August 25, 2000


 SouthStar Joins NEM

NEM is pleased to announce that SouthStar Energy Company, LLC has joined the organization. SouthStar Energy Company is a natural gas marketer headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia. SouthStar offers a combination of energy products and services to industrial, commercial and residential customers in the Southeast. Steve Gunther, President of SouthStar Energy Company, will represent the organization within NEM.

The NEM Industry Roundtable and Golf Tournament will be held on October 31, 2000, in The Woodlands, Texas. NEM will also hold its Executive and Policy Development Meeting on October 30, 2000, starting at 10AM. Topics will include NEM Endorsement of the UPB document and NEM's position on Competitive Metering. A hot link to the full agenda and to register for both days is provided. Please reserve space early, tee times and hotel pace are limited. There is also a button on the left of this screen to register online.

 NEM Article in San Diego Union-Tribune

The San Diego Union-Tribune published NEM President Craig Goodman's opinion piece entitled, "Price Controls Raise Energy Prices." The full text of the article is available on the NEM Website.

 Gas Daily Article on Effect of Winter's High Prices on Marketers

Gas Daily featured NEM comments on pipeline capacity into the NE markets in an article entitled, "Marketers Could Lose Customers to Winter's High Prices." The full text of the Gas Daily article is available on the NEM Website.


 Commission Orders Investigation in California Markets

The Commission has issued an Order requiring a formal investigation of electric rates and structure of the California ISO and PX as well as market based sellers in the California market. The Commission declined SDG&E's request to impose an emergency order capping at $250 per MWh the prices at which sellers subject to its jurisdiction may bid energy or ancillary services into the markets operated by the California ISO and PX. The full text of the Order is available on the NEM Website.


Federal Issues

 Stakeholder Draft Legislation

The Stakeholders have prepared a new proposed draft of legislation to amend the Federal Power Act entitled, "Bundled Unbundled Transmission Jurisdiction and FERC-Lite." The full text of the draft legislation is available on the NEM Website.

State Issues

New York

 Attorney General Seeks Examination and Roll Back of Con Ed's Electric Rates

The Attorney General has petitioned the PSC urging that Con Ed no longer be able to pass along increases in costs to customers. Con Ed's automatic pass through mechanisms automatically pass on to customers the prices Con Ed pays for power, fuel, and other expenses. The Attorney General seeks an inquiry into the cause of the electric bill increases, seeks to make Con Ed's rates temporary until the conclusion of the PSC inquiry, and seeks an order returning rates to comparable levels of 1999. The full text of the Attorney General's Petition is available on the NEM Website.

 NEM Intervenes in National Fuel Gas Settlement Extension Proceeding

In anticipation of the September 30, 2000, expiration of its Settlement agreement, NFG has entered into discussions to propose an extension of the agreement. NEM has intervened in this proceeding. The new settlement offers are on the NEM website but are confidential. Members wishing access should contact headquarters to ensure confidentiality.

 PSC Order on Interruptible Service

The PSC has approved measures to be taken by gas utilities that provide interruptible service. The measures are meant to ensure that interruptible gas customers are adequately prepared for interruptions when demand peaks. The approved measures for each utility are as follows:

  • Ensure that interruptible customers have the equivalent, through storage or other measures, of a minimum of seven to ten day supply of alternate fuel by October 1st.
  • Implement a plan to check compliance with interruptible customer requirements; and
  • Establish a higher rate for natural gas service to be charged to interruptible customers that are in non-compliance.

The utilities are required to implement special customer information plans to ensure interruptible customers are aware of these measures. The full text of the Commission's Order is available on the NEM Website.

 Gas Marketer Fixed Capacity Requirement

The PSC has approved a requirement that marketers serving natural gas customers in NY have fixed transmission pipeline capacity for the months of November through March to safeguard against interruptions in service. The full text of the Commission's Order will be posted on the NEM Website when made available electronically.

 Plenary Meeting in POLR/Future Role of the Utilities Proceeding

There was a plenary meeting of the POLR/Future Role of the Utilities Proceeding on August 23-24, 2000. The meeting included presentations on restructuring in Atlanta, Pennsylvania, and Texas as well as in the telecommunications industry. The Public Involvement, Public Benefit, Future Role of the Regulated Utilities, and Retail Competition Development Committees presented summaries of their work product to be included in an October Interim Report. The next plenary meeting will be held September 11-12, 2000.

