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August 4, 2006
Upcoming NEM Meetings

Please note the following upcoming NEM meetings:

Fall 2006 Industry Leadership Roundtable - Delaware - Washington Gas Energy Services has generously offered to host the meeting
Winter 2007 Executive Committee Meeting - week of Jan. 24 - SCRA has graciously invited us back to Charleston, South Carolina
Spring 2007 Annual Conference - week of May 21 - Washington, DC
Summer 2007 Executive Committee Meeting - Chicago, Illinois - WPS Energy Services has generously offered to host the meeting

Click here to view all past updates.
ComEd Delivery Services Order

In addition to limiting ComEd's requested base rate increase to $8,331,000 (.50%) in its delivery services proceeding, the Commission decided a number of choice program issues. Significantly, the Commission rejected a proposal to require ComEd to implement a uniform consolidated billing/purchase of receivables program finding it would constitute a "new competitive service," that the Commission could not, by law, force ComEd to offer.

The Commission declined to order a change to ComEd's General Account Agent (GAA) form to include an effective date or to permit multiple agents. However, ComEd must allow former GAAs to access customer billing information when the agency was for the purpose of facilitating customer inquiries and resolution of billing disputes pertaining to the time when the agency was in effect. Staff must initiate a workshop to focus on General Account Agency.

The Commission rejected a proposal that ComEd's EDI system, currently used for marketer customers, apply to post-2006 bundled and PPO service customers. Proposed modifications to the EDI notification procedure on changes in taxpayer identification and names and notice of disconnections were also rejected. However, ComEd agreed to provide marketers with a weekly hard copy disconnection report. The Commission also rejected the request that marketers be given direct access to smart meters or that ComEd modify interval data and meter summary reports.

In the course of the proceeding, ComEd agreed to change a number of its business processes, including revising its Marketer Handbook to include a summary of switching rules. ComEd's twelve month switching restriction will change to a one time transition provision to allow customers to switch to delivery service on their last regularly scheduled meter read date in 2006.

The full texts of the Order and Attachment are available on the NEM Website.

Click here to view all past updates.
Procedural Schedules for SOS and Generic Electric Cases

Subsequent to the passage of SB1, the Commission deferred action in cases that had been initiated to examine the optimal structure of the electric industry and residential and Type I Standard Offer Service. New procedural schedules have been agreed upon in these cases as follows:

Optimal Structure of the Electric Industry (Case 9063)
Direct Testimony - September 29
Rebuttal Testimony - November 3
Surrebuttal Testimony - November 9 (by noon)
Hearing - November 16, 17, and 20 (as needed)
Brief - December 8

Residential and Type I SOS (Case 9064)
Direct Testimony - August 28
Rebuttal Testimony - September 18
Hearings - September 26 and 27
Brief - October 10

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NSTAR Gas Fixed Price Option Pilot Proposal

Pursuant to its Commission-approved settlement, NSTAR Gas filed a fixed price option (FPO) pilot program proposal for residential and small commercial default service customers. The program is proposed for a minimum of two years. The pilot will conducted on an opt-in basis, and NSTAR will promote the program through direct mail, inbound customer telephone calls and its website. Customers participating in the program will be charged a fixed Gas Adjustment Factor (GAF), as approved to be effective November 1st, for the remainder of winter heating season. Participating customers will also be charged a $0.02 per therm premium. Customers must remain in the pilot for the entire winter heating season. Over- and underrecovered gas costs will be returned/collected through the GAF charged to all default service customers the following winter. If twenty-five percent of eligible customers decide to enroll, NSTAR may consider suspending enrollments. NSTAR seeks to implement the program in mid-October and enrollment would extend through mid-November. NSTAR seeks Commission review of the proposal by August 31, 2006. The full text of NSTAR's FPO Proposal is available on the NEM Website.

New York
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Order on Electric and Gas Metering Services

The Commission issued an Order endorsing utility investment in advanced metering infrastructure "where feasible and cost effective" and encouraging advanced metering pilot programs. The Commission defined advanced metering as "metering systems capable of recording and reporting consumption and other measurements at more frequent intervals than the customers's billing cycle (generally monthly) and may encompass several different components: meters, communications technology, automated meter reading systems, and data warehouses." The Commission found that its previous policy may have discouraged advanced metering investments. It also concluded that, "Although we cannot predict the response of customers to advanced metering information, it is incumbent upon us to provide opportunities for all customers, to the extent feasible and cost effective, to have access to the technological tools necessary to understand the relationship between price and demand."

The Commission required the electric utilities to develop and deploy advanced metering systems for the benefit of all customers "to the extent feasible and cost effective," and customers of competitive providers must have non-discriminatory access to said infrastructure at identical rates, terms and conditions provided to the utility's retail customers. Deployment plans must be filed within six months of the Order.

The Commission required the gas utilities to "assess the feasibility of developing, offering, and installing advanced metering systems for large volume gas customers (usage of 5,000 or more dekatherms annually), taking into consideration operational and geographic characteristics, population density, economics, types of technology, customer interests and benefits. This assessment should include: (1) an analysis of the costs and benefits of different types of advanced metering systems for each large volume (usage of 5,000 or more dekatherms annualy) customer class; (2) a description of the advanced meters and advanced metering data services available from the utility; and, (3) a strategy and timeline for deployment of and outreach and education for advanced metering services for each customer class where benefits are shown to exist." Customers of competitive providers must have non-discriminatory access to said infrastructure at identical rates, terms and conditions provided to the utility's retail customers. The gas utilities plans are to be filed within six months of the Order.

