Search the Site:
Contact NEM
January 4, 2002
NEM Winter Meeting

Please do not forget to make reservations at the Renaissance Houston Hotel at Greenway Plaza--for the January 17 and 18 Executive Committee Meeting. The meeting will prioritize NEM's advocacy issues, states and specific utility interventions for 2002. There will be a detailed review and discussion of all the Wholesale, Retail, Technology--Industry Standards, and Risk Management issues facing the membership over the coming months. All Executive Committee Members are encouraged to attend NEM's Winter Meeting to be held in Houston, Texas on January 17 and 18, 2001. Many Thanks to Chris Bernard of Entergy-Koch and Tami Pallas of CMS MS&T for hosting the meeting and dinner. A firm headcount is needed ASAP.

Wholesale policy issues to be discussed will include all of the FERC's recent rulemakings on RTO's, affiliate rules, market power, economic witholding, the latest proposals for federal legislation and the NISB/NERC/Duke Energy Proposals for wholesale standards. Retail Issues will include the proper rate structure for POLR services and the complete unbundling of utility rates based on fully allocated embedded costs for all competitive products, services information and technology. Technology Issues will include the latest standards for EDI/XML,standby rates for distributed generation services and the barriers currently being proposed by utilities that could hamper competition for energy services, information and technology.

The agenda is hotlinked here for your convenience. A quick registration form is hotlinked here for your convenience. A block of rooms has been reserved at the Renaissance Hotel located at 6 Greenway Plaza East in Houston. Be sure to request the special NEM rate of $119 per night. Contact Jennifer Webster at 281-230-1563 with any problems.

NEM Conference Call on New York Unbundling Proceeding

At the Executive Committee Meeting, there will be a briefing and a consensus will be needed from the group on NEM's position on embedded costs and the use of utilities during the transition for billing and metering services. The Staff of the NYPSC would like to set up a conference call on these issues after our Executive Committee meeting.

In order to prepare for the meeting and to fully brief the membership on the implications of these issues a conference call will be held on January 9, 2002, at 11AM. All members are encouraged to participate. The call in number is 303-248-1820, and the passcode is 428358.

NEM Taskforce on Standard Market Design

NEM is forming a taskforce to formulate a position for the upcoming FERC NOPR to reform open access tariffs to standardize market design rules. All members interested in joining this taskforce are encouraged to contact NEM headquarters ASAP and will be included in NEM's distribution list for this project.

NEM Annual Membership Meeting and National Restructuring

A number of very prominent Senators including the Speaker have called to express regrets with our dates as the Congress will recess for Easter both the week of and week after Easter which will include our meeting date of April 2 and 3, 2001. After much consultation, NEM has reserved June 20 and 21, 2002 at the Marriott Metro Center for our Spring event. Chairs of several important state PUC's and a number of Senators and Congressmen has penciled in the date.

Please make sure you reserve a room at the Marriott Metro Center in Washington, DC, for NEM's June 20 and 21, 2002 (please note the change in dates), Annual Membership Meeting and National Restructuring Conference. A quick registration form is hotlinked here for your convenience. Please contact NEM headquarters if you are interested in speaking, sponsorship or table-top space at the conference, as space will be limited.

Order on Competitive Metering

The Commission has adopted a phased-in approach to competitive metering. The first phase will entail access to meter information on a near real-time, on command basis. The metering working group will be reconvened in Spring 2002 to evaluate the status of competitive metering and make additional recommendations. The full text of the Order is available on the NEM Website.

Order on Detroit Edison C&I Electric Unbundling Filing

As was urged by NEM, the Commission has rejected Detroit Edison's proposal to include a bill message setting forth charges for distribution services in lieu of filing unbundled C&I rates. The Commission reasoned that Detroit Edison was required by state restructuring law to file unbundled rates and that Detroit Edison's arguments that unbundled rates could exceed rate freezes should be addressed after the filing is submitted. The full text of the Order is available on the NEM Website.

Order on Consumers' Retail Open Access Program

The Commission approved the following provisions for Consumers retail open access (ROA) program: 1) the reciprocity requirement definition should be modified based on "load relatively equivalent" meaning a comparison of the percentage of the retailer's customer load that is available to be served by ROA and the percentage of total load connected to Consumers' distribution system that is served by the retailer; 2) C&I customers that take ROA service only have a right to cancel as provided by contract whereas residential customers have three days to cancel; 3) the standby service price is to be based on 110% of market price. However, customers may purchase standby service from others besides Consumers; 4) a billing option, including prices, should be included in tariffs; 5) customers are required to give 30 days notice of return to full service, but when more than 10% of customer consumption for any of the rate classes is taking ROA service, the customers in that class must give 60 days notice of their intent to return; 6) returning customers may pay any tariff rate for which they qualify if they agree to stay on full service for 12 months, and returning customers that do not commit to the 12 month term must pay the higher of the tariff rate or market-based rate; 7) customers that return to full service because of supplier default must pay the higher of the tariff rate or market based rate until Consumers has 30 days notice of the return. After that time, the customer has the option to pay the tariff rate by agreeing to full service for 12 months or must pay the higher of the tariff rate or market based rate; 8) as an alternative to returning to full service, customers may choose another supplier; 9) retailers are permitted to purchase transmission services from marketers who can then aggregate the load of multiple retailers; 10) Consumers must complete all enrollments within 45 days; and 11) Staff must convene a meeting by January 15, 2002, to develop concepts and tariffs necessary to implement a distribution imbalance service. The full text of the Order is available on the NEM Website.

