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May 11, 2018
NEM Events

Please mark your calendars and plan to join us for upcoming NEM events. Agendas will be available shortly. Sponsorships are available. Please contact headquarters if you are interested in sponsorship.

NEM’s Mid-Atlantic Energy Summit will be held July 25-26, 2018, at the Hyatt Regency Baltimore Inner Harbor. You may register here.

NEM’s Western Energy Policy Roundtable will be held October 24-26, 2018, at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, Nevada. You may register here.

Click here to view all past updates.
Rulemaking Session on Retail Market Enhancements

The Commission held a rulemaking session this week to consider certain retail market enhancements, including access to interval meter data, seamless moves and instant connects. The Commission noted at the outset that the proposals would not be advanced for a rulemaking at that meeting, and a future session will be held on the proposals.

Tied to the issue of access to interval data were proposed regulations related to the registration of energy consultants. The Commissioners questioned Staff and other participants as to whether the Commission has the jurisdiction under current law to regulate these entities, which in turn spurred concerns about providing data access to such entities and the ability to exercise oversight over their conduct.

Regarding proposals to implement seamless moves and instant connects, few participants voiced substantive concerns with the measures. The primary objection voiced by the utilities was the associated implementation cost. Commissioners asked questions about the appropriateness of socializing the costs versus requiring suppliers to pay. Staff was tasked with compiling a report of the most recent POR reconciliation balances for each utility. It was noted that BGE's last POR filing revealed a reconciliation balance in excess of $5 million, which represents a potential funding source for the enhancements.

The Commission also received input on issues to be examined in a potential Phase III market enhancement workgroup. This included a proposal to allow customers to "enroll with your wallet (EWYW)," i.e., enroll with a competitive supplier based on information readily accessible in a customer's wallet, rather than require use of the customer's utility account number.

Click here to view all past updates.
Committee on Energy Choice

The Governor's Committee on Energy Choice met this week to consider technical working group reports as well as the report issued by the Nevada PUC as a result of its investigatory docket on the energy choice ballot initiative. Of particular note, the Committee adopted the report of the Technical Working Group on Consumer Protections which recommended: "third party retail marketers" should be prohibited because of the risk of slamming posed by these entities; consideration should be given to prohibiting door-to-door sales and/or telephonic solicitation; variable rate contracts should be prohibited; and consideration should be given to capping fees related to enrollment and "disenrollment."

After concluding the presentation by the PUC on its report about the energy choice ballot initiative, the Committee received information from former FERC Chair Jon Wellinghoff and expert witness Mark Garrett refuting the PUC's report conclusions related to $4 billion in potential stranded costs. Garrett's study and analysis showed a potential stranded net benefit in 2023 of $303 million. This led to a heated exchange between the expert and certain Committee members and prompted PUC Staff to also challenge the expert.

The full text of the Garrett Presentation is available on the NEM website. The next meeting of the Committee on Energy Choice is scheduled for June 18 at 9AM PST.

Click here to view all past updates.
Commission Rejects Dominion's Proposed Renewable Energy Tariffs

The Commission issued an Order rejecting Dominion's proposed CRG Rate Schedules, as recommended by NEM. Dominion's application requested approval of six renewable energy tariffs, called the CRG Rate Schedules, to allow existing or new non-residential customers with peak demand of 1,000 kilowatts or more to elect to purchase 100 percent of their energy needs from renewable resources. Dominion's filing is of particular significance because if the Commission had approved the CRG Rate Schedules as meeting the statutory definition of a 100% renewable energy tariff under Virginia Code § 56-577 A 5, then “the CRG Rate Schedules would impact the Company’s obligation to allow retail choice to certain customers seeking to purchase renewable energy.” Dominion's petition followed a recent petition filed by Direct Energy in this regard, wherein the Commission found that under Virginia law Direct is permitted to offer such products, so long as Dominion does not have an applicable green tariff to serve relevant customers.

In rejecting Dominion's proposal, the Commission found, "that Dominion has not established that its proposed tariffs will result in just and reasonable rates. The Commission has concluded, in exercising its discretion and considering the operation of the proposed rate schedules, that there is simply too much uncertainty and subjectivity in the tariffs for the Commission to find that they will result in just and reasonable rates. The unknown variables and utility discretion include: energy cost; forecasted energy prices at the generator node; forecasted capacity prices at the generator node; forecasted REC prices; forecasted REC sales; forecasted energy prices at DOM Zone; forecasted capacity prices at DOM Zone; quantity and negotiated price of generation procured through each PPA; number of PPAs; forecasted customer load; customer administrative fees; operating margin; and negotiated contract term. Furthermore, Dominion was unable to cite any Commission precedent approving a formula rate combining this amount of uncertainty and utility discretion.

The Commission also finds the Company has not established that it is reasonable to apply its authorized ROE to purchased power costs. To the extent the Company projected that it would incur additional risks under these tariffs for which it is not already compensated, then any proposed return should be based thereon. Similarly, to the extent the Company projected that it would incur specific incremental costs to administer these tariffs for which it is not already compensated, then any proposed administrative fees should likewise be based thereon."

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

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