May 19, 2006
|Crossfire Energy Group Elected to NEM Executive Committee|
NEM is pleased to announce that Crossfire Energy Group, Inc. has been elected to the Executive Committee. Crossfire Energy Group (CEG) will be represented within NEM by Michael B. Gross, President and CEO, and Stephen Rudnicki, Vice President, Energy Division.
Crossfire Energy Group (CEG) has worked in the deregulation industry for the last eight years starting in Ohio calling B2B in the Columbia of Ohio market. Having secured with their partners, CASA, over 1,500,000 residential and commercial customers, their clients have never been assessed one dollar for a PUC incident. CEG offers a number of service solutions including the ability to record all phone conversations for quality assurance, a two-step verification process to ensure accuracy and integrity, redefinition of markets/territories to maximize calling potential and remote monitoring of agents. CEG has the unique ability to take client objectives and goals and develop scripting that uses a sophisticated psychological approach to deliver the client message and convert prospects into long customers. CEG’s quality standards start with its sales agents that follow all scripting word-for-word in order to avoid any misrepresentation. CEG’s trained management team provides instant verification of all information and ensures prospects completely understand the program and how it works. CEG’s final step is an independent third-party verification call for the final enrollment of the customer.
|XsunX Elected to NEM Executive Committee|
NEM is pleased to announce that XsunX, Inc. has been elected to the Executive Committee. XsunX is the developer of Power Glass™ – an innovative solar technology that allows glass windows to produce electricity from the power of the sun. XsunX will be represented within NEM by Tom Djokovich, chief executive officer, and Joseph Grimes, chief operating officer.
As governments and business sectors around the world recognize the need for sustainable energy sources, there is growing interest in finding new ways to make solar energy more affordable and widely accessible. The technologies and manufacturing systems developed by XsunX are intended to help fulfill this need.
XsunX specializes in the development of new thin-film solar energy technologies that extend the potential of solar energy. The Company’s focus is on the development of new types of thin films that provide diverse use applications (such as the glass facades of buildings) or alternatives to costly rigid silicon wafers, while also reducing the cost per watt of solar power.
Manufacturers of the Company’s films can utilize XsunX’s proprietary technology and manufacturing process to produce a diverse group of thin-film products such as Power Glass, a semi-transparent thin-film solar cell, on inexpensive plastics that can be used to apply transparent and photovoltaic glazing to glass and other transparent surfaces. When Power Glass glazing is exposed to light, the light energy is converted into electrical energy for use as a power source.
Focusing on the development of innovative new solar cell designs and manufacturing processes allows XsunX to provide manufacturers with state-of-the-art systems to meet production requirements. As the needs of manufacturers grow, the modular design of systems allows for capacity and next generation technology upgrades.
|Haines & Company Nominated to NEM Executive Committee|
NEM is pleased to announce that Haines & Company has been nominated to the Executive Committee. Haines & Company will be represented within NEM by Vice President, John Watts, National Account Manager, Rick Boyer, and Regional Manager, Sue George.
Haines & Company, based out of Ohio with offices nationwide, has four divisions. The division that will work closest with NEM, Haines Criss+Cross, publishes directories that contain more than 30 million updated listings and is the largest independent publisher of its kind in the United States. Truly unique and innovative, Haines has been the first of its kind and largest in many areas, covering over 75 major markets for over 70 years. Haines also utilizes tools developed to scour their databases and find information based on certain demographics, such as building, financial, and owner/resident data. The company's directories are garnered from 41l, making them extremely reliable. All of this, combined with their new REAL PROPERTY DATA, consisting of over 66 million US homeowners, allows energy companies to target potential customers by heating type, credit score, year built, and specific sales information, as well as any combination thereof.
|NEM Summer Executive Committee Meeting|
We are in the process of securing a venue for our Summer Executive Committee meeting tenatively to be held the last week of July. Those members interested in hosting the event should contact headquarters ASAP. It is at the Summer Executive Committee where we elect new leadership for the year and identify midcourse corrections for our regulatory advocacy strategy. Your participation in this meeting is critical.
