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September 19, 2005
NEM Fall Industry Leadership Roundtable

The NEM Fall Leadership Roundtable will be held October 20th and 21st. All NEM members are invited to attend the Leadership Roundtable. Companies that have expressed an interest in joining NEM will also be invited as guests of the association. NEM is hosting the event - there is no attendance fee. Use this hotlink to register.

The Roundtable will begin in the Small Business Committee Room, located in the Rayburn House Office Building, Room 2360, on Thursday, October 20th at 10AM. A working lunch will be served and a cocktail reception will follow the conclusion of the day's events. Invitations have been extended to Maryland PSC Chair Schisler as well as other MDPSC Commissioners and Staff. Maryland's Lieutenant Governor Michael Steele has confirmed his attendance. On Friday, October 21st, we will conclude our meeting in the Science Committee Room in Rayburn House Office Building, Room 2325.

NEM National and Regional Policy Chairs are scheduled to update the General Membership on the issues of import and present updates on each region. Topics for NEM leadership discussions and membership briefing include: 1) proposals to change Uniform Business Rules - solutions to lack of access to utility account numbers; 2) utility offerings of competitive products -marketer offerings of fixed price contracts and high value-added services permit utilities to restructure resource allocations and permits orderly transition out of merchant function; 3) standardized retail contracts and uniform retail referral programs - do current proposals serve the marketplace or delay implementation? 4) best practices for ISO credit policies - netting bilaterals - does PJM have best credit practices?; 5) gas storage and pipeline capacity allocations; 6) impact of gas and electricity prices on restructuring policies; 7) best practices for retail access initiatives; 8) utility incentives to implement low cost seamless migration options for customer billing and collections including the purchase of receivables (“POR”); 9) options for meter upgrades and access to usage data; 10) aggressive, accurate and competitively neutral consumer education; 11) review of marketer complaints; 12) electric hourly pricing; 13) accessible, accurate and informative retail access websites, both private and public; 14) new role of utilities in a competitive marketplace - natural monopoly functions - modification of obligation to serve; and 15) does the state action doctrine create conflicts of interest for utilities and the state - what actions by a utility are explicit state actions. A revised agenda will be circulated shortly.

Please mark your calendars and plan to join us!

Notice of Inquiry on Reforms to Order 888 Open Access Transmission Tariff

The Commission issued a Notice of Inquiry to investigate whether reforms to the Order 888 Open Access Transmission Tariff (OATT) are necessary to address undue discrimination and preference in the provision of transmission service. FERC stated that "public utilities continue to have the discretion and the incentive to interpret and apply the provisions of their OATTs in a manner that can result in unduly discriminatory behavior on each particular public utility's transmission system." "Transmission customers have also found ways to use the OATTs to their own advantage, particularly in the scheduling and queuing processes." FERC requested comments on specific enhancements needed to "remedy any unduly discriminatory or preferential application of the pro forma OATT" or "improve the clarity of the Order No. 888 pro forma OATT and the public utility OATTs in order to more readily identify violations and facilitate compliance." Comments are also sought on how to implement Section 211A of the EPAct of 2005 pertaining to provision of open access transmission service by unregulated transmitting utilities and the definition of native load service obligation in Section 1233.

FERC also raised specific questions in the following areas: 1) what remedies other than structural separation would adequately address undue discrimination; 2) what reforms to FERC's transmission pricing policies should be considered; 3) should changes be made to point-to-point transmission service and network transmission service; 4) what issues are associated with transmission provider processing of transmission service requests; 5) whether and what penalty charges are appropriate for transmission provider violation of its OATT; 6) should hourly firm transmission service be required; 7) whether transmission customers been unduly discriminated against in requests to modify receipt and delivery points or exercise rollover rights; 8) should public utilities business practices be a part of the OATT; 9) should joint transmission planning between transmission providers and customers be required; 10) whether transmission providers have met their obligation to expand capacity to meet the needs of transmission customers; 11) whether transmission providers should be required to offer transmission customers the opportunity to participate as joint owners in new transmission facility and network upgrades; 12) should a regime of systematic tariff compliance reviews be established to monitor transmission provider compliance with their OATTs; 13) is hoarding of transmission capacity an issue; 14) have improper curtailments taken place that merit reform of the OATT; 15) whether there is a problem with over-designation of network resources; 16) whether changes to the queuing process for long term transmission service is needed; 17) should changes to the ancillary services identified in the OATT be made; 18) should changes be made to energy imbalance service; and 19) should there be a pro forma generator imbalance schedule. The Commission also asked which matters in the NOI need not be applied to ISOs, RTOs or ITCs. Comments are due 60 days after publication of the NOI in the Federal Register. The full text of the Notice of Inquiry is available on the NEM Website.

Click here to view all past updates.
Proposition 80

Proposition 80 is on the November ballot for consideration. Although the state Appellate Court determined Prop 80 should be removed from the ballot, the state Supreme Court has deferred its review until after the election has taken place. Prop 80 would expand Commission jurisdiction over Energy Service Providers which would include "enforcement of energy procurement and contracting standards and requirements; resource adequacy requirements; energy efficiency and demand response requirements; renewable portfolio standards; and appropriate assignment of costs among customers to prevent cost shifting." Prop 80 would also prohibit direct access transactions with new customers.

A recent Field poll indicates that, "Only a relatively small proportion (17%) of voters were aware of this initiative," and, "Voter sentiment at this time divides almost evenly into three groups: 33% Yes, 35% No and 32% undecided." The full text of Proposition 80 is available on the NEM Website.

Click here to view all past updates.
BGE Gas Roundtable Meeting

A BGE Gas Roundtable meeting will be held October 19, 2005, at 10AM at BGE Spring Gardens on the first floor. The agenda issues include: 1) enhancement to unified gas billing; 2) enhancement to the DRS true-up; 3) revised billing services agreement for unified gas billing; 4) results of standby/non-standby and critical use gas contracting for winter of 2005-2006; 5) results of capacity credit survey; 6) reminder of POLR capacity charge; and 7) fall distribution system interruption test.

New York
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Rulemaking on Customer Enrollment Process - NEM Conference Call

The Commission is considering modification to the UBP to permit improved access to a customer's utility account number for the purpose of processing an ESCO/marketer request for customer history information and/or customer enrollment. The proceeding is precipitated by a marketer request to revise the UBP to: 1) authorize ESCOs to enroll customers after having obtained the customer utility account number from a source other than the customer; and 2) direct utilities to provide customer account numbers to ESCOs on a real time basis after the request for information is made. Comments are due October 24, 2005.

NEM will convene a conference call to discuss this proceeding on Thursday, September 22, 2005, at 2:30PM EST. The dial in number is 1-800-416-8128, and the passcode is 209337. The full text of the Proposed Rulemaking is available on the NEM Website.

Revisions to Power to Choose-ESCO Comparison Chart

The Commission has contracted with Nexus Energy to implement their "Energy Finder" guide in New York State to drive NY Power to Choose on, beginning with the October ESCO Comparison Chart updates. This week ESCOs will receive an introductory phone call from a Nexus Energy representative to give a brief overview on Energy Finder, and answer any questions. On September 22nd at 11AM, an optional Conference Call and demonstration with PSC Staff, Nexus representatives, and others will be available to ESCOs to also provide an overview of Energy Finder and answer any questions.

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