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March 25, 2005
Peoples Energy Services to Rejoin NEM Executive Committee

NEM is pleased to announce that Peoples Energy Services has been nominated to rejoin the Executive Committee. Peoples Energy Services is one of the Midwest’s leading providers of natural gas and electricity to businesses and residential customers. Peoples Energy Services will be represented within NEM by Wendy Ito, Director, Business Planning and Development, and Jennifer Witt, Manager of Market Analysis.

NEM's Annual Restructuring Conference

NEM's Annual Spring Restructuring Conference will be held at the Marriott Metro Center on April 26-27, 2005 in Washington, DC. The VIP reception will be held at the Canadian Embassy. Many thanks to Centrica, Commerce Energy Group, ESG, Excelergy, Interstate Gas Supply, Constellation NewEnergy, Proliance and SAP for offering to sponsor this event.

Speakers this year include FERC Chairman Patrick Wood, FERC Commissioner Kelly, CA Deputy Secretary of Energy Joseph Desmond, NYPSC Chairman William Flynn, Orange and Rockland Utilities President John McMahon, MADTE Chairman Paul Afonso and Chairman Alan Schriber from Ohio. In addition to those mentioned above, Michigan PSC Chair Laura Chappelle, Ronald Cerniglia of the New York PSC, Jeanne Fox of the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities, and CA PUC President Michael R. Peevey have also confirmed.

Sessions will include: 1) Serving the Public Interest: Shifting Commodity Risks to the Marketplace, Modification of the Obligation to Serve and Incentives for Sustainable Growth; 2) Transition to a Competitive Market – Cutting Edge Accelerated Customer Migration Strategies, Incentives and Timing of Utilities Exit from the Merchant Function. To sign-up for this conference or to view the agenda for the two day event, please click here.

Workshop Scheduled for International Reliability Organization

A workshop to discuss the creation of an international Electricity Reliability Organization (ERO) will be held on April 19 at the Canadian Embassy in Washington, DC from 8AM to 3:30PM. The purpose of the discussion is to address the issues associated with a transition from NERC to an ERO that would function on an international basis. The workshop will focus on the international aspects of issues related to regional entities that are given a delegation of responsibility from the ERO and will specifically include: 1) formation of regional entities; 2) relationship between regional entities and the ERO; 3) coordination of activities between regional entities and the ERO and between the regional entities themselves; and 4) enforcement issues. The full text of the Notice of Workshop is available on the NEM Website.

FERC Approves Entergy's Independent Coordinator of Transmission Proposal

FERC approved Entergy's Independent Coordinator of Transmission (ICT) proposal for a two year period, subject to monitoring and reporting requirements. FERC required Entergy to file additional information about the ICT's duties and responsibilities and its authority with respect to requests for transmission service. FERC stated its expectation that the Southwest Power Pool, previously conferred with RTO status, would become Entergy's ICT. The full text of the Order is available on the NEM Website.

Click here to view all past updates.
Georgia Requests Bids for Regulated Gas Provider

The Commission has extended the bid submission deadline to March 28 for marketers interested in acting as the Regulated Provider of Natural Gas, beginning on September 1.

The Regulated Provider serves Group 1 and Group 2 customers, who are either low income residential consumers or customers who have been unable to obtain or maintain gas supply. Scana has been the Regulated Provider since September 2002.

Georgia Revises Disconnection Procedures

The Commission has amended the regulations governing disconnections by a supplier. Written notice of disconnection must be provided at least 15 days prior to disconnection, with the consumer able to pay a portion of the balance to avoid disconnection. The regulations detail the disconnection notice's terms and the disconnection procedures. Suppliers also must provide 2 days prior notice before disconnection if personal contact has not been made.