|NOPR on Revisions to Market-Based Rate Standards|
FERC proposes to codify and revise its current standards for granting market-based rates. The major areas of reform would include: 1) adoption of regulations that track current standards for granting market-based rates; 2) as part of vertical power analysis, consideration of both transmission access and other barriers to entry (rather than separate consideration of the issues); 3) codify affiliate abuse rules; 4) adoption of a "market-based rate tariff of general applicability;" 5) adoption of a regional process for the submission of triennial reviews; and 6) segregation of sellers into two groups, one that will only file change in status reports (power marketers and power producers that own or control 500 MW or less of generating capacity in aggregate and are not affiliated with any public utility with a franchised service territory) and one that must submit a triennial review (sellers that don't qualify under the foregoing test). The rule would apply to "all public utility wholesale sellers transacting under market-based rates." The full text of the Market-Based Rate NOPR Fact Sheet is available on the NEM Website, and the full text of the NOPR will be posted when made available electronically.
|NOPR on OATT Reform|
FERC has proposed changes to the pro forma OATT to better ensure it serves the purpose of remedying, preventing and detecting undue discrimination as well as to improve transparency of transmission planning rules. The proposed changes include improved consistency and transparency of Available Transfer Capability calculation, requiring transmission providers to engage in a coordinated, open and transparent planning process, reformation of energy imbalance penalties and rollover rights policy, and improved transparency and customer access to information. The proposed rules would apply to all transmission providers, including ISOs/RTOs. The full text of the OATT Reform NOPR will be posted on the NEM Website when made available electronically.
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|Retail Electric Market Status Conference|
The Maryland PSC will hold a status conference on May 30, 2006, to discuss the status of residential and nonresidential electricity markets. The Commission is seeking comments on:
1) Status of retail competition in the State;
2) Type(s) of competitive offerings made by electricity suppliers for residential, Type I and Type II customers, including the time periods relative to these offerings;
3) Method(s) by which different customer classes are being contacted;
4) Whether customers comprehend the terms, conditions and prices of competitive offerings;
5) Whether the enrollment process is clear and effective;
6) Criteria consumers may use to evaluate competitive service offerings?
7) Technical or other improvements that could be readily implemented to facilitate retail competition; and
8) Current impediments to a more efficient retail market in the state.
Comments are due May 25, 2006. The full text of the Conference Notice is available on the NEM Website.
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|MetEd-Penelec Proposed Transition Plans|
Met-Ed and Penelec filed a proposed Transition Plan to increase their generation, transmission and distribution rates. By the terms of restructuring settlement, the utilities generation rates were capped through December 31, 2010. The utilities warn that not increasing generation rates "looms as a flash cut to competitive market forces" and recommends a "gradual four-year transition of customers toward market-based generation rates." Under the proposal, the companies, "generation rates will remain capped over the proposed 2006-2010 transition period. The caps will be higher than today's rates, but lower than the Compan[ies] estimated market prices throughout the transition period, as a result of a blending of a) the price resulting from a Request for Proposal ("RFP") process for an increasing amount of the power that is now supplied under the FES Agreement; b) the below-market fixed price of the power that will still be supplied by FES over the remainder of the transition period; c) NUG purchases; and d) substantial amounts of power purchases with non-affiliated third party suppliers that the Compan[ies have] under contract that are not only below current market prices, but are below the Compan[ies] current capped generation rate as well."
They also propose a Transmission Service Charge rider to recover transmission cost increases, a Universal Service Cost rider to recover costs to maintain service to low income consumers as well as uncollectible accounts, and a Government Mandates Rider to recover costs of various government programs.
The schedule set by the ALJ for this case is as follows:
Direct Testimony - June 20, 2006
Second Prehearing (Settlement) Conference - July 17, 2006
Rebuttal Testimony - July 21, 2006
Hearings - July 31-August 4, 2006
Main Briefs - August 23, 2006
Reply Briefs - September 1, 2006
(Note: certain consumer groups have protested the schedule so it may be subject to change)
NEM has intervened in the proceeding. Please contact headquarters if you wish to participate. The full text of MetEd-Penelec's Filing is available from NEM headquarters.
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|Distributed Generation Interconnection Standards|
As required by the federal EPAct, the Commission has opened an inquiry to investigate distributed generation interconnection standards. The Commission requests comments on: 1) whether a standard comparable to EPAct § 1254(a) been adopted by the state; 2) does the Commission have the authority to consider the federal interconnection standard; 3) is implementation of the federal standard consistent with state law; 4) is it now appropriate to open a proceeding to establish interconnection standards and what issues should the Commission address in such standards. Comments are due June 9, 2006. The full text of the Order Opening Proceeding is available on the NEM Website.
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