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September 25, 2010
NEM Upcoming Events

Please mark your calendar for NEM's Fall Leadership Roundtable on October 18-20, 2010, in Harrisburg, PA. The conference will take place at the Hilton Harrisburg on One North Second Street. You may register for the Fall Meeting in Harrisburg at this hotlink.

Our Annual Winter Executive Committee Meeting is scheduled for January 17-19, 2011, in Miami at the famous Doral Hotel and Resort. Many Thanks to Doug Marcille, Vice Chair of NEM’s Executive Committee and CEO of US Gas and Electric for hosting this upcoming Executive Committee Meeting.

Click here to view all past updates.
NEM Comments on Proposed Marketing Guidelines for Electric Suppliers and Aggregators

The Department issued Proposed Guidelines for Marketing and Sales Practices for Electric Suppliers and Aggregators and raised additional competitive market issues for comment. NEM filed comments noting its recent Consumer Bill of Rights document. NEM expressed concern with the proposed definitions of "agent", "customer" and "door-to-door sales" as well as the Department's treatment of contract renewals. NEM suggested that in satisfaction of the responsibility to inform consumers about utility rates, that Suppliers be permitted to direct customers to a centrally located source for the specific utility rates referenced in this section, such as the Department’s or the utilities’ websites. NEM suggested that door-to-door marketing be permitted from 9:00AM to 9:00PM, unless local ordinances take a stricter approach. NEM suggested that the record retention requirement be set at two years or the length of the contract, if greater. NEM also argued that it would be premature to end the referral program now. The full text of NEM's Comments is available on the NEM Website.

Click here to view all past updates.
Order on Columbia Gas POR Program

The Commission issued an Order on the POR program filing made by Columbia Gas. Columbia must implement the program by December 1, 2010. The Commission further decided that, "the POR discount rate will be 0% until the Company files, and the Commission accepts, an alternative POR discount rate(s). In filing such a discount rate, the Company is directed to ensure that all documentation and spreadsheets are provided to Staff to support the calculation of such POR discount rate(s). Cost components that are not adequately supported will be reduced to zero." Additionally, Columbia "shall not change, without Commission approval, its POR discount rate or its election from the purchase of receivables option to a pro rata payment option." The Commission also made clear that Columbia must "treat all of its customers similarly in connection with terminations. It may not terminate a customer that takes commodity from a supplier but fails to pay the bill any differently that it treats its customers that take commodity from the Company that fail to pay their bills." The full text of the Order is available on the NEM Website.

Click here to view all past updates.
Order on Renewal Notices

The Commission issued an Order adopting finalized interim guidelines on electric renewal notices. The guidelines pertain to use of estimated PTC on renewal notices when an actual PTC is not yet known as well as the effect on the customer's renewal contract if they do not respond to a renewal notice. The adopted language provides as follows:

"The EDC's or provider of last resort supplier’s price to compare. If the price to compare is subject to change quarterly or otherwise as set forth in the EDC’s default service plan, the notice should inform the customer of the frequency of the change and that the current price to compare can be obtained by contacting the EDC or accessing or the Office of Consumer Advocate's "Electric Shopping Guide" at If the EDC’s price to compare for the proposed contract term is not yet established, an estimated price to compare should be provided and should be clearly labeled as an “estimated” price to compare. The notice should also include an approximate date that the actual price to compare will be established, and a statement that the customer can contact the EDC or access or use the Office of Consumer Advocate's "Electric Shopping Guide" at to obtain this information when it is available. The EDC shall be the source of the estimated and actual price to compare and shall be responsible for calculating the estimated and actual price to compare. The EDC shall calculate and post on its website the estimated price to compare no earlier than three months before the effective date of the actual price to compare. The EDC should exercise good faith and use a reasonable method to calculate the estimated rpice to compare, and as long as this is the case, the EDC should nto be held liable for the error if the actual price to compare varies from the estimated price to compare;

. . . .

In the event that the customer does not respond to the renewal notice, a fixed term agreement may be converted to a month-to-month agreement, either at the same terms and conditions or at revised terms and conditions, as long as the agreement converts from a fixed term to a month-to-month agreement and contains no cancellation penalties. Alternatively, a fixed term agreement may be converted to another fixed term agreement as long as the new agreement includes a customer-initiated cancellation provision that allows the customer to cancel at any time for any reason and contains no cancellation penalties, in the event that the customer does not respond to the notice. The renewal notice and any subsequnt notices to the customer concerning the customer's contract or contract terms, shall include a statement which informs the customer that the new month-to-month or fixed term agreement may be cancelled at any time (subject to the applicable switching rules and procedures as set forth in the EDC's tariff) by the customer for any reason without penalty. This statement must be prominently displayed on the notice. If the EGS contacts the customer or the customer contacts the EGS by telephone concerning the customer's contract, the EGS must, during the call, inform the customer that they may cancel at any time without penalty (subject to the applicable switching rules and procedures as set forth in the EDC's tariff). These requirements shall remain in place until the customer affirmatively enters into a new agreement with the EGS, or another EGS, or returns to default service with the EDC."

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

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