New York
Click here to view all past updates.
Commission Approves ConEd Electric Settlement

The Commission approved ConEd's electric settlement that NEM supported as a signatory. The settlement includes a number of accelerated migration strategies including: 1) a purchase of receivables program at an initial discount rate of .97 percent, 2) a retail marketing program akin to O&R's Switch & Save program whereby customers are referred to ESCOs and receive a 7% discount from the Energy Shopping Price for two billing cycles; 3) Market Match and Market Expo activities; 4) designation of an ESCO ombudsman; and 5) customer migration incentives to ConEd. The settlement also provides that a collaborative will be instituted to consider a retail market auction pilot for a segment of mass market customers. The full text of the Order Approving Settlement will be posted on the NEM Website when made available electronically. The ConEd Settlement is available on the NEM Website.

ConEd Expects to Begin to Purchase Receivables in April

With testing ongoing, ConEd expects to implement its purchase of receivables program on April 8. As a result of ConEd's discussions with ESCOs, it will be implemeting changes to EDI transactions to support the program. Once the changes to the EDI transactions are implemented, a transaction testing schedule will be established.

Click here to view all past updates.
No Suppliers Respond to DP&L's Pilot

No suppliers responded to the request for bids for Dayton Power and Light's pilot program, which was issued on February 10. A second request for bids will be issued on April 11, with bids due by May 10. If no supplier is found, the pilot will end in August.

Click here to view all past updates.
NEM Clarifies Association's Standing to Participate in Columbia Gas Proceeding

At the recent prehearing conference on Columbia Gas' proposed fixed price service, the ALJ requested additional information on NEM's standing to participate in the case. In its Answer, NEM requested that it be allowed to participate in the case as either a complainant or intervenor and explained how this was supported by relevant caselaw. NEM and its members (individually and collectively) will suffer a direct, immediate and materially adverse impact if Columbia is permitted to "unilaterally set and/or fix natural gas prices without regard to its embedded costs of service" or "unilaterally price discriminate among customers without regard to its embedded costs of service." Further, NEM's participation will advance the public interest in developing the competitive gas market, and NEM's interest is not adequately represented by other parties.

The ALJ also decided not to certify the material question raised by NEM - NEM had requested the full commission to rule on the propriety of a utility fixing prices and price discriminating by negotiation before the parties engaged in a hearing on whether the prices so fixed or negotiated are just and reasonable. NEM has decided not to seek interlocutory review at the Commission at this time.

The full texts of NEM's Answer and the ALJ's Procedural Order are available on the NEM Website.

The Commission Will Decide Whether Utilities Own Alternative Energy Credits

The FirstEnergy companies requested that the Commission issue a declaratory order regarding whether utilities own alternative energy credits and other environmental attributes associated with non-utility generation facilities. The case has been assigned to the Office of Administrative Law Judge. The Judge will determine whether this issue should be determined in a single consolidated case or if there will be utility specific proceedings.

Answers and interventions are due by April 20.

Staff Proposes Implementation Schedule for Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards

Commission Staff has developed a recommended timeline for the implementation of the new alternative energy portfolio law, which went into effect on February 28.

Staff proposes that the proposed depreciation schedule for DSM credits and verification standards be issued on June 28, with comments due by August 27 and final standards issued by September 26. Staff also proposes that net metering and interconnection rules be issued by November 30.

The first compliance year would begin on June 1, 2006, with a report by the program administrator due by June 1, 2007. From June 1 throught September 1, 2007, non-compliant utilities and suppliers would be able to acquire credits to meet their compliance obligations (the true-up period). Beginning on September 2, 2007, the Commission would hold hearings, if necessary, to set alternative compliance payments.

Pennsylvania Implements New Customer Protection Act Regarding Uncollectibles

On March 4, the Commission issued an implementation order regarding the new customer protection law applicable to electic and gas utilities. Implementation plans by the utilities are due by April 18. The law addresses, among other things, uncollectibles, customer creditworthiness, customer deposits and termination of residential service.

Click here to view all past updates.
Commission Requests Comments on Facilitating Competition

In connection with its annual report to the legislature, the Commission is requesting comments on the facilitation of electric competition. The Commission requests comments on national, regional, or Virginia restructuring efforts and policies. Comments are due May 2, 2005 to Reply comments are due June 1, 2005. The full text of the Request for Comments is available on the NEM Website.

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