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July 10, 2015
NEM New England Energy Policy Summit

NEM is pleased to announce that it will be hosting its New England Energy Policy Summit on October 12-14, 2015 in Cambridge, Massachusetts. A welcome reception will be held on the evening of October 12, 2015, at the Hyatt Regency Cambridge, and a reception will be held the evening of October 13, 2015, at the Harvard Faculty Club. Please save these dates. An Agenda is hotlinked here. You may register at this hotlink. A block of rooms has been set aside for the event at the Hyatt Regency Cambridge at the NEM rate of $279/night ((617)441-6494).

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Supplier Workshop and Technical Conference on Consumer Protection, Licensing and Bonding Rules

At the end of 2014, the Commission issued proposed revisions to its Consumer Bill of Rights (CBOR) regulations and sought to codify licensing and bonding requirements into Commission rules. In response to comments received in these rulemaking proceedings, the Commission has decided to convene a Supplier Education Workshop and Technical Conference on August 4, 2015, beginning at 10AM.

The purpose of the Supplier Education Workshop is for Staff to answer questions pertaining to the current consumer complaint process and current requirements for licensed suppliers. Staff will also give a summary of the proposed changes to the CBOR and the proposed codification of the licensing rules. The purpose of the Technical Conference is to provide an opportunity for further discussion of the proposed rules with the Staff and stakeholders. The full text of the Notice of Supplier Education Workshop and Technical Conference is available on the NEM Website.

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ORMD Annual Report on Retail Electric Competition

The Office of Retail Market Development (ORMD) issued its annual report on retail electric competition to the legislature. The report discusses in detail how the market has changed, in particular with respect to aggregation programs, including changes in participation in those programs over time. "With several communities deciding to end their aggregation programs, overall residential switching levels have declined compared to last year. However, the number of residential customers receiving ARES service outside of an aggregation program has actually increased in the last year."

ORMD computed residential RES customer savings compared to ComEd's PTC over the four year period from June 2011 to May 2015 as $215.5 million (when computed inclusive of the PEA, the savings is $247 million). The total annual savings from June 2014 to May 2015 was -$12.3 million. However, ORMD noted that, "on average, residential RES customers saved during the utility's four-month summer period when compared to ComEd's PTC."

ORMD reports that it, "anticipates a new Commission rulemaking proceeding that addresses additional requirements for suppliers marketing to residential and small commercial customers." This is stemming from the on-going Notice of Inquiry that was previously opened by the Commission on these issues. The full text of the ORMD Report is available on the NEM Website.

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Order on Gas Customer Account Access Mechanism

The Commission issued an Order directing the gas utilities to implement customer account access mechanisms to be available for supplier use by August 31, 2016. The utilities must submit their compliance plans within six months of the Order. The Commission decided that the mechanism is for use in enrolling residential and small commercial customers at public venues. The mechanism shall be within the utilities existing web portals and must require the input of a username and password to be accessed by the supplier. Customer input fields must include the customer's full name, service street address, and postal code. The supplier must obtain a signed LOA from the customer before using the account access mechanism, as well as being shown the customer's photo identification. The Commission indicated a willingness to consider cost sharing mechanisms under which suppliers would bear some percentage of the costs of implementation. The full text of the Order is available on the NEM Website.

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