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July 17, 2009
Upcoming NEM Meeting Dates

Please mark your calendar and plan to join us for the following NEM meetings:

September 2009 Fall Leadership Roundtable - NEM’s Fall Leadership Roundtable Meeting will be held on September 15 & 16, 2009, at the Hampton Inn & Suites, Albany Downtown, Albany, NY 12210. NEM’s room rate has been secured at $129.00 per room per night. Many thanks to Matt Picardi from Shell Energy North America and David Wanounou from IDT Energy for the generous offer to host this meeting.

January 2010 Executive Committee Meeting - NEM’s Annual Winter Executive Committee Policy and Planning Meeting will be held January 19 & 20, 2010, at the headquarters of South Carolina Research Authority in Charleston, South Carolina. NEM’s room rate has been secured at $129.00 per room per night at the Hilton Garden Inn Charleston Airport, 5265 International Blvd., N. Charleston, SC 29418. The Executive Committee sets the course for NEM’s advocacy in the coming year at this meeting. Many thanks to Bill Mahoney and South Carolina Research Authority for the generous offer to host this meeting.

April 2010 Annual Global Energy Forum – NEM’s Annual Global Energy Forum, will be held April 27 & 28, 2010, at the Embassy Suites Convention Center, Washington DC, 900 10th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20001. NEM’s room rate has been secured at $289.00 per room per night. Sponsorship opportunities are available.

NOCO Elected to Executive Committee

NEM is pleased to announce that NOCO Incorporated (NOCO) has been elected to NEM's Executive Committee. NOCO Incorporated (NOCO) will be represented by James D. Newman, President; Michael F. Newman; Executive Vice President, Nancy M. Bourque, Director of Human Resources; Mickey Zablonski, Natural Gas & Electric Business Development Manger; and Karen Costa, Natural Gas & Electric Controller.

NOCO owns a portfolio of businesses that supply petroleum derived fuels, natural gas, electricity, specialty gases and lubricant products for the uses of transportation, manufacturing, health and medical care, heating and lighting. The Company, as an integrated distributor, employs a staff of energy procurement, marketing, and distribution specialists; owns a comprehensive fleet of delivery and transportation vehicles; and owns and operates or contracts with related storage and transfer facilities. The Company serves the industrial, commercial, institutional, consumer and residential markets.

NOCO's wholly owned subsidiaries NOCO Electric, LLC and NOCO Natural Gas, LLC operate as Energy Service Companies (ESCo's) pursuant to the rules and regulations of the New York State department of Public Service and the Public Service Commission. The ESCo's market procure, and resell electricity and natural gas to commercial and residential customers across upstate New York. The ESCo's offer customers several pricing and program advantages as compared to regulated utilities.

Order Addressing Lake Erie Loop Flows

The Commission issued an Order adopting a Staff Report that found there was neither market manipulation nor tariff violations on the part of the entities placing circuitous schedules in the Lake Erie region. The Staff Report concluded in relevant part that:

"the uplift experienced by the NYISO’s customers, as a result of Lake Erie region scheduling practices, between January 1, 2008 and July 22, 2008, was due, in substantial part, to: (i) the lack of seams coordination among the NYISO and neighboring RTOs, namely, between NYISO, PJM, the Midwest ISO, and Ontario’s Independent Electricity System Operator; (ii) the incentives created by certain proxy bus pricing changes that the NYISO put into effect in 2007; and (iii) the NYISO’s methodology for incorporating loop flow in NYISO’s day-ahead modeling. The OE Report further concludes that, while the circuitous schedules examined in the investigation did appear to contribute to loop flow, they were openly placed as an economic response to price signals and did not constitute a fraudulent device, scheme or artifice. The OE Report also concludes that market participants are not well situated to predict or otherwise identify loop flow effects in real time. The OE Report concludes that the market participants responsible for these scheduling practices did not commit any tariff violations or violate the Commission’s anti-manipulation rule."

However, the Commission directed NYISO to develop long-term comrephensive solutions to the loop flow problem with neighboring RTOs. NYISO must file a report in 180 days detailing these solutions. If NYISO is unable to do so, the Commission will take further appropriate action. The full text of the Order is available on the NEM Website.

