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October 22, 2004
NEM Initiates Nationwide Tariff Analyses

As a resource for NEM members, staff has initiated analyses of natural gas and electricity utility settlements nationwide. Currently, analyses for the states of New York, Illinois and Maryland are available upon request. They are also available on the NEM web site for members only. Please contact Jennifer at headquarters if you require priority analysis of a particular state or utility.

Upcoming NEM Events

NEM's Winter Executive Committee Meeting will be held in Newport Beach, California on January 19-20, 2005. Many thanks to Peter Weigand and Ian Carter of Commonwealth Energy (now called Commerce Energy Group) for offering to host this event.

Secondly, NEM's Annual Restructuring Conference in Washington, DC, will be held at the Marriott Metro Center on April 26-27, 2005. Please email or call headquarters if you wish to speak at or sponsor this event. Agenda items should also be sent to headquarters at your earliest convenience. FERC Chairman Patrick Wood, Commisioners Brownell, Kelly and Kelliher in addition to CA Deputy Secretary of Energy Joe Desmond and NYPSC Chairman William Flynn have already confirmed to speak, among others. Please use this hotlink to register for the event.

FCC Adopts Rules for Broadband over Power Lines

At the FCC's agenda meeting on October 14, 2004, the Commission approved changes to its Part 15 regulations to encourage Access BPL development as well as to increase BPL competition. In its order, the Commission detailed procedures to monitor radio frequency (RF) emitted by BPL equipment. The order sets forth "excluded frequency bands" and "exclusion zones" in which BPL may not operate as well as a BPL notification database to identify and prevent harmful interference in addition to technical requirements for BPL equipment.

The full text of the Powell-Abernathy Joint Statement is available on the NEM web site as are the statements from Commissioners Copps, Martin and Adelstein. The full text of the BPL Order will be posted on the NEM web site when made available.

Technical Conference on State of Natural Gas Industry Held

FERC's State of Natural Gas Industry Conference consisted of three panel discussions. The first panel discussed the Staff Report and storage development policy. Panelists discussed the problems with defining effective gas capacity as well as what forces (i.e. FERC, the market) should determine when and where additional storage is built. However, panelists did agreed that rates for storage should be market-based. The second concerned creating more uncommitted reserve storage and pipeline capacity. Some panelists argued that rates for only truly independent storage - that which is unaffiliated with a pipeline, LDC, utility or producer - should be market-based. The third panel examined changing roles of industry segments and their effect on commodity price volatility. Chairman Wood and panelists focused discussion on a panelist preference for rolled-in rates. Analysis of the conference will be forthcoming from NEM Headquarters.

FERC and FCC Issue Joint Statement on Broadband over Power Lines

FERC Chairman Pat Wood, III, and FCC Chairman Michael Powell issued a joint statement urging utilities to continue to pursue new technologies, such as BPL, that would provide customers with more options and greater reliability. This joint commitment to enhancing grid and BPL technology was an important recommendation of NEM's in this docket. Because of FERC's exclusive federal jurisdiction over power lines used to transmit electric energy in interstate commerce, NEM urged the FCC to adopt a Memorandum of Understanding with FERC in its comments during FCC's action to amend its Part 15 regulations. The full text of the Joint Statement is available on the NEM web site. The full text of NEM's comments in the FCC BPL rulemaking is also available on the NEM web site.

NEM Analysis of Gas and Electric Settlement Provisions

NEM has compiled a detailed analysis of gas and electric settlement provisions. NEM provides analysis of Ameren, Com Ed and Illinois Power electric tariffs. Likewise, NEM analyzed the gas tariffs of NICOR, Peoples and North Shore. Copies of the analyses are available from NEM Headquarters upon request. The analyses are also posted on the NEM web site, but are available for members only.

NEM Analysis of Gas and Electric Settlement Provisions

NEM has compiled a detailed analysis of gas and electric settlement provisions. NEM provides analysis of the following electric tariffs: SOS, BGE, Conectiv, Allegheny Power and Pepco. Likewise, NEM analyzed the gas tariffs of BGE, Washington Gas Light and Columbia. Copies of the analyses are available from NEM Headquarters upon request. The analyses are also available on the NEM web site, but are available for members only.

Commission Commences Investigation into Electric Capacity Needs

The Commission commenced an investigation into future electric capacity needs. The Commission seeks to explore the need for additional generation capacity, transmission upgrades and other supply- and demand-side resources, focusing particularly on the inventory of base-load generating capacity. Because of increased natural gas prices, load growth and possible retirement of older generating plants, the Commission also intends to investigate possibilities for meeting those resource needs.

Staff, electric power industry representatives and interested parties are to: 1) analyze power supply cost recovery filings for five-year growth forecasts, system requirements and any other relevant data regarding resource additions, 2) review electric utility rate case filings and P-251 annual reports, 3) discuss electric power industry load growth forecasting, resource additions and siting issues, 4) review MISO transmission planning, and 5) propose membership in a Capacity Need Forum (which will advise the Commission on resource addition matters).

A status report will be published by July 1, 2005, and a final report will be published by January 1, 2006. The full text of the Order is available on the NEM web site.

