February 16, 2001
NEM's National Energy Restructuring Conference and Annual Membership Meeting
NEM will host its National Energy Restructuring Conference and Annual Membership Meeting on April 3-4, 2001, in Washington, D.C. A number of prominent leaders from Congress, NARUC, academia and the industry have confirmed. A hotlink to the event is provided here for your convenience. NEM, Keyspan, Lodestar and PowerTrust are hosting a VIP Reception in the U.S. Capitol Building the evening of April 3rd. All members and spouses, conferees, regulators, lawmakers and staff are invited and encouraged to attend free of charge. However, everyone who wishes to go must provide their name, social security number and birth date to headquarters ASAP for security reasons.
NEM Taskforce to Implement National Energy Technology Policy
NEM hosted a conference call on funding mechanisms for gas research and development programs to implement its National Energy Technology Policy. The Notes of the Conference Call are available on the NEM Website. Emmett Kelly of Itron will chair an NEM Task Force on this matter. The next call will be held February 21, 2001, at 2PM. The dial in number is 303-248-1820 and the passcode is 428358. This is an opportunity for NEM members that we recommend you consider.
Executive Committee Meeting Minutes
The full text of the Minutes of the Executive Committee Meeting held on January 22-23, 2001, in San Diego, setting forth the issues and states identified as NEM's advocacy priorities for calendar year 2001, are available on the NEM Website.
NEM President on CNN
NEM President, Craig Goodman, appeared on CNN's Burden of Proof with Senator Murkowski for a discussion on the California energy crisis. Mr. Goodman was also recently quoted in a Washington Post article entitled, "Region's Electric Rates Kept in Check - for Now" cautioning against implementation of price caps in the Washington, D.C. region. The full text of the CNN Transcript and the Washington Post Article are available on the NEM Website.
NEM Testimony on California Energy Crisis and Recommendations for Federal Legislation
NEM submitted testimony into the record for the Senate Committee hearing on the California energy crisis and implications for the West. NEM's testimony urged that Congress should: 1) encourage development of national economies of scale through uniform rules, operating procedures, tariff structures, scheduling coordination and technology platforms; 2) limit utility services to pure monopoly functions and provide current monopoly cost-based prices to consumers as "shopping credits;" and 3) expand existing energy and environmental tax credits for qualified restructuring investments such as advanced metering, computer system upgrades, and distributed generation and provide tax and performance-based regulatory incentives for infrastructure upgrades, congestion management, maintenance and streamlined interconnection procedures. The full text of NEM's Testimony is available on the NEM Website.
House Subcommittee Hearing on Electricity Markets
The House Subcommittee convened a hearing on "Electricity Markets: Lessons Learned from California." Witnesses included California Commissioner Wood, Pennsylvania Chairman Quain, and Ohio Chairman Schriber. NEM will submit testimony into the record in this proceeding and will meet with Congressman Barton's staff in the coming weeks. The full text of Chairman Schriber's Testimony is available on the NEM Website.
NEM Brief on Utilities Exiting the Merchant Function
NEM filed a brief supporting the Commission's authority to set rates in a manner that direct and/or incent a monopoly to stop performing and/or to stop charging for non-monopoly products, services, information and technologies, and to do so by a date certain. The full text of NEM's Brief is available on the NEM Website.
NEM Comments on NYSEG Compliance Filing
NEM has submitted comments on NYSEG's compliance filing to implement a market-based retail access credit. NEM argued that the service classifications NYSEG designated as eligible for the 0.4 cent/kWh adder did not comply with the Commission's Order, and the Commission should require NYSEG to immediately implement a 0.4 cent/kWh adder for all residential and small commercial customers. The full text of NEM's Comments is available on the NEM Website.
Comments Sought on Extension of Farm Pilot Program
The Commission has requested comments on the extension of the farm and food processor pilot program until October 31, 2001. Comments are due February 26, 2001. The full text of the Request for Comments is available on the NEM Website.
Order on Electric Standby Service
The Commission has denied rehearing of its Order deciding that station use and start-up electric services that franchised electric utilities deliver to wholesale generators are retail sales subject to state jurisdiction. The full text of the Order is available on the NEM Website.
First Energy-GPU Merger/POLR Proceeding
GPU Energy filed a supplemental petition to address generation rate cap increases, to be combined with a previously requested cost-tracking and deferral mechanism for its provision of Provider of Last Resort service. The full text of the Supplemental Petition is available on the NEM Website.
Direct testimony was filed by the Consumer Advocate and by PJM on the FirstEnergy-GPU merger filing. The full texts of the Testimony are available as follows: Consumer Advocate Witness 1, Consumer Advocate Witness 2, PJM Witness 1, PJM Witness 2, and PJM Witness 3.
NEM Testimony Filed in Illionois
NEM has filed rebuttal testimony in the Nicor pilot program proceeding and urged the Commission to relax overly formal evidentiary rules. The full text of NEM's Response is available on the NEM Website. The full text of the Rebuttal Testimony filed by Staff is also available on the NEM Website as follows: Witness 1, Witness 2, and Witness 3.
Retail Access Work Group
The next meeting of the retail access work group is scheduled for February 27-28, 2001, to discuss proposed rules. Specific written comments to be included in Staff's report are due to Staff by March 1, 2001. The full texts of the work group's draft rules on Licensing and Codes of Conduct are available on the NEM Website.
Hearing of Virginia Power Wires Charge
The Commission has ordered the institution of a hearing on the adjustment of Virginia Power's wires charge to be considered with its fuel factor application. The hearing will take place March 1, 2001.
Notice of Inquiry (NOI) on Advanced Metering Services
DTE has issued a NOI to develop terms and conditions for the installation and provision of advanced metering equipment by electric distribution companies (EDCs). DTE has proposed three options for provision of advanced metering as follows: 1) EDCs to provide advanced metering services to a customer by purchasing and installing advanced metering equipment; 2) EDCs to provide advanced metering services to a customer by installing advanced metering equipment that is purchased and owned by the customer; or 3) EDCs to provide advanced metering services to a customer by purchasing and installing a pulse interface device that is attached to the customer's existing meter and the customer may purchase and install a modem-equipped recording device to connect to the pulse interface device. The first technical session is scheduled for March 1, 2001. The full text of the Notice of Inquiry is available on the NEM Website.
Distributed Generation Emissions Requirements
The California Air Resources Board (ARB) is acting on new legislation mandating air emissions requirements for distributed generation and is also discussing the development of a national standard for distributed generation. The ARB has convened a workgroup and committees have been established in the areas of applicability, certification, standard development, and interim guides and interplay of related rules and tags. The ARB is also in discussions with the Texas Natural Resources Conservation Commission concerning reciprocity and perhaps a national standard prototype. The full text of SB 1298 is available on the NEM Website.
Regional EDI Meeting
The next regional EDI meeting is scheduled for March 15, 2001, from 10AM to 3PM. NEM members interested in attending should contact headquarters.