 NYSEG Petition in Back-Out Rate Proceeding

NYSEG has filed a Petition protesting the Commission's expansion of the scope of the proceeding to consider increasing or replacing the back-out rate. NYSEG argues that this phase of the proceeding should be limited to developing a mechanism to evaluate whether market prices exceed the existing back-out rate and proposals to shape the existing back-out rate. The full text of NYSEG's Petition is available from NEM headquarters.

 NYISO Files Motion on Disclosure of Confidential Information

The NYISO has filed a Motion for a Protective Order to provide safeguards for disclosure of its confidential information and data and the proprietary software of its vendors to PSC Staff as was ordered by the Commission. The full text of the NYISO's Motion is available on the NEM Website.

New Jersey

 NEM Intervenes in NJ Supplier Fee Proceeding

NEM has intervened in the proceeding to oppose utility proposals to dramatically increase Supplier Fees in New Jersey. The new proposed fees range from $80 to $160/megawatt of capacity obligation per month up from $25. NEM urges members and non-members with an interest in the New Jersey Market to join us and help us prevent significant damage to competition in NJ.

To better coordinate NEM/Industry advocacy in this matter, it is requested that any NEM members or Non-members interested in this proceeding and participating in the tactical discussions concerning the proceeding contact NEM Headquarters by e-mail or telephone ASAP. An e-mail list will be developed and regular conference calls may be established. Non-Members should contact headquarters at (202) 333-3288 to join our advocacy efforts.

A summary of the initial utility filings was included in the August 16, 2000, NEM Industry Announcements. The full text of GPU's Compliance Filing, PSE&G's Compliance Filing, and Conectiv's Compliance Filing are available on the NEM Website. A Secretarial Letter has been issued in the supplier fee proceeding requiring interested parties to intervene by September 1, 2000. The full text of the Secretarial Letter is available on the NEM Website.

 PSE&G Files Petition to Transfer Gas Contracts to Affiliate

PSE&G has filed a Petition with the Commission to:

  • Transfer its' rights and obligations under gas contracts to its affiliate, Newco, under the existing terms and conditions of those contracts;
  • Approve the terms of the Requirements contract between PSE&G and Newco;
  • Implement a capacity release program;
  • Eliminate PSE&G's annualized commodity pricing component under its CS rate schedules, including deferred accounting and true-up procedures;
  • Allow the price of gas to all firm gas customers to be market priced monthly under its current MPGS rate schedule; and
  • Freeze the Non-Gulf Coast component of rates through January 1, 2003.

The full text of PSE&G's Petition will be posted on the NEM Website when made available electronically.


 Consumer Protection Rules NOPR

The PUC has issued a consumer protection NOPR which will address the following issues: Privacy of Customer Information, Non-English Language Requirements, Selection or Change of Electric Service Provider, Information Disclosures to Residential and Small Commercial Customers, Request for Service, Refusal of Service, Credit Requirements and Deposits, Issuance and Format of Bills, Bill Payment and Adjustments, Unauthorized Charges, Termination of Contracts, Disconnection of Service, Do Not Call List, Customer Access and Complaint Handling, Record Retention and Reporting Requirements, and Non-Compliance with Rules or Orders. Comments on the NOPR are due October 2, 2000, and a public hearing is scheduled for October 16, 2000. The full text of the Consumer Protection NOPR is available on the NEM Website.

 Electric Reliability Council (ERCOT) Comments

The PUC is seeking comments on ERCOT market design and draft Protocols. Initial comments should focus on ERCOT market design and should be filed by September 8, 2000. A second set of comments may be filed by September 18, 2000, on policy issues concerning the Protocols. The Commission will hold a workshop on market design and the Protocols on September 22, 2000. The full text of the Notice on ERCOT Market Design and Protocols is available on the NEM Website.


 PECO Files Supplement to Electric Tariff

PECO has filed a supplement to its electric tariff that contains rules concerning one-time waiver of demand minimum charges when a customer uses POLR service in the summer and shops with an EGS in the winter. The supplement also contains other tariff housekeeping provisions. The full text of the Supplement to PECO's Electric Tariff is available on the NEM Website.

