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December 15, 2017
NEM Upcoming Events

NEM’s Annual Winter Executive Committee Meeting will be held at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Orlando, Florida on January 17-19, 2018. Please register at this hotlink. A draft Agenda is available at this hotlink. The Winter Executive Committee Meeting is where the members identify and prioritize the issues, states, and utility markets of greatest import. The national and regional leadership teams will help focus NEM’s advocacy, PR and policy development activities in 2018.

The Hyatt Regency Hotel in Orlando, Florida has a block of hotel rooms at an NEM Rate of $239, and discount tickets to Disney World and Universal Studios have been reserved for members. A golf outing and welcome reception for members will be held on January 17, 2018, at the Villas of Grand Cypress Golf Course. Hotel reservations can be made at this hotlink. Call NEM headquarters at (202) 333-3288 to register for golf.

NEM’s 21st Annual National Restructuring Conference will be held April 30 – May 2, 2018, at the Hyatt Regency Capitol Hill Hotel, Washington, DC. An agenda is forthcoming.

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Draft Resolution on CCA Registration Process

The Commission issued a draft resolution that would establish a registration process for Community Choice Aggregators (CCAs). Although CCAs were authorized by state legislation in 2002, they have only recently experienced a rapid growth in formation, thus prompting the proposed registration process.

The proposed registration process would include:
* a timeline for submission of implementation plans, including the requirement that the CCA's implementation plan and statement of intent be filed with the Commission on or before January 1 to serve load in the following year;
* the requirement for the CCA and incumbent utility to "meet and confer to ensure the utility understands the CCA's implementation plan and that the CCA can comply with the utility's tariffs;"
* a registration packet, including the CCA's service agreement and bond, to be filed with the Commission within ninety days of filing the implementation plan; and
* a Commission-authorized date to begin service.

Comments on the Draft Resolution are due December 29, 2017. The full text of the Draft Resolution is available on the NEM Website.

New Jersey
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Board Adopts Changes to Supplier Regulations

The Board adopted amendments and new provisions to its regulations pertaining to government energy aggregation programs, anti-slamming and third-party suppliers. The new rules become effective December 18, 2017, upon publication in the New Jersey Register.

Among the changes adopted are improvements to the customer switching timeframes. Under the new rules, electric utilities must switch a customer's electric supplier on the current month's scheduled meter reading date if a request is received at least thirteen days prior. The Board rejected the suggestion that the three business day switching process adopted by neighboring jurisdictions be implemented in New Jersey. Natural gas utilities must switch a customer on the current month's scheduled meter reading date if a request is received on or before the tenth calendar day of the prior month.

The rules add a requirement on TPS budget billing that would require a true-up at least once every twelve months for accounts on budget billing.

Reflecting state law and a prior Board Order, the regulations were amended to include TPS Contract Summary requirement. The Board rejected the suggestion that TPSs be allowed to use a legal-sized sheet for the Contract Summary. The TPS Contract Summary must also include an explanation of the difference between fixed and variable rates, including an explanation of how weather fluctuations may affect the price of variable rate contracts.

The Board also adopted a new provision on TPS notification to customers in the case of transfer of residential contracts to another TPS, requiring written notice be sent at least thirty days prior to the effective date of the customer switch by the acquiring supplier. When a TPS is ending operations and switching customers back to utility service, the thirty day advance notice of the switch must include a timetable for the customer to choose another energy supplier before defaulting to the LDC. The written notice must tell the customer that it may choose another energy supplier or return to the LDC prior to the account transfer and that it will be served under the same terms and conditions as under its contract with the prior supplier. The Board stated that with respect to a residential customer's decision to switch to a different supplier or the utility after receiving notice of the transfer, that such residential customer should be permitted to do so without incurring an early termination fee. "It would be inappropriate for a supplier to charge any early termination fees to a residential assigned customer because . . . in most, if not all, cases the supplier cannot guarantee that the customer would not only be served under the same terms and conditions with the new supplier but also pay the exact same rate for the entire time the customer is served by the new supplier that the customer would have paid if the customer continued to be served by their chosen supplier."

The full text of the Rulemaking Decision is available on the NEM Website.

New York
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Order on Community Choice Aggregation Data Access Fees

The Commission issued an Order approving data access fees for Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) programs. The Commission previously decided that utilities should not charge for "basic data," but may charge for data that is more granular or more frequent than basic data. The Commission stated, "In general, where data is retained and stored by way of the utilities' enterprise systems and is not readily or reasonably available by other means, but the provision of that data is essential for the fundamental customer/provider relationship (e.g., billing) or provides broad system-wide benefits, the data will be considered basic data. In general, value-added data will fulfill more nuanced needs such as customized requests and requests by market participants to pursue market opportunities. For value-added data, fees may be permitted to promote fair contribution to system costs by beneficiaries and to avoid undue burden on non-participants."

With respect to the CCA fees, the Commission adopted a uniform fee for all utilities of $.80 per account. Twenty percent of the fee will be apportioned to requests to utilities for aggregated data (data given to the municipality or CCA Administrator) and eighty percent will be apportioned to requests to utilities for customer lists (data given to the ESCO serving the CCA). The Commission determined that the customized aggregated data and customer list "are value-added services because they are not yet services that are benefitting all or most ratepayers."

The full text of the Order is available on the NEM Website.

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Commission Schedules Residential Supplier Workshop

The Commission will host a Residential Supplier Workshop on January 31, 2018, beginning at 9AM in its Harrisburg office. Electric and natural gas suppliers that currently serve or intend to serve residential customers are "expected" to attend. The workshop will include a Commission orientation on formal filings and contact information, bonding and reporting requirements, formal complaint procedures, the PaPowerSwitch and PaGasSwitch websites, and enforcement. The OCA and Attorney General's Office will discuss their offices and consumer protection, telemarketing and do-not-call restrictions. OCMO and the Bureau of Consumer Services will review marketing regulations and informal complaint procedures. The workshop will conclude with an update on OCMO and CHARGE regulatory initiatives, including the recently released proposed rulemaking to revise electric consumer disclosure regulations. RSVPs to attend the workshop are due January 16, 2018. The full text of the Secretarial Letter is available on the NEM Website.

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