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July 23, 2004
Upcoming NEM Events

Please reserve the dates September 29-31, for NEM's Fall Industry Leadership Roundtable to be held in Boston. Many thanks to Nate Owen and Bon Potter of Energy Services Group for hostinbg the meeting. Many Thanks also to Mike Foley of First Data Corporation for offering to sponsor other parts of the meeting.

NEM's Winter Executive Committee Meeting will be held in Newport Beach, California during the third week of January. Many thanks to Peter Weigand and Ian Carter of Commonwealth Energy for offering to host this event.

Lastly, please also reserve April 20-22 for the NEM Spring industry event in Washington, DC

IEEE Working Group Formed to Develop Broadband over Power Line Standard

IEEE has formed a working group to develop IEEE 1675, a Standard for Broadband over Power Line Hardware. The standard will, "give electric utilities a comprehensive standard for installing the required hardware on distribution lines, both underground and overhead, which provide the infrastructure for broadband-over-power-line (BPL) systems." The target date for standard completion is mid 2006. IEEE requests anyone from the BPL equipment, Internet Service Provider, or utility sectors interested in developing the standard to join the working group. Additional information is available at: http://grouper.ieee.org/groups/bop.

Restructuring Today Articles on NEM Member Broadband over Power Line Invention

Restructuring Today featured two articles on the patent granted to NEM member, Luke Stewart of Media Fusion, on his Broadband over Power Line (BPL) technology. The articles explain that Stewart's patent is for a "magnetic field-based power transmission line commuication method and system" to permit the electric grid to also function as a communications/data network. The article notes that Stewart's technology uses the magnetic component of the electromagnetic field, rather than the electrical component, thereby eliminating associated problems such as line noise and signal attenuation. The technology has important implications for grid reliability, clearly of importance to FERC. Also of importance, "if electricity restructuring and all of the new technologies it enables make our lives smarter, our work faster and our cost-of-living cheaper - it will clearly be worthwhile." The full texts of the Restructuring Today Articles are available on the NEM Website.

PJM Filing on Offer Price Cap Rules

As directed by FERC, PJM submitted a compliance filing to clarify the application of its "jointly pivotal competitivenes standard" in relation to the invocation or suspension of offer price caps in response to competitive conditions in a load pocket. PJM proposes the following standard: "Offer price caps shall be suspended for any transmission limit(s) for any hour in which there are not three or fewer generation suppliers available for redispatch under subsection (a) that are jointly pivotal with respect to such transmission limit(s). Notwithstanding the number of jointly pivotal suppliers in any hour, if the Market Monitoring Unit determines that a reasonable level of competition will not exist based on an evaluation of all facts and circumstances, it may propose to the Commission the removal of offer-capping suspensions otherwise authorized by this section. Such proposals shall take effect only upon Commission acceptance or approval." PJM believes that this language establishes a clear trigger and eliminates the discretionary element of its prior filing that had concerned FERC. Comments on the PJM Filing are due August 6, 2004. The full text of the PJM Filing is available on the NEM Website.

New York
Commission Clarifies Uniform Business Practices

The Commission issued an Order clarifying its revisions to the Uniform Business Practices. The Commission found as follows: 1) the security requirement for natural gas imbalances calculated by multiplying the maximum daily quantity times the peak forecasted NYMEX price times ten days is reasonable; 2) an ESCO's filing of a request for dispute resolution does not stay a utility's proposed discontinuance procedures; 3) an investment grade ESCO acting as a utility's billing agent is not required to pay security deposits unless it fails to render timely bills or make timely payments; 4) the standard for creditworthiness of a Direct Customer with no debt rating is the currency of its acocunt and past payment performance, and Dun & Bradstreet ratings do not satisfy the standard; 5) the threshold trigger for additional security of a "major change in credit risk" (defined as a change in credit risk of more than the greater of 10% or $200,000) is reasonable; 6) the requirement that prepayments provided as security must bear interest should be retained; 7) Direct Customers are not required to implement EDI subject to review in a future proceeding; 8) utility notice to a customer of an enrollment request is required within one calendar day after the enrollment is accepted; 9) ESCOs planning to assign all or a part of their sales agreements to other ESCOs must provide written notice to customers no later than thirty calendar days prior to the assignment; 10) ESCOs and utilities must provide an acknowledgement of, or response to, customer inquiries within two days and, if only an acknowledgement is provided, a response within fourteen days; and 11) ESCOs using utility consolidated billing can continue to include other charges with their price for commodity, provided the charges are limited to those imposed for commodity-related services. The full text of the Uniform Business Practices Order is available on the NEM Website.


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