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July 20, 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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Proceeding on Electric Supplier Access to Customer Smart Meter Data

The Commission has opened a proceeding on retail electricity suppliers access to their customers' smart meter data in response to a petition filed by WGES. The WGES petition set forth a series of questions regarding billing, real time data and communications, PJM settlement, and customer enrollment in the context of supplier access to meter data. The Commission found in opening the proceeding that, "Existing Tariffs governing the Pepco-supplier relationship are premised on monthly data being the standard and interval data as a deviation from that standard. Smart meters will switch this relationship and interval data will be the new standard. For that reason, it is appropriate to open a dialogue between Pepco and suppliers that may allow for a smoother transition. Pepco has suggested that a technical conference would be an appropriate next step . . . ." A technical conference will be held on July 31, 2012, at 10AM in the Commission Hearing Room for the purpose of giving Pepco and other stakeholders an opportunity to discuss the issues. Pepco is then required to file a Post Conference Technical Report upon which other parties may comment. The full text of the Order is available on the NEM Website.

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Commission to Consider Revisions to Electric Supplier Rules

The Commission is reopening its proceeding on Electric Supplier Rules for the purpose of examining changes to the regulations. Proposed Rule revisions will include changes that:

"ensure electric choice for Customers is more competitive and in compliance with the terms of the settlement agreement entered into by the parties in PSC Docket 10-2; to provide additional protection for Customers; to require Electric Suppliers to include additional details regarding the rates, terms, and conditions of service in their offers to Customers to provide Electric Supply Services; to clarify sections of the Supplier Rules; to make the certification process for Electric Suppliers more uniform; and to address any other pertinent issues that may arise."

A workgroup will be formed for the purpose of examining the proposed revisions and will be started within the next 45 days. The full text of the Order is available on the NEM Website.

New Jersey
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NEM Comments on Proposed Changes to Energy Competition Standards

NEM filed comments on the Board’s proposed new rules and proposed amendments to its Energy Competition Standards. NEM noted that requiring suppliers to tape entire calls, including those at that are customer-initiated, would be burdensome and costly and not in keeping with standard industry practice. With respect to government aggregation, NEM supported the proposal to prohibit residential customers from being charged an exit fee for leaving an aggregation program and also recommended that the Board retain the sample form agreement on its website for municipality-utility agreements to be used in aggregation programs. While supporting the requirement to provide consumers with a copy of their contract, NEM requested that the proposed 24 hour window be expanded to three business days. The Board is proposing a new rule on material and non-material changes to contracts and requisite consumer notice as well as what constitutes "fixed" and "firm" supplier offerings. NEM offered proposed clarifications to these sections. The full text of NEM's Comments is available on the NEM Website.

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Proceeding Opened on Default Service Reconciliation Guidelines

The Commission approved a Motion of Commissioner Cawley to begin a proceeding to review the electric utilities default service reconciliation riders. The goal of initiating the proceeding is to, "ensure that the industry's current prices reflect current costs as accurately as is feasible, that EDCs are able to fully recover their just and reasonable default service costs, and that default service customers pay the full cost of default service. To further these goals, the Commission seeks feedback from market participants on changes that this Commission should make to reconciliation riders in order to better ensure that costs and associated revenues are: (1) appropriately matched; (2) assigned to the appropriate class; and (3) recovered expeditiously and accurately, as required by Act 129. This will also help to ensure that interest charges and credits are minimized."

The Commission will issue interim guidelines and possibly change the default service policy statement and regulations based on input received on a series of questions as follows:

"1. Should recognition of revenues for monthly reconciliation purposes include 'unbilled revenues' for service provided during the month? If not, are there other methods of accounting for revenues that more appropriately match revenues and costs on a monthly basis?
2. Should costs and revenues be reconciled on a quarterly, or longer basis, or on some combination of quarterly and some other period? How often should adjustments to E-factors be made?
3. Should transmission and generation reconciliation amounts be netted? If so, how?
4. Should default service basic and optional (tome of Use/Real time pricing) services be reconciled together or separately for each rate class?
5. How should/could working capital costs be recovered for default service?
6. Should the Commission alter how interest is charged/credited on under/over collections? Is the current rate of interest reflective of market rates of interest? How can these interest provisions be improved?
7. When would it be appropriate to use a Competitive Transition Rider (CTR) for the purposes of addressing default service collection issues?
8. Should E-factors be included in the Price to Compare, as is the current practice?
9. Can the process for assigning PJM capacity costs or other demand or customer based costs between rate classes be improved? If so, please describe how best to assign costs for various services to the appropriate rate classes, and provide examples."

The Commission's Law Bureau has been directed to draft an Order on these issues for comment. The full text of the Motion is available on the NEM Website.

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