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September 12, 2008
Upcoming NEM Meeting Dates

Please save the date for NEM's Fall Leadership Roundtable. The meeting will take place October 28-29, 2008, and will be hosted by IDT Energy at their offices located at 520 Broad Street in Newark, New Jersey. NYPSC Chairman Garry Brown is invited, and NYPSC Commissioner Robert Curry and NYPSC Staff are confirmed to participate. Eric Matheson, Energy Advisor to Pennsylvania PUC Chairman Cawley, is also confirmed to attend. A Draft Agenda is available at this hotlink. Please register at this hotlink. Special room rates have been arranged at the Hampton Inn Suites River Walk Hotel in Harrison, NJ. Hotel accommodations at the preferred $119.00 rate are being coordinated by IDT. Please call (973) 438-4531 to arrange your hotel reservation.

NEM's Winter Executive Committee Meeting will be held at Infinite Energy/Intelligent Energy headquarters at 7001 SW 24th Avenue in Gainesville, Florida. The meeting will take place January 20-21, 2009. Please register at this hotlink. A block of rooms has been reserved at the Hilton University of Florida Conference Center at 1714 SW 34th Street, Gainesville, Florida at a rate of $139 per night. Contact 352-371-3600 for reservations.

NEM's 12th Annual Global Energy Forum & Membership Meeting will be held April 28 & 29, 2009. The meeting will be held at the Embassy Suites Washington D.C. - Convention Center located at 900 10th Street, NW, Washington, DC. Please register at this hotlink.

This year we are working on expanding our Global Energy Forum to include an exposition for our member sponsors and other new and innovative companies from all segements of the energy suppply and demand chain, to include booth and exposition space. We are working with a new organization on this expansion of our meeting format.

A block of rooms has been reserved for NEM members at the rate of $279 per night. Contact 202-719-1421 for reservations.

Congress Considers H.R.1776, the Call Center Consumer's Right to Know Act

H.R.1776, the "Call Center Consumer's Right to Know Act" was introduced in the House last winter. The FTC testified before the House Energy and Commerce Committee earlier this week suggesting proposed modifications to the bill. The bill would require U.S. corporations and their subsidiaries that utilize a call center to initiate telephone calls to, or receive calls from, individuals located in the United States to, "require each employee in the call center to disclose the physical location of such employee at the beginning of each telephone call." Companies would certify compliance with the requirement to the FTC on an annual basis. FTC would develop rules for monitoring and compliance with the requirement. The full text of H.R.1776 and the FTC Testimony is available on the NEM Website.

New York
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Staff Testimony in ConEd Electric Rate Case

Staff filed testimony this week in ConEd's electric rate case. Regarding retail access issues, Staff recommended that the Market Match program continue in its current form. It supported ConEd in the redirection of retail access efforts away from the Market Expo into other events with greater customer participation and higher exposure for marketers and their product offerings. Staff supported ConEd's categorization of retail access program expenses in its general outreach programming. Staff noted that it will be reporting to the Commission in the near future on ConEd's proposal to expand the referral program to new service customers. The full text of Staff's Testimony can be viewed at:

Iberdrola/Energy East Accept Commission's Conditional Approval of Merger

Iberdrola and Energy East have submitted letters indicating acceptance of the Commission's conditional approval of Iberdrola's acquisition of Energy East and its affiliates, NYSEG and RG&E. A contentious issue in the case was Iberdrola's ownership of wind generation and the attendant potential to exercise vertical power as an owner of transmission and distribution assets. The Commission imposed conditions to mitigate the risk that Iberdrola could exercise vertical market power and to provide NYSEG and RG&E customers with $275 million in benefits to be used to reduce rates or moderate rate increase requests. Iberdrola must commit to spending $200 million on wind energy development in the State. The Commission also accepted Iberdrola's offer to divest fossil fuel generating plants. However, it will continue to operate the hydroelectric plants. The full text of the Order Approving the Acquisition is available on the NEM Website.

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Commission Order and Action Plan to Increase Retail Gas Market Competition

The Commission's issued an Order on the SEARCH Gas Collaborative Report and adopted an action plan to increase retail natural gas market competition. The Order sets forth a two phase approach.

Phase One includes measures that can be implemented in short order:
a) establish an Office of Competitive Market Oversight at the Commission (by 1/5/09);
b) expand POR programs (by requesting the utilities to voluntarily file POR plans by 12/31/08 or alternatively be required to file a cost of service study in which unbundling of gas procurement costs from base rates can be examined); and
c) pursue legislative changes to capacity assignment/release.

Phase Two involves rulemakings on three groups of issues:
a) Utility issues - reformulation of the price to compare, POR programs, mandatory capacity release and non-discrimination, cost recovery for competition-related activities and regulatory assessments;
b) Marketer issues - creditworthiness requirements and reasonable security requirements; and
c) Business Practice issues - standardized utility operating rules, nomination and delivery requirements, tolerance bands and cash out/penalties, and standardization of EBBs.
The Order sets forth timelines for Commission consideration of the proposed rulemakings by the end of 2008/1st quarter of 2009.

A formal review of the state of competition was ordered to take place in five years, to be conducted by the Office of Competitive Market Oversight. The full text of the Order and Action Plan is available on the NEM Website.

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