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May 4, 2012
NEM's 15th Annual National Restructuring Conference

NEM's 15th Annual National Restructuring Conference last week in Washington, DC was a huge success. Many thanks to our sponsors that made the event possible. We had a great turnout of NEM members and prospective members as well as FERC, CFTC and State PUC Chairs and Commissioners, U.S. Senator Hoeven, U.S. Congressmen Whitfield, Terry and Pompeo, and DOE and State Department officials. Thank you to the members for making this NEM Event the best ever.

NEM Summer Policy Conference

NEM's Summer Policy Conference will take place on August 21-23, 2012, in Chicago, Illinois. The Illinois Commerce Commission has confirmed that the entire Commission and its staff will participate and other top State Officials and Stakeholders will be invited. We are also pleased to inform you that the University Club has granted NEM permission to offer rooms at this exclusive Club on a first-come, first-served basis to our members subject to its code of conduct for guests at the Club. All reservations for members who wish to stay in the Club should be arranged with Catalina Aguilar at NEM headquarters. Please also note that we are arranging to have an NEM Member Baseball Game Night, the evening of August 22, 2012, at 7PM, White Sox v. New York Yankees. Please use this hotlink to register.

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Pepco Ordered to File POR Plan

The Commission issued an Order finding that an electric POR program for the District is worthy of further study and directed Pepco to file a POR program implementation plan. The Commission declined to make a similar finding for natural gas at this time. The Commission opined that:

"POR programs are but one factor that may affect supplier competition. Another likely explanation for increased supplier competition is that decreased energy prices in the market have made suppliers' price offerings more competitive and thus more attractive to customers. The Commission believes that both factors contribute to increased supplier competition, as seems to be the case in Maryland. Therefore, we believe further inquiry into the establishment of a PoR program is appropriate, particularly if such a program would have no negative impact on the ratepayer."

Pepco's POR plan filing must include the following details:

(1) a detailed District-specific POR program plan that is similar in design to the Maryland POR program;
(2) estimated program costs;
(3) an assessment of Pepco's Maryland POR program and ratepayer impacts;
(4) an assessment of D.C. ratepayer impacts of such a program; and
(5) any necessary rule changes required to implement POR.

Pepco's plan is due within 60 days of the Commission Order and comments on the plan are due 30 days thereafter. The full text of the Order is available on the NEM Website.

New Jersey
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Energy Competition Rules Approved

The Board has approved the re-adoption with amendments of the energy competition rules, largely as were proposed in May 2011. A second companion proposal will be issued to address other substantive changes to the energy competition rules. The companion proposal is scheduled to be published in the New Jersey Register on May 21, 2012.

The readopted energy competition rules include the following modifications:
1) consumers will be provided a seven calendar day right of rescission (instead of the former fourtenn calendar day provision);
2) zip + 4 information that was previously required to be filed as a part of marketer license renewal process will now be provided to Staff upon request;
3) elimination of certain recordkeeping requirements for electronic enrollments; and
4) While allowing a marketer or third party agent to perform telephonic verification, the rules will now require recordation of the entire duration of the call;

The companion rule proposal will include the following issues:
1) provision of information regarding fixed and variable rate products;
2) provision of consumer contracts to those that switch by phone or electronically; and
3) contract renewal processes.

The full text of the Rule Readoption with Amendments is available on the NEM Website.

New York
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ConEd Mandatory Hourly Pricing Program Evaluation Report

ConEd filed with the Commission a Mandatory Hourly Pricing (MHP) Program Evaluation Report prepared by KEMA. KEMA's evaluation consisted of an impact analysis of the program’s impact on customer’s on-peak load, system peak demand and off-peak energy consumption. KEMA also performed a process evaluation of the sentiments of current ConEd customers and migrated retail access customers interviewing 34 full service and 73 retail access customers. KEMA's impact analysis determined that "MHP had minimal impact on energy usage. . . .
The cost comparison estimated that the average participant bill was approximately 0.7% higher than what would have been paid if they were not on hourly pricing and were paying alternative rates for energy. Considering the minimal impact on energy use, the differences between MHP prices and alternative rates may not be substantial enough to influence full service customers to change their energy usage and demand patterns. In addition, for customers who stated that they have the ability to reduce energy during high price periods, the data analysis showed no significant difference between the estimated energy use with MHP and without MHP." KEMA's process evaluation revealed that, "For MHP to be effective, customers need to be aware of hourly prices, be willing to identify a maximum price threshold at which they would consider reducing demand, and develop a load reduction implementation plan that they could activate. Unfortunately, the vast majority of participants are not viewing prices daily and have not established a maximum price threshold where they would be willing to reduce demand, even though Con Edison has provided tools and direction to do so."

KEMA's resulting conclusion is that expansion of the MHP program to customers with bill demands over 300 kW cannot be recommended. The full text of the MHP Report is available on the NEM Website.

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Peoples' Gas Rate Case Application

Peoples filed a gas rate case application. The filing is noteworthy as it is intended to comply with the Commission's new Competitive Gas Supply regulations. The regulations require the PTC to be expressed as a function of the natural gas supply charge (commodity supply charge and the reconciliation for over-under collections), a gas procurement charge (GPC)(unbundled from delivery service rates) and a merchant function charge (MFC)(uncollectible expense). Peoples proposed PTC will be expressed as a function of four components - a Commodity Charge, adjusted quarterly; a GCA Charge (the reconciliation, adjusted quarterly); the MFC; and the GPC. The proposed GPC is $0.1043/Mcf.

Peoples also proposes an update to its POR discount rates. The residential discount rate would be slightly decreased to 3.55% from the current 3.58%. The commercial and industrial POR discount rate would be increased to 0.77% from the current 0.74%.

Peoples proposes certain changes to the fees for supplier services. The pooling fees under Rate P-1 and Rate NP-1 would be reduced from $0.08?mcf to $0.0436/Mcf. Additionally, Peoples proposes that the pooling fee be permitted to be assessed on residential volumes.

The full text of Peoples Gas Rate Case Application is available from NEM headquarters.

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