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April 8, 2005
NEM's Annual Restructuring Conference

NEM's Annual Spring Restructuring Conference will be held at the Marriott Metro Center on April 26-27, 2005 in Washington, DC. The VIP reception will be held at the Canadian Embassy. Three Senators and six Ambassadors have confirmed attendance at the reception. Many thanks to Centrica, Commerce Energy Group, ESG, Excelergy, Interstate Gas Supply, Constellation NewEnergy, Proliance and SAP for offering to sponsor this event.

Speakers this year include FERC Chairman Patrick Wood, FERC Commissioner Kelly, Deputy Secretary of Energy Clay Sell, CA Deputy Secretary of Energy Joseph Desmond, Orange and Rockland Utilities President John McMahon, MADTE Chairman Paul Afonso and Chairman Alan Schriber from Ohio. In addition to those mentioned above, Michigan PSC Chair Laura Chappelle, Ronald Cerniglia of the New York PSC, Jeanne Fox of the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities, and CA PUC President Michael R. Peevey have also confirmed.

Sessions will include: 1) Serving the Public Interest: Shifting Commodity Risks to the Marketplace, Modification of the Obligation to Serve and Incentives for Sustainable Growth; 2) Transition to a Competitive Market – Cutting Edge Accelerated Customer Migration Strategies, Incentives and Timing of Utilities Exit from the Merchant Function. To sign-up for this conference or to view the agenda for the two day event, please click here.

MACRUC Names New President

Pennsylvania Commission Chairman Holland was named President of the Mid-Atlantic Conference of Regulatory Utilities Commissioners.

FERC Technical Conference on Market Behavior Rules Scheduled for Chicago

On May 6, FERC will hold a technical conference in Chicago to discuss the standards of conduct for transmission providers and the impact of the market behavior rules on wholesale energy markets.

NEM Requests Reconsideration of CIG/Granite State Pipeline Discount Policy

NEM requested that the Commission reconsider its determination in the Williston Basin proceeding that the CIG/Granite State pipeline discount policy need not be implemented in pipeline tariffs in place of the El Paso policy. NEM suggested that the El Paso policy that limits a shipper’s discount to its primary point and requires maximum rates for all other points of receipt and delivery, maximizes the market power of the incumbent whereas the CIG policy would enhance both flexibility and competitive pricing. NEM suggested that the Commission defer implementation of the Williston Basin decision until its generic review of its discount policy in a separate docket is completed. The full text of NEM's Petition is available on the NEM Website.

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Maryland Announces Results of Second Standard Offer Service Bids

The second year of the bidding process for market-priced, competitively bid Standard Offer Service for Pepco and Conectiv residential customers and for Pepco, Conectiv, Allegheny Power and BGE commercial and industrial customers has been completed. The new prices take effect on June 1.

The Commission reported that 20 wholesale supppliers offered 8 times in excess of the needed load. The Commission Chairman stated that the SOS procurement was very competitive and highly successful.

The Commission also has released a report on the status of electricity procurement and restructuring, which reports that over 40% of commercial and industrial load has switched to competitive retail suppliers.

The full texts of the SOS Procurement Results and the Report are available on the NEM Website.

Maryland Reviews Ring-Fencing Policies

The Commission Staff has drafted a Ring-Fencing Report on electric and gas utilities. The report includes analysis of the various ring-fencing policies as well as Maryland's policies. Among other recommendations, the Staff proposed an annual ring-fencing report and a reporting system.

A stakeholder process is expected to be announced and the Commission is expected to request comments on Staff's recommendations. The full text of the Report is available on the NEM Website.

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Detroit Edison Requests Continuation of Stranded Costs Charges

Detroit Edison has filed its 2004 stranded costs case. As part of the case, Detroit Edison has requested permission to continue charging a net stranded costs transition charge of 3 mills/kWh for Electricity Choice secondary customers and 1 mill/kWh for Electricity Choice primary customers. Detroit Edison has reported $99 million in additional net stranded costs for 2004.

The proceeding also includes Detroit Edison's reconciliation of power supply costs for 2004.

The full text of Detroit Edison's Application and Testimony is available on the NEM Website.

Michigan Approves Statewide Net Metering Program

The Commission approved the amended consensus agreement implementing a voluntary, statewide 5-year net metering program. Utility tariffs are due by April 28. Participating utilities include Alpena Power, Indiana Michigan Power, Edison Sault Electric, Upper Peninsula Power, Wisconsin PSC, Wisconsin Electric, Northern States Power, Consumers Energy, and Detroit Edison.

The program applies to renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, geothermal, and biomass. Net-metered customers will be credited for net excess generation at the utility's retail price of generation.

The full text of the Order Approving the Net Metering Program is available on the NEM Website.

New York
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NYSEG/RG&E Request Market Monitoring and Affiliate Rule Investigation

NYSEG and RG&E filed a request with the Commission to investigate the establishment of market monitoring measures and affiliate rules "to prevent potential gaming of the energy markets by companies which both own generation and sell electricity into New York retail markets." The utilities warn of a regulatory gap between FERC and the NYISO and the New York retail markets. While not asserting that any ESCOs have engaged in inappropriate behavior, the utilities suggest that a generator could sell its capacity to its ESCO affiliate below market price to enable the affiliate to gain greater market share.

The utilities suggest that the following market monitoring measures be considered: 1) affiliate rules or codes of conduct governing the relationship between retail companies and generator affiliates; 2) coordination with NYISO to identify wholesale market behaviors that impact the retail market; 3) use of market screens to identify affiliate transactions with the potential for market manipulation or predatory pricing; 4) identification of pricing trend information; and 5) establishment of a market abuse reporting hotline.

The full text of NYSEG/RG&E's Filing is available from NEM headquarters.

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Electricity Suppliers Held Not to be Public Utilities for Assessment Purposes

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court held that the Pennsylvania Commission may not assess suppliers for the Commission's, the Consumer Advocate's or the Small Business Advocate's administrative expenses. Currently, the Commission assesses public utilities for such expenses. The Court held that suppliers may not be treated as public utilities for such assessment purposes. The full text of the Order is available on the NEM Website.

Columbia Gas' Fixed Price Service Suspended Until November

Columbia Gas' fixed price proposal has been suspended until November 3. Currently, the Judge is considering the party status of a natural gas supplier and of NEM. In addition, settlement negotiations are ongoing.

Working Groups Meet to Implement Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards

The Pennsylvania interconnection standards and net metering working group continues to meet, with the next meeting scheduled for April 19. Comments on interconnection issues are due by April 14.

A working group meeting also is scheduled on April 19 on demand side management and energy efficiency issues. A sub group is meeting to develop a report on a depreciation schedule and verification and tracking standards as part of the implementation of the Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards Act. Staff is expected to circulate a strawman report in May for comments, with the Commission to approve a schedule and standards by June 23.

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SB 1748 Introduced on Broadband over Power Lines

SB 1748 has been introduced on the provision of Broadband over Power Lines (BPL) by electric utilities. The legislation permits a utility on its own, through an affiliate or through an unaffiliated entity to operate a BPL system on the utility's electric delivery system. The legislation includes revenue recovery measures, or alternatively, rate-setting treatment, to incent deployment of BPL systems. The legislation prohibits cross-subsidization of BPL services with utility revenues. It also prohibits a utility from charging an affiliate less or paying an affiliate more when an affiliate renders service as a BPL operator. The full text of SB 1748 is available on the NEM Website.

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