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May 26, 2006
Haines & Company Elected to NEM Executive Committee

NEM is pleased to announce that Haines & Company has been elected 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.

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Open Meeting on Electric Markets

The Commission will hold a special open meeting on the state's changing electric markets on June 1, 2006, at 10:30AM in its Chicago office. The meeting will be the "first in a series of policy discussions to conduct a dialog with interested participants about the future of the Illinois electric market and steps the Commission could take to enhance consumer education and protection in the new market environment." The initial meeting will focus on trends and forecasts in U.S. energy prices and electricity rates. The full text of the Meeting Notice is available on the NEM Website.

ComEd Residential Rate Stabilization Plan

ComEd has filed its proposal to transition residential electric customers from below market rate freezes to market-based rates scheduled to take effect in 2007. Under the proposal, "the average incremental percentage increase, on a class-wide average basis, in the residential bundled electric service charges are limited to no more than 8%, 7%, and 6% in 2007, 2008, and 2009, respectively. In other words, the average residential charge for bundled electric service would be capped in 2007 at no more than 108% of the 2006 level, capped in 2008 at no more than 107% of the 2007 level, and capped in 2009 at no more than 106% of the 2008 level." The increases will be relative to the overall class-wide average rate calculated by ComEd in the previous year. The full text of ComEd's Filing is available on the NEM Website.

New York
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ConEd Retail Access Plan

ConEd filed a retail access plan detailing measures it has taken to support retail choice. ConEd notes that in the period of April 2005 to March 2006 that electric choice enrollments increased 99% from the prior year with 230,000 customers taking ESCO service. Gas choice migration increased 248% during that time frame with 86,000 customers taking ESCO service.

Current ConEd initiatives include: 1) consumer education and awareness of energy choices available; 2) implementation of a Purchase of Receivables program in April 2005; 3) introduction of an ESCO Referral Program in June 2006; 4) Market Match and Market Expo programs; and 5) redesign of the utility's choice website. Future ConEd initiatives will include providing ESCOs the ability to enroll customers in the Referral Program and implementation of new bill format. The full text of ConEd's Retail Access Plan is available on the NEM Website.

EDI and Uniform Business Practice Changes

The Commission issued an Order adopting changes to EDI standards and Uniform Business Practices. The Commission modified the EDI enrollment standard to accommodate the implementation of ESCO Referral Programs. A data element will be added to identify referral program enrollments, data segments that would have contained ESCO pricing information will contain dummy codes, and the enrollment guide notes will be revised to reflect that a utility may, but is not required to, provide customer phone number when sending account details to the ESCO on enrollments.

With respect to the proposal to accept supplier participation in referral programs when the supplier performs consolidated billing or dual billing, the Commission said that it must be demonstrated "that discounted commodity charges calculated by an ESCO would consistently equal the charges calculated by a specific utility, for the same introductory period."

A data segment will be added to differentiate metered and unmetered accounts as well as a Human Needs Indicator segment. Enrollment requests submitted to NFG include three new segments to account for ESCO late fees and budget billing installment and balance amounts under utility consolidated billing.

Changes were also adopted to accommodate purchase of receivables. Two data elements were added to the 820 Implementation Guide to convey the amount billed the customer for ESCO charges and the discount amount deducted from the invoice amount in calculating the customer's receivable. New elements and codes will also accommodate adjusting customer payment or receivable amounts relative to administrative charges (i.e. billing service fees, gas balancing charges). The 568 Accounts Receivable Advisement Implementation Guide is revised to include a Gas Pool Id and ESCO/Marketer Account Number segments to be sent at the utility's discretion. The full text of the EDI/UBP Order is available on the NEM Website.

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Investigation of Policies to Mitigate Potential Electric Price Increases

The Commission opened a proceeding to examine the development of policies to address potential electric price increases upon the expiration of utility rate caps in 2009 and 2010. The Commission identified a number of solutions for consideration including: 1) instituting consumer education programs well prior to anticipated price increases; 2) encourage conservation; 3) encourage demand response through, for example, "adopting hourly pricing as the default service rate for large customers; establishing default service rates for customers that vary from season-to-season, month-to-month, or even time-of-day; and encouraging or requiring installation of technologies such as thermostats that automatically reduce a customer's usage during peak periods" as well as implementation of advanced metering technologies; 4) utility phase-ins of higher energy prices over a period of years prior to expiration of rate caps; and 5) review of the interplay of wholesale and retail energy markets.

The Commission will hold an en banc hearing on June 22, 2006. Requests to present at the hearing are due May 29, 2006, and should be submitted to Initial comments are due June 15, 2006, and reply comments are due June 20, 2006. The full text of the Investigation Order is available on the NEM Website.

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