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July 14, 2006
NEM Summer Executive Committee Meeting

Mark your calendars for NEM's Summer Executive Committee meeting to be held July 25-26, 2006, in Chicago, Illinois at the Congress Plaza Hotel and Convention Center. Please contact the hotel at 312-427-3800 and request the NEM reservation rate of $119/night.

It is at the Summer Executive Committee where we elect new leadership for the year and identify midcourse corrections for our regulatory advocacy strategy. Your participation in this meeting is critical. We will also discuss: 1) post-transition period regulatory/legislative reactions to consumer rate “shock” including rate stabilization plans; 2) short and long-term best practices to facilitate consumer migration – what’s new, what works and what doesn’t; 3) design and implementation of cost-effective regulated and deregulated price and usage reporting practices that do not mislead consumers, or undermine new and innovative customer-focused product development and competitive pricing; 4) market-based utility rates to encourage demand response and state-of-the-art enabling technologies; 5) defining a “competitive market”; 6) bottom line business practices and rules that must be standardized on a national basis; 7) pro-active public relations strategies, including the opportunity to produce a public service spot for public television; 8) designing and implementing “retail wheeling rates”; and 9) identification of independent quantitative analysis that NEM teaming partners can provide that would be of maximum value to the members on the anti-competitive impact of utility long-term fixed prices, laddered contracts and competitive market alternatives.

Please register at this hotlink.

NYISO Billing Dispute Procedures

FERC issued an Order on NYISO's proposed changes to its Settlement Correction Provisions that would alter the review, challenge, and correction process regarding customer settlement information. The Commission recognized NEM's concerns about the retroactive application of the NYISO's new procedures. The Commission found that NYISO "should not be allowed to retroactively change the process for customer challenges existing prior to the effective date of the proposed revisions, and that the revisions shall apply to customer challenges made on or after the May 24, 2006, effective date." With respect to NEM's concern about opportunities for Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), the Commmission required NYISO to state in its tariff that it will treat the initiation of an ADR proceeding pertaining to a billing dispute as an "extraordinary circumstance" and therefore subject to the longer six month timeframe for issuance of a close-out settlement. The full text of the Order is available on the NEM Website.

New Jersey
Click here to view all past updates.
Board Orders Removal of Price to Compare Information From Bills

NEM and others participated in an informal stakeholder review of the gas utility practice of including price to compare information on customer bills. Pursuant to this review, the Board decided that price to compare information should be removed from all gas C&I bills. Instead, the gas utilities must now post twelve months of historical Basic Gas Supply Service (BGSS) rates on their websites. In making this change the Board reasoned that, "The real issue at this time is whether the price-to-compare provides C&I customers with information useful in choosing a natural gas supplier. No party has suggested that it does." The Board noted that, "customers, particularly C&I customers, want more information. Unfortunately the information that they probably want most, the price of natural gas in the future, does not exist."

With respect to residential customers, the utilities are also required to post twelve months of historical BGSS rates on their websites. They must also circulate proposed detailed residential BGSS calculation formats to the parties. Comments on the utilities residential BGSS calculations are due July 31, 2006. Finally, within nine months, Staff must reconvene the stakeholders to examine the effects of removing the price to compare from C&I bills and to consider open residential price to compare issues. The full text of the Order is available on the NEM Website.

Utilities Proposed Basic Generation Service Auction Filing

The utilities filed their proposal for the conduct of the 2007 Basic Generation Service (BGS) auction. The utilities generally propose to conduct the auction as in years past. A descending clock auction will be used to procure both BGS-Fixed Price and BGS-CIEP supply. The BGS-FP auction will seek offers for the supply of full requirements tranches of each utilities BGS-FP load for a three year period. A load cap will limit the number of tranches a bidder can serve in a particular service territory and in the state in the aggregate. The BGS-CIEP auction will seek offers for the supply of full requirements tranches of each utilities BGS-CIEP load for a one year period. The utilites propose to revert to the previous practice of using the BGS-CIEP auction to determine the Capacity Charge. The Default Supply Service Availability Charge is proposed to be set at $.00015. The full text of the Utilities' Proposal is available on the NEM Website.

New York
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RG&E Billing System and Unbundling Filing

RG&E filed proposed tariff changes to accommodate its new billing system as well as implement further rate unbundling. RG&E proposed to separately state a bill issuance charge of $.62 per month on full service customer bills. Furthermore, meter ownership, meter service and meter data service charges will be separately stated for non-residential electric SC3, 7, 8, 9 and 14 customers. RG&E has not proposed an unbundled Merchant Function Charge (MFC) for electric customers and will retain its current Retail Access Credit and Retail Access Surcharge. An MFC is in use for its gas customers. Additionally, RG&E proposes that, "for a customer whose scheduled meter read for moving to or from retail access will not occur until after January 1, the customer will continue to be billed at their existing rate option until the retail access meter read switch date. This is a proposed change to the current process of moving the customer to the new rate option loop effective January 1, prior to the meter reading effectuating the retail access change." Comments on RG&E's Filing are due August 28, 2006. The full text of RG&E's Filing is available on the NEM Website.

Click here to view all past updates.
Standardization of Default Service Agreements

The Commission directed that a working group be formed to develop standardized requests for proposals (RFPs) and supplier master agreements (SMAs) for default service. The Commission intends to require the inclusion of standardized RFPs and SMAs in default service implementation plans. Documents in use in Maryland, DC, and Delaware as well as Penn Power and Duquesne Light will be reviewed. The first meeting of the working group will be held July 26, 2006, in Hearing Room 1 at 1PM. The purpose of the meeting is to establish a procedural schedule and process for developing the documents. Those interested in participating should file a notice of appearance with the Secretary. The full text of the Notice is available on the NEM Website.

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