to 25% in 2025. It also would allow state governors to elect to meet one fifth of the requirement with energy efficiency measures. The term "retail electric supplier" is defined to mean, "for any given year, an electric utility that sold not less than 1,000,000 megawatt hours of electric energy to electric consumers for purposes other than resale during the preceding calendar year."

The draft would also establish a global warming pollution reduction program applicable to electric utilities, oil companies, large industrial sources, and other entities. It would require these entities to have tradeable allowances representative of the tons of pollution they emitted. The amount of available allowances would be steadily reduced to ensure reduction of emissions.

The draft would charge FERC with regulating the cash market in emission allowances and offsets. Upon advise of an interagency workgroup, the President would delegate regulatory authority for the derivatives market to an appropriate agency or agencies.

The full text of the Discussion Draft is available on the NEM Website.

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Electric Re-Regulation Bill Passed Senate

On Wednesday night the Maryland Senate passed SB844. The bill would eliminate electric choice for residential and small consumers. Although large commerical and industrial consumers would retain the ability to choose a competitive supplier, they would be assessed a surcharge for new power plants built in Maryland. The restriction in choice is purportedly needed to ensure that new power plants in Maryland can recoup their investments. The companion bill in the House is HB1530. The Baltimore Sun is reporting that, "While the measure has cleared the Senate, its prospects for passage in the House of Delegates appear shaky. Delegates, including the chairman of the committee considering a similar bill, have said it's too late in the session to take up the complicated legislation with less than two weeks left."

New York
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Governor and Legislature Agree on Budget Provisions

Over the weekend, Governor Paterson and the legislature agreed to finalized budget language. As of this writing, the budget has passed the Assembly. Because of a narrow 32-30 majority in the Senate, consideration of the budget is being delayed pending the return of a senator that has been ill. Of particular importance with respect to the 18-a utility assessment, the revised budget language appears to rely on the current utility collection mechanism for assessing revenues. Utilities would include an estimate of revenues derived by "third parties" for the sale of commodity for calculation of the assessment. The full text of the Revised Budget Language (see part NN) is available on the NEM Website.

NYS Energy Plan Interim Report

In April 2008 the Governor issued an Executive Order requiring that a State Energy Planning Board be convened with the task of developing a State Energy Plan. Board Staff has released an interim report of preliminary findings to provide a sense of direction for the Plan and facilitate comment on substantive issues. Amongst the preliminary findings are the needs to:
1) encourage investment in energy efficiency and renewable energy;
2) adopt additional carbon reduction strategies;
3) build new infrastructure to support the increase in natural gas demand;
4) reduce reliance on petroleum-based fuels, beginning with the increased use of electric vehicles;
5) expand and modernize the electric grid; and
6) make further reductions in emissions across all sectors of the economy.

Comments on the Interim Report are due May 15, 2009. A Draft State Energy Plan will be issued July 15, 2009. The Final Plan is expected to be issued on October 15, 2009. The full text of the Interim Report is available on the NEM Website.

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Gas Utilities POR Program Filings

The Commission established a deadline of March 31, 2009, for the gas utilities to file voluntary POR programs, or alternatively, file a cost of service study in their next 1307(f) or base rate proceeding. Columbia Gas, NFG, and T.W. Phillips have filed POR program proposals. PECO has elected to file a cost of service study.

Columbia's proposal would utilize a 1.86% discount rate plus an administrative adder of 0.39%. The program would be mandatory for marketers using consolidated billing. Columbia would have the right to terminate for customer non-payment.

NFG's proposal is to implement a program modeled on its NY POR program. The discount rate for residential customers would be 2.7086% and for non-residential customers would be 0.4766%. Consolidated billing service and POR would be a requirement for marketers serving SATC customers with annual consumption of less than 1,000 Mcf/year. NFG also proposes the ability to terminate for customer non-payment.

T.W. Phillips proposal would offer a POR program for residential and small commercial customers with a discount rate of 2.81%. The program would only be available to marketers using consolidated billing and would be required for marketers that use consolidated billing. T.W. Phillips would have the right to terminate for non-payment of marketer commodity charges.

The full texts of the Utility POR Filings are available on the NEM Website.

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