 PECO Files Gas Service Tariff and Gas Choice Supplier Tariff

PECO has filed its Gas Service Tariff and its Gas Choice Supplier Coordination Tariff, both of which are effective July 1, 2000. The full text of PECO's Gas Service Tariff and Gas Choice Supplier Coordination Tariff are available on the NEM Website.

 National Fuel Gas Supplement to Gas Tariff

National Fuel Gas has filed Supplement 124 to its Gas Tariff that is effective August 1, 2000. The full text of Supplement 124 is available on the NEM Website.

 Equitable Gas Tariff Supplement

Equitable Gas has filed Supplement 18 to its Gas Tariff that is effective October 1, 2000. The full text of Supplement 18 is available on the NEM Website.

 Consumer Advocate Comments on PFG Gas and North Penn Retail and Supplier Tariffs

The Office of the Consumer Advocate has filed comments on the Retail and Supplier Tariffs filed by PFG Gas and North Penn Gas. The full text of the Consumer Advocate's Comments is available on the NEM Website.



 CG&E Compliance Filing

CG&E has made a compliance filing requesting authorization to create Rider USF at a rate of 0.02442 cents per kilowatt-hour and to change the name of the Percentage of Income Payment Plan (PIPP) rider (Rider PIPP) to Deferred Asset Recovery (DAR) Rider at a rate of 0.0243 cents per kilowatt-hour. The full text of the Compliance Filing, the Proposed Universal Service Fund Rider, and the Proposed Deferred Asset Recovery Rider are available on the NEM Website.


 Competitive Metering Meeting

The initial meeting to receive utility proposals on competitive metering in the electric service proceeding has been postponed to September 22, 2000, and will take place at the offices of BG&E, 39 West Lexington Street, Baltimore, Maryland, in the 2nd floor west meeting room at 1PM. Those planning to attend should contact NEM Headquarters to coordinate.



 AEP Files Pilot Program with Commission

AEP has filed its revised Pilot Program Schedules and Terms and Conditions of Service for Pilot Program Participants to be effective October 1, 2000. The full text of AEP's Pilot Program Schedules and Terms and Conditions of Service are available on the NEM Website.

 AEP Revised Sheets to Pilot Program

AEP has filed a revised sheet to the Terms and Conditions of Service of the Pilot Program on AEP's Code of Conduct. The change will require that information on transmission, distribution or the provision of electricity that AEP provides to any Certified Service Provider (CSP) will be provided to all other CSPs simultaneously via an electronic bulletin board or other similar means. The other revised sheet eliminated an inadvertent strike-through in the meter data management agents and billing agents sections. The full text of the Revised Sheets is available on the NEM Website.



 PUC Adopts Bill Stabilization Plan for SDG&E

The PUC adopted a stabilization plan for SDG&E at its August 21, 2000, meeting which provides that 70% of residential customers who consume 500 kWh or less will pay no more than $68 per month through the end of January 2001, with rates increasing to $75 through the end of December 2001. Seventy percent of all commercial customers who consume 1,500 kWh or less will pay no more than $220 per month. Customers consuming more than the designated kWhs must pay the market rate for the additional consumption. SDG&E must file comments addressing the implementation of a Levelized Payment Plan (LPP) for all customers on an "opt out" basis as well as the plan's true-up. The full text of the Opinion Adopting the Bill Stabilization Plan is available on the NEM Website.


 Consumer Advocate Filing in Gas Marketer Certification Rulemaking

The Office of the Consumer Advocate has opposed the following NEM positions submitted in Comments:

  • The proposed certification period should be shortened from the proposed time frame of 90 days with an additional 60 days if necessary.
  • The information required to demonstrate operational and financial capability should be stated with increased specificity.
  • The application and processing fee should be set at a reasonable flat fee rather than a $125 application fee and an hourly rate for processing.
  • The requirement of an annual report should be clarified such that the paperwork burden not be unreasonable and not allow proprietary information to be readily available to competitors.
  • Non-regulated marketers should not be subject to the same customer deposit and interest rules as the utilities.
  • The penalty of 300% of the replacement cost of gas for marketers who fail to deliver at least 90% of their end-user requirements in a 24-hour period is unreasonably high.

The full text of the Comments of the Office of the Consumer Advocate is available from NEM headquarters.