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June 22, 2012
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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Review of Electric Bill Charges and Costs

The Connecticut PURA has initiated a proceeding to review electric bill charges and costs. The proceeding is meant to review: 1) all non-distribution and non-transmission delivery charges on electric bills, including, but not limited to: Bypassable and Non-Bypassable Federally Mandated Congestion Charges, Competitive Transition Assessment Charge, Combined Public Benefits Charge, Conservation and Load Management Charge, Renewable Energy Investment Fund Charge, and Systems Benefit Charge; and 2) the nature and level of costs passed through each charge.

PURA issued the following topics for comment:

"a. Based on the statutory language and legislative history of each charge, provide your opinion about the purpose of each charge, including which costs for electricity products, services, programs, etc. were intended to be paid for through each charge.

b. Describe the mechanics of how each charge is calculated by CL&P and UI and then approved by the Authority for inclusion on customers’ bills (e.g., updated semi-annually through a special procedure; existence of a true-up mechanism; other).

c. Separately list for each charge, all costs recovered for every year that the charge has been in existence, including any costs that are no longer collected.

d. For each year that a charge has been in existence, provide each charge’s calculated cost and percentage of total bill for a typical residential, commercial and industrial account holding generation and transmission costs constant.

e. Discuss the future cost projections for each charge. Separately list projected new costs to be recovered through each charge. Provide a projected calculated cost and percentage of total bill as requested in item d. above that reflects these projected costs. Highlight any costs for new products, services, programs, etc. not already identified in response to item c. above.

f. Based on the statutory language or legislative history relating to each charge, provide your opinion about whether the manner in which each charge is used to collect certain costs is consistent with the legislature’s intent for creating that charge.

g. Provide any other comments that you believe may assist the Authority for the purposes of this docket."

Comments are due July 10, 2012. The full text of the Notice of Request for Comments is available on the NEM Website.

New Jersey
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NEM Comments on POR Rulemaking Petition

NEM submitted a filing in support of a Petition requesting that the Board initiate a rulemaking proceeding on the adoption of regulations requiring the implementation of a nonrecourse Purchase of Receivables (POR) program by the electric and gas utilities to be made available to all third party suppliers. NEM supported the Board’s initiation of a POR rulemaking proceeding pursuant to the Board’s current authority under the Electric Discount and Energy Competition Act, particularly with respect to defining the “manner and mechanics” by which “customer account services” are provided to choice consumers. Alternatively, NEM also argued that the Board has ample general statutory authority to protect the public interest and to protect consumers from incurring duplicative billing costs unnecessarily, and can take action to correct defects inherent in the current utility billing mechanics without a formal rulemaking. NEM noted that the Board also has specific statutory authority under EDECA as well as an ample regulatory record and approximately ten years of operational experience to support a modification of the utilities’ currently defective billing mechanism to eliminate the duplication of costs and customer confusion caused by the “drop to dual billing mechanism.” The public interest in reducing unnecessary consumer confusion, lowering costs to the consumer, and supporting the availability of energy choice options also support the Board’s authority to modify the currently defective POR program with a properly designed POR program. Given the economic conditions currently facing the State and the consumers of New Jersey, NEM urged the Board to take action at the earliest possible time using its existing statutory authority and the ample administrative record that has accumulated on this specific defect in the utilities’ current billing mechanisms. The full text of NEM's Comments is available on the NEM Website.

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NEM Comments on Gas Supplier Licensing Requirements

NEM filed comments in the Commission's proceeding to examine natural gas supplier licensing requirements. NEM recommended that at this stage of market development it would be appropriate for the Commission to revisit the definitions of the entities that it has adopted and refine which entities currently have sufficient regulatory and licensing oversight and which entities require additional oversight or licensing requirements to safeguard the public interest. Prior to requiring additional registration requirements on entities already subject to regulatory and compliance safeguards, there should be a showing of demonstrable need to safeguard the public interest. Additionally, a threat to the public interest should be proven with respect to each additional business model proposed to be subject to additional regulation or oversight. NEM recommended that when an NGS has entered into a contract with a third party entity to act on its exclusive behalf in the utility service territory, that the NGS should be responsible for the entity’s conduct. However, where no such exclusive contractual relationship exists, and/or where the scope of the relationship and a related contract is limited to an NGS’s activity as a billing agent on behalf of the entity, the NGS should not be responsible for the third party entity’s conduct. In addition, there should be a safe harbor under which each different type of entity can conduct business and minimize its risk of liability as well as maximize its duty to safeguard the public interest, for example, through the implementation of specific quality controls and public safety measures. The full text of NEM's Comments is available on the NEM Website.

Secretarial Letter on PAPowerSwitch Upgrades

A Secretarial Letter was issued this week detailing several recent upgrades to The upgrades enhance the availability of information about renewable energy products such that EGSs may now provide information as to the location and percentage of their renewable energy products, as well as other details. The Commission noted the regulatory requirement that EGSs must be able to substantiate claims about renewable energy products through an auditable contract trail, such as a tradable commodity system. Other enhancements include the term for a fixed-price product, sorting by cancellation views, simultaneous viewing of several EGSs’ “additional information” fields and increased visibility of the “additional information” link. The full text of the Secretarial Letter is available on the NEM Website.

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