Commission Approved MichCon Gas Customer Choice Program

The Commission approved MichCon's expanded gas customer choice program. Customer eligibility will be phased-in as follows: April 1, 2002 - 400,000 customers, April 1, 2003 - 600,000 customers, and April 1, 2004 - all customers eligible. The full texts of the Order and the Rates and Terms are available on the NEM Website.

Consumers Files Gas Cost Recovery Plan

Consumers filed for approval of a gas cost recovery plan for the twelve-month period of April 2002 through March 2003. Consumers proposes a GCR factor of $3.5043/Mcf that would be subject to a quarterly ceiling adjustment to reflect a portion of market increases in the cost of gas. Consumers proposes to use hedging instruments, such as put and call options, to meet part of its obligations. It also seeks Commission approval of its five-year plan of forecasts of gas sales and transportation volumes. The full text of Consumers' GCR Filing is available on the NEM Website.

Standards for Disclosure of Customer Information and Environmental Characteristics of Electricity Products

The Commission approved standards for disclosure of information by electric service providers (ESPs) to customers as well as standards for disclosure of fuel mix and environmental characteristics of electricity products by ESPs. The Commission adopted NEM's suggestion that marketers not be required to indicate in disclosure statements that a customer may continue to receive generation services from a public utility in lieu of switching to another supplier. The Commission did not adopt NEM's proposal to adopt the billing and payment processing provisions of the UBP in lieu of uniform disclosure requirements finding that the UBP had not been designed with the specific needs of Michigan consumers in mind. The full texts of the Order, Exhibit A and Exhibit B are available on the NEM Website.

Commission Approves Stranded Cost Methodology

The Commission approved Staff's proposed stranded cost computation methodology calculated as costs that would have been recovered under regulation that cannot be recovered under competition, offset by mitigation (i.e., market sales of capacity and energy freed up when customers migrate) and stranded benefits (i.e., generation assets with below market costs). The Commission directed that stranded cost charges in effect as of January 1, 2002, should be set at zero. The full text of the Order is available on the NEM Website.

New York
Staff to Convene Technical Conference on Competitive Metering Issues

Staff will host a technical conference to examine competitive metering issues including methods for providing customer and/or competitive meter data service providers access to data, the feasibility of utilities providing either meter services or meter data services to customers who elect to take advantage of competitive metering opportunities, and issues associated with meter ownership by customers. The conference will be held January 24, 2002, at 10AM at the Commission's Albany offices. The full text of the Meeting Notice is available on the NEM Website.

Comments on Payment Allocation Rules

Staff has proposed changes to the payment allocation rules from the current "utility receives all funds first" approach. Payments are proposed to be allocated in the following order: 1) utility arrears that would result in disconnection of utility service and for which a formal disconnection/termination notice has been issued; 2) past due utility charges not subject to a pending disconnection/termination notice; 3) past due charges owed to ESCOs or purchased by the utility; 4) current utility charges; 5) current commodity charges due to the ESCO or purchased by the utility; 6) other ESCOs services that may be included on the bill; and 7) any additional customer payment are to be allocated or returned to the customer as the billing party desires if the customer's preference is unknown. NEM filed comments arguing that payments should be applied first to the consumables portion of the bill, then to the non-consumables portion, and finally based on the age of the receivable. ConEd and O&R opposed the changes arguing it would increase administrative burdens for the utilities and create confusion related to customer terminations. The full text of NEM's Comments is available on the NEM Website.

NIMO Standby Rates Procedural Conference Call

The ALJ and Staff will hold a conference call on January 9, 2002 at 1:00PM to discuss upcoming events in the NIMO standby rates proceeding. A schedule for issue mediation and potential hearings will be established and other issues of concern can also be raised.

Order on Competitive Metering

The Commission approved Staff's recommendation that competitive metering be implemented on a phased-in basis. The first phase will entail meter data availability and access choices. Staff and the metering work group are to develop and propose rules for data availability and access by February 14, 2002. Staff and the work group are also to examine additional elements of competitive metering services and submit a report by June 30, 2002. The Commission encouraged the presentation of specific experimentation proposals to the work group. The Commission also approved AEP-VA's request to offer competitive metering to early entrants during 2002. The full text of the Order is available on the NEM Website.