FERC Adopts Smart Grid Policy Statement

FERC adopted a Smart Grid Policy Statement, modeled closely to the proposal it issued in March. The Policy Statement sets forth priorities for smart grid standards for achieving interoperability and functionality of smart grid systems and devices. These include ensuring grid cybersecurity; providing two-way communication between regional market operators, utilities, service providers and consumers; ensuring that power system equipment allows for system monitoring; and permitting the integration of emerging technologies, like renewables and demand response. It also sets forth cost recovery policy for utility early adopters of smart grid technology. FERC also noted that it will not interfere with a State's ability to adopt whatever advanced metering or demand response program it chooses. The full text of the Policy Statement will be posted on the NEM Website when made available electronically.

Click here to view all past updates.
CPV Maryland Motion

CPV Maryland, filed a motion with the Commission requesting that it: "order one or more investor-owned utilities (“IOUs”) under the PSC’s jurisdiction to enter into 20-year long-term contract(s) . . ., for all the capacity and energy from CPV Maryland’s PSC-approved 640 megawatt (“MW”) combined-cycle natural gas-fired generating station which CPV proposes to build in Charles County, Maryland (the “St. Charles Project” or the “Project”). CPV Maryland further requests that the Commission’s order state that, should the IOUs fail to execute a St. Charles LTC within thirty (30) days of its order, the PSC itself will negotiate one or more such contracts on the IOUs’ behalf." It claims the motion is justified by calls from the legislature for more in-state generation facilities, and that such facilites can only be supported by long-term contracts. The full text of the CPV Maryland Motion is available on the NEM Website. Responses to the CPV Maryland Motion are due August 11, 2009, and replies to responses are due August 18, 2009.

Competitive Gas Supply Regulations

The Commission's proposed competitive gas supply regulations incorporating additional revisions have been published in the State Register for comment. The revised proposed regulations would: 1) revise the scope to exclude application of these proposed regulations to daily metered accounts and interruptible accounts; 2) add definitions of daily metered account and interruptible account; 3) delete “Supplier Utility Coordination” from the title of COMAR 20.59.05; 4) substitute of the term “supplier identifier” for “supplier account number”; and 5) renumber as appropriate. Comments on the revised proposed regulations are due August 5, 2009.

Click here to view all past updates.
Utility Supplier Referral Program Filing

The electric utilities jointly supplied a proposed model tariff for providing a Supplier Referral Program as required by the Green Communities Act. By the terms of the proposal the utilities will: "offer to any customer that: (1) makes an inquiry regarding its utility rates; (2) makes an inquiry about energy efficiency opportunities; or (3) initiates service, the opportunity to hear a list of licensed competitive suppliers providing competitive supply offers in the customer’s zip code, and shall be offered relevant information regarding where the customers can learn more regarding the competitive supplier’s options for service. In addition, the Companies will provide a list of licensed competitive suppliers in their respective service territories, on their websites, and will offer access to competitive supply offers directly to customers through bill inserts and bill messages." Suppliers would pay the incremental program costs. The full text of the Referral Program Filing is available on the NEM Website.

Click here to view all past updates.
NOPR on Promotion of Retail Natural Gas Market Competition

The Commission's proposed rulemaking on measures to increase retail gas competition, that was issued back in March, has been published in the Pennsylvania Bulletin setting the comment due date as August 25, 2009.

Issues raised in the proposed rulemaking include:
1) reformulating the utility “price to compare”;
2) establishing permanent rules for utility voluntary POR programs;
3) mandatory capacity release; and
4) utility cost recovery for costs related to competition activities and utility regulatory assessments.

Also noteworthy is Vice Chairman Christy's statement on the proposed rules. He voiced a number of concerns including: 1) the advisability of moving from quarterly to monthly gas price adjustments; 2) whether moving embedded gas procurement costs from base rates to the PTC would result in utility stranded costs; 3) whether the Commission should develop a monthly projection of natural gas prices for the ensuing twelve months to improve information available to consumers; and 4) consumers lack of knowledge of effective migration riders. Christy requested comment on these issues as well.

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