Minnesota Power Issues RFP Request

Minnesota Power issued an RFP for approximately 200 MW of additional power starting in 2009 and beyond. Minnesota Power is seeking three kinds of responses to its request: 1) 2-3 year bridge transactions of at least 50MW starting May 1, 2009 - April 30, 2012, 2) 15-year plus long-term purchases of at least 50 MW taking place between May 1, 2009 - May 1, 2012, and 3) renewable resource purchases of at least 10 MW starting between May 1, 2005 - May 1, 2012. Proposals are due by December 6, 2004, with a final decision expected by mid-2005. The full text of the Request is available on the NEM web site.

New York
NEM Analysis of Gas and Electric Settlement Provisions

NEM has compiled a detailed analysis of gas and electric settlement provisions. NEM analyzed the following electric tariffs: Central Hudson, Con Ed, NIMO, NYSEG, O&R and RGE. Likewise, NEM analyzed gas tariffs for: Central Hudson, Con Ed, Keyspan, NFG, NIMO, NYSEG, O&R and RGE. Copies of the analyses are available from NEM Headquarters upon request. The analyses are also posted on the NEM web site, but are available for members only.

ConEd Submits Proposed Embedded Cost Based Unbundled Rates

As required by the Commission's Policy Statement on Unbundling, ConEd filed proposed embedded cost based unbundled rates. The tariff proposes increasing consolidated back-out credits to $.94/billing cycle (currently $.65/billing cycle). Supply credits for residential customers will be set at .232 cents/kWh while supply credits for commercial and industrial customers will be set at .199 cents/kWh. (Existing credits are 2 mills for residential customers and 1 mill for all other customers.) Back-out credits, under a purchase of receivables model, will be set at .063 cent per kilowatt-hour. Metering credits will also be changed. ConEd will also recover costs through a transition adjustment for competitive services. 50% of incremental lost revenus will be recovered exclusively from full service customers and 50% from all customers. The charge will recover: 1) total amount of of back-out credits for consolidated billing, electric supply and metering credits less 2) costs avoided by the company when billing, supply and metering functions are performed by a competitive supplier less 3) forecasted rate year lost revenues reflected in rates. ConEd's Proposed Unbundled Rate Filing is available from NEM Headquarters.

Commission Seeks Information from ESCOs for Price Comparison Chart

To assist with the preparation of a comparison chart of competitive offers for residential and small commercial customers, the Commission requests ESCOs voluntarily provide it with specific price information and value added services on commodity offerings. ESCOs will be contacted within the next few weeks and those that do not respond will not be included in the chart. Data must be received by November 3, 2004 and the chart will be published at on November 5, 2004. The full text of the Commission's Letter is available on the NEM web site.

NYSEG Files Fixed Price Option Rates

NYSEG's Bundled Rate Option (BRO) rates will become effective on January 1, 2005. A chart of the new rates, in kilowatt-hours, is hotlinked here for your convenience. The full text of NYSEG's filing is available from NEM Headquarters.

IPPNY to Submit Motion on Gross Receipts Tax (GRT) Loophole

The IPPNY motion requests the ISO to clarify that sales to direct customers are considered wholesale in nature, and that direct customers must resell the power to an affiliate if they are consuming it themselves. Currently, direct customers may avoid the GRT, however, because ESCOs must charge it, they are placed at a competitive disadvantage. The motion directs Staff to prepare tariff language for review and approval at the November 10, 2004 Management Committee meeting. The motion will be submitted at the next Business Issue Committee meeting on Wednesday, October 27, 2004. The full text of IPPNY's Motion is available on the NEM web site.

Commission Modifies FirstEnergy's CBP

If approved, the Competitive Bid Process (CBP) will be in effect for the same term as the Rate Stabilization Plan (RSP), from 2006-2008, but not subject to termination. According to the Order, a load cap will prevent any bidder from winning more than 65% of the load in order to facilitate a more competitive market after the auction. Under the plan, all customers except special contract customers could elect to return to flat-rate service by paying an option fee of .01 cent/kWh for residential customers and 0.015 cent/kWh for commercial and industrial customers. FirstEnergy will serve as the POLR supplier in the event of a CBP supplier default.

FirstEnergy's CBP was developed using New Jersey's BGS auction as a model. Under the terms of the CBP, winning bidders must meet FirstEnergy's aggregate load requirements, including commercial and industrial special contract customers. Non-controllable MISO costs, like transmission tariffs, will be allowed to be passed-through in the RSP. Likewise, FTR revenue will be allocated to winning bidders on the basis of the number of tranches held by the supplier. The Commission plans to accept or reject a bid within two days of the auction. The full text of the Order is available on the NEM web site.

Columbia Gas Proposes Fixed Price Service

Please see NEM alert on Columbia's supplemental tariff. The full text of Columbia's Filing is available from NEM Headquarters.

Dominion Virginia Extends Deadline for RFQ

Dominion Virginia continues to seek competitive bids to supply electricity to geographic sub-blocks of retail customers. Bids must provide for service beginning in December 2004 through the Customer's January 2006 meter reading date. The three geographic sub-blocks are Northern Virginia, Central/Western Virginia and Eastern Virginia. Each geographic area will consist of two customer sub-blocks - 1) Residential Service and Worship Site Service and 2) non-residential GS-1 and GS-2 customers.

Bids will be sought through a two-step process, consisting first of a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) followed by the solicitation of competitive bids from those entities duly qualified. Suppliers previously qualified do not need to respond to the RFQ. Responses to the RFQ are due either by email ( and or mail by November 9, 2004. The full text of the RFQ is available on the NEM web site, as is the RFP certification form.

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