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April 9, 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. 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.

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; 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.. The full text of the April Meeting Agenda is available on the NEM Website.

EIA Releases 2008 Update on Natural Gas Residential Choice Programs

EIA released its 2008 update on the status of natural gas residential choice programs. EIA reported that, "more than 13 percent or about 4.7 million of the approximately 35 million residential natural gas consumers with access to choice were buying natural gas from marketers as of December 2008, up from 4.4 million participating in 2007." The number of states offering residential choice remained the same in 2008. Additionally, the overall total of marketers serving residential consumers increased by 9% from 2007. New York has fifty active marketers, and "customers in some parts of New York have a choice of more than 30 marketers and 50 different price offerings such as introductory discount rates, month-to-month variable rates, fixed rates for longer terms, and budget plans." The full text of the EIA Report on Natural Gas Residential Choice Programs 2008 is available on the NEM Website.

New York
Click here to view all past updates.
NYISO Reports Lowest Wholesale Power Prices Since 2003 While State Assembly Chairmen Continue Probe of Electricity Market

Yesterday, NYISO reported that wholesale electricity prices in New York dropped to their lowest level since 2003. NYISO's President and CEO attributed the drop to, "the reduced cost of producing power, as well as lessened demand for electricity resulting from the economic downturn." For example, natural gas prices declined 63% from June 2008 to June 2009, lowering the cost to generate power. Coincident with NYISO's report, Assembly Chairmen Cahill and Brodsky released a letter they had sent to the NYISO President that continued their committees' investigation into what they deem the "bizarre" electricity market in the State. The inquiry is focusing on NYISO practices, the market clearing price mechanism, disclosure and openness. The full text of the NYISO Statement is available on the NEM Website.

Commission Dismisses NYSEG/RGE Rate Cases

The Commission dismissed the electric and gas delivery rate cases filed by NYSEG/RGE that had sought an increase in rates on an expedited basis. Commission Staff had filed a motion to dismiss the rate proceedings, arguing that the utilities failed to meet the standard for rate review the Commission established in its Order approving Iberdrola's acquisition of the companies which limited the companies from filing a rate application prior to September 2009 unless their financial performance would fall to levels jeopardizing their ability to provide safe and reliable service. In its Order, the Commission found that, "the Companiesí financial performance, assuming exercise of prudent management, will not fall to levels that would jeopardize their ability to provide safe and reliable service in the absence of rate relief prior to the time new rates would be available under the Merger Order. . . Thus, we find that, notwithstanding the current global financial crisis, the Companies will be able to access the capital markets to the extent necessary. . . We conclude that the Companiesí financial health depends on reasonable financial management by the Companies and their corporate parents, not on emergency rate relief." The full text of the Order is available on the NEM Website.

Click here to view all past updates.
Commission Proposes Changes to Gas Utility Security Requirements

The Commission determined to issue a proposed rulemaking to consider changes to gas utility security requirements, which had been identified as a barrier to marketer participation in retail access. The Commission proposes changes to balance marketers ability to provide adequate security with the utility's risk of marketer default. The proposed rules pertain to: 1) use of marketer accounts receivable in POR programs as fulfillment of some part or all of security requirements; 2) adoption of standard language for financial instruments used for security; and 3) reasonable criteria for utilities to use to establish the amount of security needed for licensing purposes. Comments on the proposed rulemaking are due June 3, 2009. The full text of the Proposed Rulemaking is available on the NEM Website.

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