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January 7, 2005
IDT Energy Nominated to Executive Committee

NEM is pleased to announce that IDT Energy has been nominated 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 for advocacy in 2005. 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.

NAESB Announces 2005 Executive Committee Roster

The North American Energy Standards Board recently welcomed ten new members to its Executive Committee. Though all four Executive Committee Chairs will be continuing in their positions until December 31, 2005, many positions within NAESB remain open. Nominations for any Executive Committee positions must be received at by close of business on January 18, 2005. The full text of NAESB's Announcement is available on the NEM web site.

Antitrust Modernization Commission to Hold Public Meeting

The meeting will be held on January 13, 2005 to explore issues for the Commission to study. NEM has filed comments with the Commission, recommending the repeal of the state action doctrine as a defense for gas and electric utilities engaged in anticompetitive conduct in deregulated markets. Because competitive suppliers are beginning to offer new services and products to consumers, NEM argued that there is a greater risk that utilities will act to protect their monopoly in anticompetitive ways. The full texts of the Agenda, Notice and NEM's Comments are available on the NEM web site.

Senate to Hold Hearing for DOE Chief Nominee

The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will hold a hearing for Samuel W. Bodman, nominated to be Secretary of Energy, on January 19, 2005. The Committee will also hold a Natural Gas Supply and Demand Conference on January 24, 2005. NEM will be in attendance and will report on the meeting to members. Click here to go to the Committee's web site.

FCC Issues Annual Report on Do Not Call Registry

As part of the Do Not Call Act's mandate, the FTC and FCC must file an annual report on the national registry for the fiscal years 2003 - 2007. In this report, concluding September 2003, 51,968,777 numbers had been registered with 1968 entities paying to access the registry. No enforcement proceedings had been instituted, as the registry rules did not become effective until October 1, 2003. The FCC also decided not to preempt state lists, but rather ensures that all state lists include at least every number registered on the Federal list. Within eighteen months, the Commission hopes to integrate the state lists into the Federal registry. The full text of the FCC's Report is available from NEM Headquarters.

Commission to Hold Technical Conference on Connecticut Infrastructure

State and local regulators from the New England region will meet with FERC Commissioners and Staff to discuss issues affecting Connecticut infrastructure. The Commission will hold the conference on January 6, 2005 in Hartford as a follow-up to the conference held October, 13 2004. The full text of the Notice is available on the NEM web site.

Click here to view all past updates.
California's Deputy Secretary of Energy Works Toward Competition

In a January 2005 interview with the Contra Costa Times, Secretary Desmond spoke about his new job and his goals for the industry. According to Desmond, his priorities are to ensure reliability and then to ensure competitive pricing. Desmond will also focus on conservation, focusing on issues such as renewables, demand response programs and transmission.

In terms of competition, Desmond said, "the state has an active role to provide guidance and direction to ensure that adequate supplies are being brought in a timely and orderly manner. [Just as] you want to attract investment in new construction ... you also want to avoid boom and bust in the retirement of those resources."

The previous Administration's energy crisis is something Desmond and his team have planned for. "The important thing is constant update of information, meaning the ability to know what's available, what's being scheduled, when it's coming online, what the forecast is, who's committed under contract, to coordinate that across the agencies," according to Desmond.

Despite the myriad details to be worked out, Desmond is confident that direct access can be restored. "Competition, managed competition, drives innovation, it leads to lower prices, and it can improve the levels of customer care and service." Desmond is confirmed to speak at NEM's Annual Restructuring Conference in April 2005. The full text of the interview is available on the NEM web site.

New York
Click here to view all past updates.
NYSERDA Submits Proposal for Con Ed's Gas Efficiency Program

NYSERDA's program will build on the New York Energy $mart program already in existence, working to determine cost-effective methods to increase gas energy efficiency in Con Ed's service territory. The program's three goals include ensuring that: 1) energy customers continue to receive needed and enhanced value-added energy services, 2) environmental quality of New York's air, land and water resources is maintained or enhanced and 3) system-wide gas reliability is strengthened.

Both the energy efficiency and low-income residential programs will receive approximately $2 million in funding. In addition, the Advisory Group is to issue an RFP for an independent consultant to undertake a comprehensive gas study no later than January 25, 2005. The program will continue for three years with annual reports filed at the end of each year. The full text of the Proposal is available from NEM Headquarters.

Click here to view all past updates.
Consumers Counsel Submits Report to General Assembly

According to the OCC's report, approximately 22% of eligible residential customers have switched, with competition doing the best in FirstEnergy territories. The OCC expressed concern about a lack of competition in central and southern Ohio and credited much of the success in northern Ohio to governmental aggregation. The report discussed actions by CG&E and DP&L which deterred government aggregation efforts in those territories.

The report criticized FirstEnergy's RSP that reduced shopping credits from both 2004 and 2003 levels. FirstEnergy's competitive auction also failed, though the process did show that there was enough capacity in the competitive market to meet the load requirements.

Likewise, there has been no competitive bid process in the CG&E territory, even though mandated by law. The OCC also cited CG&E's non-bypassable charges as problematic. The OCC recommends that the Commission explore different options for competitive auctions as well as remove other existing barriers to competition. The full text of the Report is available on the NEM web site.

Click here to view all past updates.
Commission Issues Notice of Rulemaking Concerning Utilities' Obligation to Serve

The Commission is seeking comments on utilities' obligation to serve retail customers at the expiration of their respective transition periods. The Commission wishes to institute a flexible competitive procurement process. The Commission seeks comments on the following areas: 1) definitions, 2) the replacement of default service, 3) structure of the procurement process, 4) cost recovery allocation and recovery mechanisms, 5) hourly priced service, 6) the review process for implementation plans and 7) customer migration. Comments are due February 14, 2005. The full text of the Proposed Rulemaking is available on the NEM web site.

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