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June 12, 2009
Senate's American Clean Energy Leadership Act of 2009

The Senate has released text of its energy bill entitled the, "American Clean Energy Leadership Act of 2009." Of particular interest the bill provides that in order to, "improve the ability of retail rate utility customers to compare tariff options by making the most up-to-date electric utility tariffs available in an online format that can be read and manipulated electronically." The bill would establish a Financial Market Analysis office within EIA that would be responsible for analysis of the financial aspects of energy markets. The bill would also establish a Working Group on Energy Markets to investigate the effect of increased financial investment in energy commodities on energy prices and U.S. energy security. The full text of the legislative language is available at this hotlink.

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Consumers Gas Rate Case

Consumers has filed a rate case requesting an increase in distribution rates. The utility argues that its, "presently-effective rates are now, and in the future will be, unreasonably low and inadequate without rate relief. Consumers Energy has calculated that for the projected test year it will experience an annual jurisdictional gas revenue deficiency of approximately $114.4 million as a result of reduced throughput levels and increased costs."

Consumers Energy proposes to increase delivery rates for sales customers by 16.7%. By comparison, it is proposing that all transport delivery rates be increased by 20.6%.

The Rate XLT Customer Charge would be increased from $7,210.00 per month to $8,739.80 per month coupled with an increase in the Distribution Charge from $0.4178 per Mcf to $0.5035 per Mcf.

The Rate ST Customer Charge would be increased from $510.00 per month to $631.30 per month coupled with a Distribution Charge increase from $0.8135 per Mcf to $0.9734 per Mcf.

The Rate LT Customer Charge would be increased from $2,830.00 per month to $3,481.30 coupled with a Distribution Charge increase from $0.5283 per Mcf to $0.6314 per Mcf.

Consumers proposed revenue decoupling mechanism is proposed to be applied to customer choice sales. Interventions in the case are due June 17, 2009, and a prehearing conference will be held June 24, 2009.

The full text of the Consumers Gas Application and Testimony is available on the NEM Website.

MichCon Gas Rate Case

Michcon has filed a gas rate case requesting an increase in distributon rates, premised on MichCon's argued, "need for additional annual revenue effective January 1, 2010 of approximately $193 million." Michcon proposes changes to its transportation and storage rates including: "(1) clarifying and updating certain general provisions, definitions and options for transportation services; (2) clarifying the monthly customer charge description for each of the transportation rate schedules; (3) supporting changes to the applicable months for storage injections under the load balancing storage charge; (4) supporting MichCon’s proposed new XXLT transportation service rate and related terms and conditions; (5) supporting various miscellaneous changes in the terms and conditions under MichCon’s transportation and storage rate schedules; and (6) reflecting the changes in the transportation and storage tariffs that are supported by myself or other witnesses, such as the proposed transportation and storage rate charges and the gas-in-kind fuel percent." MichCon also proposes implementation of a revenue decoupling mechanism that would be applied to all rate classes. The full texts of MichCon's Application and Testimony are available on the NEM Website.

Procedural Schedule in Gas Choice Tariff Review Proceeding

A procedural schedule has been established in the Commission's review of the utilities' gas choice tariffs. The purpose of the case is to determine whether clarification, review or additions to tariff provisions are needed on Residential Customer Protections, Solicitation Requirements, Supplier Registration and Code of Conduct, and Minimum Term provisions. Also included in the proceeding is consideration of the issue of whether a gas marketer may require a customer to pay a termination fee before returning to utility bundled service. NEM has been made a party to this proceeding. The schedule is as follows:

Staff draft tariffs - June 29, 2009
Counterproposals - July 14, 2009
Staff pre-filed testimony - August 3, 2009
Utility and Intervenor testimony - September 22, 2009
Rebuttal testimony - October 29, 2009
Motions to Strike - November 12, 2009
Responses to Motions to Strike - November 19, 2009
Cross-exam - November 30, 2009, December 1-4, 2009
Initial Briefs - January 7, 2010
Reply Briefs - January 21, 2010
PFD Target Date - February 22, 2010 (tentative)
Exceptions to PFD - March 12, 2010 (tentative)
Reply to Exceptions to PFD - March 19, 2010 (tentative)

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

New York
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ConEd Electric Rate Case - Procedural Schedule

ConEd filed an electric rate case that proposes a three-year rate plan for the three-year period ending March 31, 2013. The filing includes proposed modifications to the merchant function charge, billing and payment processing charge and metering charges. The merchant function charge is comprised of three components - competitive supply-related charge, competitive credit and collection-related charge, and uncollectibles associated with commodity. The present and proposed merchant function charges are hotlinked here. The billing and payment processing charge is proposed to increase to $1.05 per bill.

The procedural schedule was set as follows:
Updates to May 8 Rate Filing - July 10, 2009
Staff and Intervenor Testimony - August 28, 2009
Responsive Rebuttal Testimony - September 18, 2009
Evidentiary Hearings - October 26-November 5, 2009

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