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August 5, 2005
NEM Fall Leadership Roundtable

NEM will hold its Fall Leadership Roundtable in Washington, DC, during the week of October 10th or 17th, 2005. Further details will be forthcoming. Please mark your calendar.

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Workshop on Electric Supplier Rules

The commission has scheduled a workshop on its electric supplier rules to review, discuss and receive input on proposed changes. The meeting will be held August 11, 2005, at 10AM, in the Cannon Building Hearing Room.

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Mass Electric Proposal on Retail Competition

In response to the Department's inquiry into default service, Mass Electric filed comments identifying standard offer pricing, customer perception of "mother utility," customer acquistion costs and bad debt risks as significant barriers to competition. Mass Electric indicated that it would not oppose a quarterly pricing mechanism. Mass Electric also indicated its "potential willingness" to implement a three pilot part program to address other barriers to competition including: 1) a PowerSwitch-type program for smaller customers; 2) a Basic Service Auction for G-2/G-3 customers; and 3) a Purchase of Receivables program without recourse. The full text of Mass Electric's Comments is available on the NEM Website.

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NEM Intervenes in Consumers Gas Rate Case

NEM filed a petition to intervene in Consumers gas rate case. Consumers filed an application requesting authority to increase rates and charges and proposing various revisions to its gas general rules and regulations and tariffs. A prehearing conference to determine the procedural schedule in the case will be held August 10, 2005. Those members interested in participating in NEM's advocacy team for this case should contact headquarters ASAP. The full text of NEM's Intervention is available on the NEM Website.

New York
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Central Hudson Files Rate Case

Central Hudson filed a rate case with proposed rates to be effective July 1, 2006. Central Hudson filed a cost of service study and developed backout credits for procurement, credit and collections, bill printing, mailing and receipt services, and competitive energy services as well as electric-only credits for meter ownership, meter services and meter data services. Central Hudson argues that the complete array of backout credits should only be available to current full service customers who subsequently contract with an ESCO for commodity service, choose to have a single bill issued by the ESCO, and for electric customers, contract with a METERCO for bundled metering services. Current Retail Access/Delivery Service customers should be eligible for the full range of backout credits if they chose to have a single bill issued by the ESCO, and the ESCO assumed all uncollectibles, credit and collections responsibilities. The proposed backout credits are hotlinked here.

Central Hudson also proposes to introduce a Provider of Last Resort (POLR) surcharge as an adder to the commodity or supply portion of a customer's bill, applicable only to customers that purchase energy from the utility as POLR. Central Hudson states that a, "POLR supply surcharge could be considered a charge to remain with POLR supply service, as opposed as a credit to switch from POLR service." Central Hudson explains that the surcharge could be a fixed charge or preferably calculated each month as a predetermined percentage of supply costs. Central Hudson recommends that the surcharge be 5% of the average monthly commodity price and estimates it would range from $2-$3.50/MWh and $0.30-$0.40/Mcf for electricity and natural gas respectively. The funds collected are proposed to be used in furtherance of retail access and customer education among other purposes.

The full texts of the Filing Letter, Testimony and Exhibits, and Proposed Tariffs are available on the NEM Website.

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Commission Finds Hearing Necessary on DEO Application to Exit Merchant Function

The Commission determined that DEO's application to exit the merchant function was an "application for commodity sales or ancillary service exemption." Accordingly a hearing is required to evaluate whether DEO is either 1) subject to effective competition with respect to the commodity sales service or ancillary service, or 2) customers of the commodity sales service or ancillary service have reasonably available alternatives. Relevant considerations for the Commission include a) number and size of alternative providers; b) extent to which the service is available from alternative providers; c) ability of alternative providers to make functionally equivalent or substitute service readily available at competitive prices, terms and conditions; and d) other indicators of market power such as market share, growth in market share, ease of entry and affiliation of providers of services. A prehearing conference will be held August 16, 2005, to determine a procedural schedule. The full text of the Order is available on the NEM Website.

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