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May 3, 2013
NEM's 16th Annual National Restructuring Conference

Many thanks to the participants and attendees at NEM’s 16th Annual National Restructuring Conference held this week in Washington, DC. The Conference was a great success featuring many cutting-edge, substantive discussions with regulatory and industry leaders. We wish to extend a special thanks to our sponsors - Infinite Energy, Washington Gas Energy Services, Dominion Retail, Shell Energy North America, Wal-Mart, EC Infosystems, LCH.Clearnet, Nexant, Nodal Exchange, SCRA and Veterans Energy - for making this event possible. Thank you all for supporting the Conference and NEM.

Click here to view all past updates.
Comments Sought on Customer Account Number Access Mechanism

In recognition of the difficulty encountered by electric suppliers in enrolling consumers in public venues and events, with respect to those consumers that are not on the eligible customer list and do not have their account number accessible, the Commission is proposing that an automated mechanism to provide customer account number access to electric suppliers be developed. The issue was vetted through the Commission's OCMO-led stakeholder process. The Commission stated that, "we are convinced that the inability to obtainc ustomer account numbers in the context of selling at public venues is a serious impediment to customer shopping."

The Commission issued a series of question pertaining to an account number access mechanism as follows:

"1. EDCs may propose using different technologies to provide account numbers. If so, how much variation among utilities would be too confusing or burdensome upon the suppliers using the systems?
2. Technologies that have been discussed include the internet, interactive voice response (IVR) telephone and electronic data exchange (EDI). Are some technologies preferable to others and if so, why?
3. In providing account numbers, should there be limits on the response time back from the EDC, and if so, should the timeframes be dependent upon the technology being used?
4. What specific identifying data should a supplier be required to submit to the EDC to get an account number? At a minimum, should a customer’s name and address be required?
5. What level of precision is necessary to ensure accurate data?
6. The amount and recovery of costs could vary by EDC and by the technology used. If there are significant costs, can they be estimated at this time? Who should be responsible for those costs and what mechanisms should be used to assess and collect costs?
7. What safeguards are needed to ensure that account numbers are accurately communicated and provided only to the customer and supplier involved?
8. What information and format should be required in an LOA?
9. Are there possible reporting requirements that should be developed so that the Commission can monitor the effectiveness and security of the systems? This could include things like the total number of account numbers provided and the number of complaints or problems associated with the provision of account numbers under these mechanisms.
10. What are the appropriate sales channels that would be authorized to use this process?
11. What process should the EDCs use to develop their solutions, including the level of stakeholder involvement and Commission oversight?
12. What are reasonable timeframes for the development and implementation of these systems?
13. Are there any other concerns, suggestions or questions that the Commission needs to address?"

Comments are due May 20, 2013. The full text of the Tentative Order is available on the NEM Website.

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