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March 27, 2015
NEM 18th Annual National Energy Restructuring Conference

NEM will convene its 18th Annual National Energy Restructuring Conference on April 29th-May 1st, 2015. This year the conference will focus on “Redesigning Wholesale and Retail Energy Markets - Enhanced Reliability, Consumer Services and Advanced Technologies." The conference will begin with a Welcome Reception on the evening of April 29th at the Georgetown Club. The next two days of substantive discussion will take place at the Embassy Suites, Washington, DC Convention Center.

Confirmed participants include: Timothy Massad, CFTC Chairman; Philip Moeller, FERC Commissioner; Colette Honorable, FERC Commissioner; Catherine Pugh, Maryland State Senator; Audrey Zibelman, NYPSC Chairman; Betty Ann Kane, DCPSC Chairman; John Quackenbush, MIPSC Chairman; Angela O'Connor, MADPU Chairman; Edward Finley, NCUC Chair; James Cawley, PAPUC Commissioner; Gladys Brown, PAPUC Commissioner; Anne Hoskins, MDPSC Commissioner; Steven Lesser, PUCO Commissioner; Lisa Polak Edgar, FLPSC Commissioner; Tim Echols, GAPSC Commissioner; Joseph Fiordaliso, NJBPU Commissioner; Upendra Chivikula, NJBPU Commissioner; Paul Roberti, RIPUC Commissioner; Rana Mukerji, Sr. VP, NYISO; Andrew Ott, Exec. VP, PJM; Dr. Joseph Bowring, PJM Market Monitor; Jon Wellinghoff, Stoel Rives.

You may register for the conference at this hotlink. The Agenda is available here.

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BGE Files Proposed Updated POR Discount Rates

BGE filed proposed updated electric and natural gas POR discount rates. The proposed effective date is June 1, 2015. Under the Commission-approved calculation methodology, all of the discount rates would be set to zero except the residential rate. The gas residential POR rate is proposed to be set at 1.1889%. The proposed residential electric POR discount rate is .4764%.

BGE reiterates its previous objections to including late payment charges in the discount rate calculation. It requests that the Commission direct the Supplier Coordination Working Group to reconvene for the purpose of examining negative POR discount rates. The full text of BGE's POR Discount Rate Filing is available on the NEM Website.

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SB235 Would Increase Electric Shopping Cap and Implement Competitive Procurement Process

Senator Shirkey introduced SB235 this week. SB235 would require the implementation of a competitive procurement process for electric capacity and energy resources. The utilities would also be required to include in its integrated resource plan an explanation of the capacity and planning resources that were procured during 2000 to 2014 to serve current choice customers in the event that they returned to default service.

The bill would also increase the current 10% cap on electric shopping. In the first year after passage of the bill, the cap would increase to include all current shopping customers as well as those that had requested service but were wait-listed. For the following three years, the cap shall be increased by 6% each year. For the fourth year, if the cap is met and the allotment of retail sales represented by customers requesting service from a competitive supplier who cannot be served under the cap exceeds 2% of the utility's weather-adjusted retail sales for the preceding calendar year, then the Commission must open a proceeding to examine if the electric choice cap should be increased further.

SB235 would also establish a competitive bidding process for electric provider of last resort service. The full text of SB235 is available on the NEM Website.

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NOPR on Natural Gas Supplier Disclosure Requirements

The Commission issued a NOPR on natural gas supplier disclosure requirements. The proposed rules pertain to supplier disclosure statements, contract renewal information and “change in terms” notices.

Specific proposals issued for comment include:
"*More contractual information on conditions of price variability, including whether there are limits on variability;
*A clear statement of the price per unit for the first billing cycle of natural gas generation;
*Customer access to historical pricing information;
*Separate mailings for either fixed-term contracts that are expiring, or any changes to terms of service;
*A separate NGS contract summary along with the full disclosure statement to ensure NGSs highlight key terms and conditions in a uniform, consistent manner;
*New requirements for contract “Initial Notices” and customer “Options Notice” prior to the expiration of a contract or change in terms;
*A renewed emphasis on highlighting changes in pricing or any terms and conditions – including a fixed rate becoming a month-to-month rate that includes a 30-day notice of any price change; and
*Prominent marking on front of the “Options Notice” envelope clearly stating that it contains important information regarding the expiration or changes in terms of a customer’s electric supply contract."

Comments on the NOPR are due thirty days after publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin. The full text of the NOPR is available on the NEM Website.

Secretarial Letter on Electric Utility Implementation of Seamless Moves and Instant Connects

The Commission previously ordered the electric utilities to file plans for implementation of seamless moves (ability of a customer to retain its competitive supplier when it moves to a new address) and instant connects (starting with competitive supply service on day one without beginning on default service) in 2013 as part of the Retail Electric Market Investigation. Those plans were put on hold by the Commission because of the intervening events of winter 2014 and the direction to the utilities to implement 3-business day supplier switching. The Commission has issued a Secretarial Letter reaffirming its policy decisions in support of seamless moves and instant connects. The Commission directed the electric utilities to make revised plan filings within thirty days for the implementation of seamless moves and instant connects by July 1, 2016. Comments on the utilities' plans are due within thirty days. The full text of the Secretarial Letter is available on the NEM Website.

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