Utilities are to establish tariffed fee-based, Internet-based interval and other advanced meter data services that are to be available to any customer, including ESCO customers, on identical rates, terms and conditions on a non-discriminatory basis. The Commission declined to adopt metering hardware or software standards finding it more appropriate to "encourage use of widely available products and prohibit networks and systems that are not open to access by other entities." The Commission decided to postpone implementing uniform standards for business transactions for competitive metering providers.

The Commission decided to retain the current 50kW demand threshold for competitive electric metering and meter ownership. However, the Commission authorized electric customers to obtain the separate competitive provision of meter ownership; meter installation, maintenance and testing; and meter data services. The Commission rejected competitive ownership, maintenance and installation of gas meters and decided to defer opening third party gas meter data services to competition. However, the Commission required the gas utilities to provide customers, or their authorized representatives, with annual usage above 5,000 dekatherms with access to meter data for use in energy management services and for daily balancing.

The full text of the Order is available on the NEM Website.

National Grid-Keyspan Merger Technical Session

Commission Staff will convene a technical session on August 30, 2006, at 10:30AM in the 19th floor boardroom of the Commission's Albany offices on the merger application of National Grid and Keyspan. The utilities will explain their filing and respond to stakeholder questions. The full text of the National Grid-Keyspan Merger Filing is available on the NEM Website.

Order on O&R Market Supply Charge

The Commission ordered a change in the presentation of O&R's Market Supply Charge (MSC) in response to marketer claims that it was unjust and unreasonable and harming competition because it understates the actual market price of electricity and includes utility hedging activity. O&R's MSC is based on a forecast of the next month's wholesale market energy prices and forecasted customer loads, gains and losses from hedging and supply cost reconciliations from the previous two months supply cost collections. The Commission rejected the contention that the MSC is unjust and unreasonable because it understates the actual market price finding that the MSC was meant to be a supply cost recovery mechanism rather than a mechanism to reflect market prices. The Commission also noted that its Policy Statement did not require the utilities to disclose their hedging practices.

However, the Commission was concerned that customers view the MSC as a representation of market prices and as such it is not an "optimal rate mechanism" in today's competitive markets. "Customers should have an opportunity to see actual market prices so that they can make informed consumption decisions and decisions on competitively priced alternative supplier offers." Therefore, O&R was ordered to reform its rate mechanism to separately state: 1) a representation of the class load-weighted average day-ahead market price, 2) hedging gains and losses, and 3) other cost reconciliations incurred in prior months, NYISO rebills, and other adjustments and costs currently in the MSC. Power supply costs will be allocated to non-hourly priced, full service customers using class load shapes. The sum of these parts will be displayed on customer bills as O&R's price for commodity service. O&R must file amended tariffs by September 1, 2006, to take effect December 1, 2006. The full text of the MSC Order is available on the NEM Website.

Central Hudson Compliance Filing

Central Hudson filed tariffs to implement the gas and electric rate settlement recently approved by the Commission. The Commission declined to require Central Hudson to reinstitute a fixed price offer. Central Hudson will replace current backout credits with a new Merchant Function Charge mechanism effective July 1, 2007. Existing Market Match, Market Expo, ESCO ombudsman and ESCO referral programs will continue, and one or two Energy Fairs will be conducted. The full texts of the Central Hudson Order and Settlement and Compliance Filing are available on the NEM Website.

Click here to view all past updates.
Columbia Gas Price Protection Service Pilot

Columbia Gas filed tariffs to implement its Price Protection Service (PPS) pilot program. By the terms of the filing, Columbia Gas will make a maximum of twelve offers per year under the PPS program, and each rate will be filed with the Commission with at least one day's notice. Columbia will not make a new PPS price offer within ten days prior to the effective date of a Purchased Gas Commodity Cost rate change. The tariff sets forth rate parameters for the PPS program as follows:

"Each PPS rate offer will not be greater than:

a. An amount, computed as a rate per Mcf using a 1.04 to 1 Dth to Mcf conversion factor, equal to 120% of the sum of:

1. The simple average of the NYMEX gas futures contract prices for twelve months commencing within 60 days of the time the offer is made.
2. The simple average of the NYMEX Texas Eastern Transmission Company (TETCO) M3 Basis Swap futures contract prices for those same months as used for the gas futures contracts.


b. 25 cents per Mcf; plus
c. The currently effective Choice allowance for commodity storage costs contained in the PGCC calculation, plus
d. The currently-effective off-system sales/capacity release sharing credit included in the PGCC, plus
e. An on-system lost and unaccounted for factor of 2.5% and
f. The ceiling price will be adjusted for the commodity e-factor, if applicable.

Each PPS rate will not be less than:

a. The simple average of NYMEX gas futures contract prices for twelve months commencing within 60 days of the time the offer is made,


b. The applicable Choice estimated annual storage commodity costs."

Columbia Gas included standards of conduct applicable to the PPS program in the tariff. The full text of Columbia's Filing is available on the NEM Website.

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DVP Load Data Manuals

Dominion Virginia Power has posted Load Data Manuals on the supplier area of its website. The three manuals pertain to Capacity Peak Load Contribution, Network Service Peak Load and Hourly Energy Obligation. The manuals are available at:

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