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January 14, 2005
IDT Elected to NEM Executive Committee

NEM is pleased to announce that IDT Energy has been elected to the NEM Executive Committee. IDT Energy is a licensed ESCO offering fixed rate, seasonal fixed rate and variable rate products.

IDT Energy's parent, IDT, is a leading provider of wholesale and retail telecommunications services, using its own network infrastructure to route calls worldwide. IDT developed NET2Phone, today's leading provider of Internet telephony, along with other innovative telecom and Internet-related businesses. IDT Energy will be represented within NEM by Jeff Hendler, Chief Financial Officer.

NEM's Annual Winter Policy, Planning and Development Meeting, Chicago (January 19-20, 2005) - Final Headcount Needed ASAP

NEM's Annual Winter Executive Policy, Planning and Development Meeting for 2005 will be held on January 19-20, 2005 at Constellation NewEnergy's offices in Chicago. Please click here to view the Agenda. All members who wish to attend must sign up here.

The Winter Executive Committee Meeting is held each year to establish the association's priorities in the upcoming year. Executive Committee members and Policy Chairs will prioritize the states, utilities, issues and positions for NEM's advocacy in 2005.

Please use the following hotlinks to view NEM's Issues Lists for the following topics: wholesale issues, retail issues and technology issues.

Issues identified for NEM advocacy in 2005 include: NEM's position on the timing, method and preferred utility incentives to Accelerate Customer Migration: Consolidated Utility Billing; Consolidated Retailer Billing; Proper Timing, Structure and Purpose of Retail Auctions; as well as the Formation of working groups to review and revise NEM Policy Positions and to develop a portfolio of cost-effective, regulatory approaches to accelerate customer migration.

The attire will be casual and all attempts will be made to get us out in one day. We need a final headcount next week. Please sign up today.

NEM's Annual Restructuring Conference - April 26 & 27, 2005

NEM's Annual Spring Membership Meeting and National Restructuring Conference will be held at the Marriott Metro Center on April 26-27, 2005. in Washington, DC. Many thanks to Centrica, Commerce Energy Group, ESG, Excelergy, Interstate Gas Supply, Itron, Proliance and SAP for offering to sponsor this event. Sponsorship ads and logos are due for advertisements as soon as possible.

FERC Chairman Patrick Wood, Commissioners Brownell, Kelly and Kelliher in addition to CA Deputy Secretary of Energy Joseph Desmond, NYPSC Chairman William Flynn and MADTE Chairman Paul Afonso have already confirmed to speak. Governor Schwartzenegger and Chairman Alan Schriber from Ohio, and high-ranking Administration officials have also been invited.

Sessions at the meeting include: The Role of Regulators To Ensure Consumers Receive Current Market-Based Prices; Roundtable: The Future of Network Restructuring in a Digital Revolution (Will Congress need to Preempt Deregulation to Ensure U.S. Competitiveness in the 21st Century?); and Transition to a Competitive Market – Cutting Edge Accelerated Customer Migration Strategies, Incentives and Timing of Utilities’ Exit from the Merchant Function.

Please use this hotlink to register for the event. Please click here to view the draft agenda.

Antitrust Modernization Commission Holds Meeting

When discussing the state action doctrine, the Commission referenced the FTC's Report on the subject, cited concerns it raised with the doctrine, namely: 1) courts are granting too much leeway for anticompetitive actions, 2) there are too many instances in which the state does not specifically endorse the conduct of the utility and does not actively supervise its day-to-day activities in a competitive marketplace, and 3) the doctrine has a significant adverse effect on interstate commerce. NEM has filed comments with the Commission, recommending the revision of the state action doctrine. Because utilities should exit competitive functions, if they remain in the competitive marketplace, they should conduct themselves in accordance with existing law.

At yesterday's meeting, the Commission approved each of the Working Group's recommendations for further study. In addition, the Commission developed a three-prong approach to its mission: 1) develop an analytical framework, 2) fill in the framework and 3) select a number of immunities or exemptions as possible candidates for further study. The Commission is interested in hearing from interested parties on this matter. NEM will keep members informed of any opportunities to submit comments. Please send your company's comments to NEM Headquarters for incorporation into a master set of comments.

