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July 24, 2009
Upcoming NEM Meeting Dates

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

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

January 2010 Executive Committee Meeting - NEMís 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. NEMís 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 NEMís 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 Ė NEMís 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. NEMís room rate has been secured at $289.00 per room per night. Sponsorship opportunities are available.

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 addressed federal/state jurisdictional concerns discussed by commenters. Specifically, FERC said, "we do not believe that Commission adoption of national standards for smart grid technologies should interfere with a state's ability to adopt whatever advanced metering or demand response program it chooses. Nor will Commission adoption of national standards affect the existing statutory framework for wholesale and retail pricing."

The full text of the Policy Statement is available on the NEM Website.

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BGE Proposal to Provide Customer Lists

BGE made a filing with the Commission requesting, "approval to distribute mass market customer lists to electric and natural gas suppliers consisting of a customerís name, billing address, service address, account number, rate class, historical usage for the prior twelve months, Standard Offer Service (SOS) type, and fuel type. Customers will be able to elect not to have this information provided to suppliers. BGE intends to notify its customers of their ability to opt-out of this process via bill message and the BGE website." BGE intends this as a choice-friendly gesture to complement Rulemaking 17. The full text of the BGE Filing is available on the NEM Website.

New York
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National Grid Files Proposed Tariffs to Collect Municipal GRTs from Delivery Only Customers

National Grid filed proposed gas and electric tariffs to recover municipal gross receipts taxes from customers receiving delivery only service from the utility and commodity service from a competitive supplier. National Grid said its filing was premised on a State Department of Taxation and Finance Advisory Opinion rendered last month. The Advisory Opinion pertained to the issue of whether unbundled sales of energy commodities are subject to local gross receipts taxes. The Department concluded they are. Specifically, the Department found that, "both the sale of the commodity and the sale of the transportation, transmission and distribution of the commodity are subject to the city and village gross receipts taxes imposed pursuant to the authority of General City Law section 20-b and Village Law section 5-530, regardless of whether the commodity and the delivery of the commodity are sold by different parties." The full text of National Grid's Filing and the Advisory Opinion are available on the NEM Website.

Commission Seeks Comment on Utilities' ESCO Referral Program Proposals

In its Order on Retail Access Programs, the Commission required that utilities with ESCO referral programs continue to operate them and those utilities that did not to file an implementation proposal. The utilities' proposals have been noticed in the State Register, setting a September 7, 2009, comment due date.

Keyspan proposed that the costs of a referral program in its service territory would be recovered through an agreement reached with participating ESCOs in which total actual costs would be paid over a five year period.

Central Hudson noted that it currently incurs an "immaterial amount of cost" to operate its referral program. If future costs to operate Central Hudson's program increase, it proposed to assess an annual fee on participating ESCOs based on actual costs from the preceding calendar year.

NFG submitted a proposal for the terms under which it would reinstitute a referral program, how costs would be recovered from ESCOs as well as cost estimates. NFG proposed to institute a program using the Contract Model. It would utilize a third party call center to receive calls for the program. Incremental costs, advertising and promotional efforts would be paid by ESCOs.

NYSEG/RG&E noted that they have had referral program filings pending before the Commission. NYSEG/RG&E submitted program implementation proposals, costs of program implementation and on-going maintenance, and sample calculations of marketer charges for the incremental program costs. NYSEG/RG&E propose to use the "ESCO Service" approach in their programs and to incorporate a seven percent discount rate. Customers would be assigned to participating ESCOs and could not choose an ESCO. To take part in the referral program, marketers must use the utility's consolidated billing and POR service. Participating ESCOs must take part in the program for a minimum two year term, and there must be at least three gas marketers and three electric marketers at all times during the program.

The full texts of the Utilities' Referral Program Filings are available from NEM headquarters.

ConEd and O&R Proposed Modifications to Capacity Release Service

ConEd and O&R have filed proposed tariffs to implement a change to their capacity release service provided to those serving firm transportation customers. The utilities propose to revise their tariffs to release capacity to sellers at its adjusted WACOT (O&R)/WACOC (ConEd). Because of FERC regulation changes, the utilities can release capacity at a rate equal to its adjusted WACOT/WACOC. Under the new program, the utilities will calculate a capacity release rate to become effective each November 1 for a twelve-month release term. The capacity release rate will be set at the utility's projects Adjusted WACOT/WACOC based on rates for each upstream pipeline as set forth in its FERC tariff. The utilities will use their Capacity Release Service Adjustment mechanism to credit or charge form transportation customers for reconciliations of the rate charged to Sellers and the actual Adjusted WACOT/WACOC experienced. The full texts of the ConEd and O&R Filings are available on the NEM Website.

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