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August 8, 2008
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MichCon Seeks Permission to Sell More Native Base Gas

MichCon filed an application with the Commission seeking permission to sell 4 Bcf of Native Base Gas. MichCon maintains that improved operations at its gas storage fields make the withdrawals possible. MichCon proposes to share the benefits of the sale by: 1) delivering 1.3 Bcf of Native Base gas to GCR customers during the 2009-10 GCR period at an estimated price of $0.32/Mcf, plus severance tax in comparison with prevailing market prices projected at $10.39/Mcf; 2) additional sales of third party storage services and storage space for its GCR customers; 3) providing a reduction in rate base of $1.28 million with a corresponding reduction in the annual cost of service of $125,000 in the utility's next rate case; and 4) giving a financial benefit to MichCon from the sale of 2.7 Bcf of Natibe Base Gas to non-system supply customers in 2009, estimated at $15.6 million. The full text of MichCon's Application is available from NEM headquarters.

New York
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Technical Conference on Central Hudson Electric and Gas Delivery Rate Case

Central Hudson filed a new electric and gas delivery rate case with the Commission, with an expected effective date of July 1, 2009. A technical conference will be convened on August 19, 2008, at 1PM in the 3rd floor hearing room in the Commission's Albany Offices for the purpose of having CenHud explain its filing.

With respect to its retail choice program, CenHud notes "significant growth" in both electric and gas migration since December 2006 as well as an increase in marketers competing to serve customers. CenHud proposes to continue funding at current levels for the low cost Market Expo, Energy Fairs and Competition Awareness Survey, but given low levels of previous participation, to determine interest before actually conducting the programs. CenHud maintains that the ESCO Ombudsman and ESCO Satisfaction Survey should be discontinued. It supports ongoing informational retail access awareness advertising and enhancement of services to be funded by the Competition Education Campaign.

CenHud proposes to update its rate structure, including changes to its electric and gas Merchant Function Charge (MFC) Administration Charge and MFC Supply Charge to reflect cost elements avoided by the company when customers migrate. (Proposed changes to the electric MFC Administration Charge and MFC Supply Charge can be viewed at this hotlink, and proposed changes to the gas MFC Administration Charge and MFC Supply Charge can viewed at this hotlink.).

CenHud proposes to revise the discount rate for its POR program to reflect the currently approved customer deposit rate in effect at the time of the annual update. CenHud proposes to update its consolidated billing service credit for gas customers such that the rate for SC12 customers will be $0.49 and $0.98 for all other service classes. The consolidated billing service credit for electric customers would be updated as $0.71 for SC1 customers and $1.42 for all other service classes.

The full text of CenHud's Rate Filing can be viewed at:

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Procedural Schedule Set in Electric Utilities Standard Service Offer Proceedings

Pursuant to SB221, the electric utilities have submitted standard service offer (SSO) filings. The utilities were required at a minimum to include an electric security plan (ESP), but could also file a market rate offer (MRO). AEP and Duke Energy filed ESPs, and FirstEnergy filed both an ESP and MRO. The utilities filings contemplate a three-year plan term. The Commission has adopted procedural schedules to review each of the utilities' proposals as follows:

First Energy
August 18, 2008 - Technical Conference
September 4, 2008 - Motions to Intervene Due
September 15, 2008 - Intervenor Testimony Due
September 19, 2008 - Discovery Requests Due
September 22, 2008 - Staff Testimony Due
October 2, 2008 - Evidentiary Hearing

August 19, 2008 - Technical Conference
September 4, 2008 - Motions to Intervene Due
October 17, 2008 - Intervenor Testimony Due
October 21, 2008 - Discovery Requests Due
October 24, 2008 - Staff Testimony Due
November 3, 2008 - Evidentiary Hearing

August 21, 2008 - Technical Conference
September 4, 2008 - Motions to Intervene Due
October 3, 2008 - Intervenor Testimony Due
October 7, 2008 - Discovery Requests Due
October 10, 2008 - Staff Testimony Due
October 20, 2008 - Evidentiary Hearing

Click here to view all past updates.
Electric Market Reporting Measures

The Commission announced two electric market reporting measures after its agenda meeting this week. First, the Commission adopted reporting requirements for electric utilities and electric generation suppliers to report on electric supply activity. Specifically, the utilities will file quarterly reports, and suppliers will file annual reports for the purpose of collecting data on residential, industrial and commercial rate classes, including utilities and suppliers total sales and total customers. The reporting requirements will next be reviewed by outside agencies and the legislature prior to becoming final.

The Commission also announced its plan to "release estimates comparing current market prices for electricity with capped rates paid by consumers today." The Commission developed a model for this comparison with input from utilities and consumer advocates. The model is expected to be released next week. The information is intended to demonstrate to consumers how and why market prices fluctuate as well as communicate how the utilities' portfolio approach to procurement is expected to reduce rate volatility.

The full texts of these issuances will be posted on the NEM Website when made available electronically.

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