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September 7, 2012
NEM Conferences

Many thanks to our members and our sponsors of NEM's Summer Leadership Roundtable in Chicago. The meeting was a resounding success with the Chair, Commissioners and senior Staff of the ICC in attendance as well as members, prospective members and other members of the Illinois stakeholder community present to discuss many significant issues.

NEM’s Fall Leadership Roundtable will be held October 15-17, 2012, at the Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center in Lansing, Michigan. NEM will host the Michigan Public Service Commission and its Staff. The Governor has been invited along with State Legislators and Auto Industry Officials. Sponsorship opportunities are available. Please contact NEM headquarters if you are interested in sponsorship. More details will be forthcoming.

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Pepco Report in Smart Grid Proceeding

As part of the Commission's proceeding examining issues associated with implementation of the smart grid, Pepco and interested stakeholders convened a technical conference to discuss various issues. Pepco filed a post technical conference report detailing the discussions. With respect to the issue of data availability to suppliers, Pepco reports that, "AMI interval metered data will be provided once per month based on a customer's billing cycle." Pepco maintains this is necessary to validate and provide bill-quality data. Pepco's EDI system will be used to share this data with suppliers. Pepco rejected suggestions for the extension of its "green button" website functionality, utilizing XML, to provide customer interval data to suppliers. The green button data is available now directly to customers. As to the issue of data and privacy concerns, Pepco stated that it, "will only provide customer usage data to a TPS that has received consent (via a signed contract) from the respective customer that allows the release of consumption data. Enrollment with a TPS and sharing of the customer account number demonstrates consent to share usage data for account service purposes." The full text of Pepco's Report is available on the NEM Website.

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WGL POR Discount Rate Update Filing

WGL filed a POR discount rate update with the Commission. In the filing, WGL proposes to update its residential and non-residential discount rates to 6.97% and 0.17%, respectively. The current WGL discount rates are 4.39% for residentials and 0.83% for non-residentials. WGL attributes the increase in the discount rate to an increase in the Information Technology Implementation Cost component of the rate formula. WGL experienced higher than estimated IT implementation costs and the implementation costs collected over the first year of the program were lower than initially estimated. This resulted in the higher IT costs in the discount rate update filing. IT costs are being amortized over a two-year period as per previous Commission Order.

In addition, WGL reports an over-collection of collection costs in the previous year which it proposes to return to suppliers through the discount rate reconciliation factor. Finally, WGL collected over $500,000 in late fees during the first year of the POR program. It proposes to retain the late payment charges because, “the rationale for late payment fees is to compensate the Company for the costs associated with late payments.” The full text of WGL's POR Discount Rate Update Filing is available on the NEM Website.

New York
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Staff Proposes Utility and ESCO Price Comparison Posting in NIMO Rate Case

In testimony filed in NIMO's electric and gas rate case, Staff recommends that NIMO provide information to ESCO customers about the amount the customer would have been billed if the customer purchased commodity from the utility citing as a rationale a lack of market transparency and difficulty for consumers to know and compare energy prices. Specifically, Staff proposes that NIMO, "provide residential ESCO customers with clear, accurate information concerning the amount that they would have been billed had energy been purchased from the utility, and the difference between that amount and what the ESCO customer was actually billed. In calculating the charges that the customer would have incurred had the ESCO customer purchased commodity from the utility, Niagara Mohawk should accurately reflect all taxes, surcharges and other adjustments that would have been applicable on both delivery and supply, had the ESCO customer been a full service utility customer in the applicable time period. Niagara Mohawk should present all such information to customers in a fair and unbiased manner. . . .

We recommend that Niagara Mohawk deliver this factual information to customers in three ways: printed on its monthly consolidated bills, through a web-based historical utility bill calculator, and printed on any notice of termination or notice of deferred payment agreement, or DPA, default."

Staff goes on to recommend that NIMO's implementation costs for the proposal should be recovered from ESCOs and/or ESCO customers. Staff suggests a collaborative be convened after an order is issued in the case for the purpose of developing materials and determining how to recover costs from ESCOs. The full text of the Staff Testimony is available on the NEM Website.

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