The full texts of the Recommendations from the Working Groups on Immunities and Exemptions and Regulated Industries, the FTC Report and NEM's Comments are available on the NEM web site. Please click here to view the Commission's web site.

EIA Seeks Comments on Weekly Gas Report

EIA is seeking comments on its Weekly Natural Gas Storage Report for possible revisions on EIA policy with regards to revisions. Since 2002, EIA's policy has been to publish revisions in the next weekly report if there is a change of at least 7 Bcf at either a regional or national level.

EIA has proposed two alternative policies. Fixed Revision Timing would require EIA to publish a revised weekly report if the change is at least 15 Bcf (at either a national or regional level) prior to the customary report release schedule, which is currently Thursday at 10:30. Variable Revision Timing would require EIA to publish a revised weekly report two hours after issuing a notification of the planned release of the weekly report. 15 Bcf would be the threshold amount of change necessary for revision for the second alternative as well. Comments are due by February 7, 2005. The full text of the Notice is available on the NEM web site.

EIA Presents Timeline of Key Natural Gas Regulation and Legislation

EIA's timeline begins with the Public Utility Holding Act of 1935, which marked the start of interstate natural gas regulation, and continues through the Pipeline Safety Improvement Act of 2002. The timeline highlights the Natural Gas Policy Act of 1978, which increased or removed price ceilings at the wellhead, as well as the early 1990s as a time of complete deregulation of prices at the producing well. In addition, EIA lists key FERC orders from 1984-2004 as well. Please click here to view those orders. Please click here to view the EIA's Timeline.

Click here to view all past updates.
Commission Releases Final Report on Post-2006 Initiative

Because Illinois' transition period, and its attendant transition charges, will end on January 1, 2007, the Commission formed a Post-2006 Initiative to assess what actions should be taken at the end of the transition period. The Intiative was comprised of six working groups: procurement, rates, competitive issues, utility service obligations, energy assistance and implementation.

First, staff recommended that the Commission not mandate any one particular procurement method, though staff approved of the vertical tranche auction for certain utilities. Staff recommended removing barriers to competition as they are identified and counseled the Commission to hold off on determining whether residential electric choice is viable until after the end of the transition period.

According to Staff, more suppliers must enter the market. Staff made a number of other recommendations, including allowing suppliers to use telemarketer-based methods for customer acquisition and allowing small-use customers to move between alternative suppliers and utility service without penalty. The full text of the Report is available on the NEM web site.

Click here to view all past updates.
Commission Releases Gas Commodity Fact Sheet

The Commission provided the gas commodity service charge (BGE), the gas cost charge (Columbia) and purchased gas charge (Washington Gas Light) for a three-year period from 2002 - 2005. The tables show that each utility experienced a steady increase in charges. January 2005 charges are listed as follows:
* BGE - $0.8081/therm
* Columbia - $0.87960/CCF
* WGL - $0.9552/therm

The Commission also noted that, throughout the state, approximately 225,000 customers currently purchase their gas from competitive suppliers. Finally, the Commission noted how frequently each utility adjusts its gas cost factor: BGE makes monthly adjustments, while Columbia and WGL adjust on a quarterly basis. The full text of the Commission's Fact Sheet is available on the NEM web site.

New Jersey
Click here to view all past updates.
Starting Date for BGS Auction Changed

Both the BGS-CIEP and BGS-FP auctions will now commence on February 10, 2005. Originally, the auctions were set to begin on February 7, 2005. This was the only change to the auction schedule. The full text of the Commission's letter is available on the NEM web site.

New York
Click here to view all past updates.
NEM Submits Competitive Metering Comments

In its comments, NEM discussed how uncertainty in regulatory cost recovery policies has negatively impacted metering industry, which is one of the most competitive segments in the energy industry. NEM suggested that the Commission consider a number of issues, such as the value of reliability, how reliability should be priced and which customer classes value it the most. NEM also suggested that the Commission implement aggressive investment cost recovery incentives for advanced meters to improve demand response, provide more accurate price signals and, theoretically, lower priced peaking supplies. The full text of NEM's Comments is available on the NEM web site.

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