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January 11, 2002
NEM Winter Meeting

The NEM Winter Executive Committee and Policy Development Meeting will take place January 17 and 18 at the offices of Entergy-Koch at 20 Greenway Plaza in Houston Texas. 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. An announcement about the meeting is hotlinked here for your convenience. All Executive Committee Members are encouraged to attend. Many Thanks to Chris Bernard of Entergy-Koch and Tami Pallas of CMS MS&T for hosting the meeting and dinner.

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 Annual Membership Meeting and National Restructuring

A number of very prominent speakers and PUC Commissioners have agreed to speak at NEM's Annual Membership Meeting and National Restructuring Conference to be held June 20 and 21, 2002 at the Marriott Metro Center in Washington, DC. 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.

Wholesale Electric Standards Board Meetings

A meeting will be held on January 24 and 25, 2002, at FERC to allow industry stakeholders to review the various proposals on the formation of a wholesale electric standards board prior to the January 28, 2002, at DOE on the subject. The full text of the Meeting Announcement will be posted on the NEM Website when made available electronically.

NEM Member Opportunity

Chooseenergy is announcing the sale of it's CE Suite software platform. CE's platform allows any entity to sell electricity, natural gas, fuel oil, propane on-line through our private labeling capability and fulfill their customers's enrollments and other required data transactions with utilities. The platform is also suited for utilites to a provide a secure Customer Choice and supplier management platform that complies with regulatory mandates for the deregulated market. A description of the platform is hotlinked here for your convenience.

Interested parties should contact Jim Menton at (508) 559-6262

Standard Market Design Technical Conference and Staff Discussion Paper

A technical conference will be held to discuss similarities and differences between various market designs and for participants to give further detail on market operations. The conference will be held on January 22-23, 2002, at 9:30AM. Staff has issued a discussion paper setting forth its vision of the future of the electric industry and the functions needed to attain the vision. Staff makes recommendations for the design of certain energy and transmission markets, but indicated it needed more information on operating reserves and longer-term capacity obligations. The full texts of the Notice of Technical Conference and Staff's Discussion Paper are available on the NEM Website.

January 16, 2002 Meeting Agenda Issued

The Agenda for the Commission's January 16, 2002, meeting has been released. Items to be considered include customer matters, reliability and market operations; Northeast infrastructure; and reporting of natural gas sales to the California market. The full text of the Agenda is available on the NEM Website.

Standard Offer Service

NEM has filed to intervene in the standard offer service proceeding. NEM members interested in participating in strategy formulation for this matter should contact headquarters ASAP. The full text of NEM's Petition to Intervene is available on the NEM Website.

DTE Inquiry into Gas Utility Risk Management Programs

DTE instituted an inquiry into the LDCs use of risk management programs (RMPs). Comments are requested on the following questions: 1) should LDCs be allowed or required to implement RMPs; 2) should LDCs be limited to the use of specific risk management instruments; 3) what should be the objective of RMPs and how should they be evaluated; 4) what costs are associated with risk management and should LDCs be allowed recovery of those costs; and 5) should an incentive mechanism be used in conjunction with an RMP. Comments are due January 14, 2002. The full text of the Order Instituting Notice of Inquiry is available on the NEM Website.

Comments in Competitive Markets Proceeding

NEM and other marketers filed comments in the competitive markets proceeding arguing that: 1) distribution companies should not engage in active marketing of supplier offerings such as the conduct of internet-based auctions; 2) customer assignment is an effective means to encourage the transition to a fully competitive market for residential customers; 3) unique customer identifiers should be utilized in the customer information lists to allow for implementation of the opt-out process; 4) the required four-character account name code is a barrier to customer switching; 5) customer information lists should include the delivery zone for every customer, whether customers have primary or secondary voltage and the delivery node for C&I customers; 6) distribution companies should use the Internet for the transmission of customer data between the companies and competitive suppliers; and 7) electronic enrollment can be utilized without sacrificing consumer protection.

The Attorney General argued that: 1) electric distribution companies (EDCs) should not act as electricity brokers for default service or standard offer service customers; 2) EDCs should not participate in Internet-based auction processes to move default service customers to competitive suppliers other than to provide access to such an auction on their websites; 3) EDCs should not assign default service customers to competitive suppliers; 4) customer account numbers should not be included on customer information lists; 5) the first four characters of a customer's account name should continue to be required for enrollment validation; and 6) information about customer delivery service points should not be included in customer lists.

DOER argues that that: 1) utility involvement in an Internet-based auction process or the use of utility-based authorizations to switch customers are acceptable; 2) default service customers should not be assigned to competitive suppliers at this time although the option could be revisited when the market matures; 3) unless customer account numbers are used on customer information lists, the four letter designation for commercial accounts should be discontinued but retained for residential customers, and 4) information specifying either primary or secondary service should be included on customer lists.

NStar proposes to release interested customers detailed consumption and load data to marketers via its website, free of charge. NStar supports the inclusion of customer service delivery points on customer lists but not the inclusion of customer account numbers.

The full text of the Comments of NEM, the Attorney General, DOER, and NStar are available on the NEM Website.

Rebuttal Testimony Filed in Consumers Gas Unbundling Proceeding

Consumers filed rebuttal testimony in its gas unbundling proceeding arguing that a metering back-out charge should include only the costs it can avoid by no longer reading meters and not the capital and O&M costs associated with metering assets. Consumers stated that it is not planning on selling meters or turning over their maintenance to a third party. Consumers asserts that if an ASP wants to propose metering services, a new study should be conducted to calculate Consumers' true avoided costs. The full text of Consumers' Rebuttal Testimony, Part 1 and Part 2, is available on the NEM Website.

Retail Energy Imbalance Meeting

Pursuant to the Commission's Orders on Consumers' and Detroit Edison's retail access programs, Staff will hold discussions on the development of a distribution-level imbalance service. The Commission directed participants to consider issues such as the interaction between OATT transmission and retail distribution imbalance mechanisms, design of a distribution imbalance service and charges, and steps needed to implement the service. Staff is to file a report by April 1, 2002, with recommendations and proposed tariffs. The initial meeting is on January 15, 2002, at 9:30AM at the Commission's offices.

New Jersey
EDI Implementation Guidelines

EDI implementation guidelines for New Jersey electric choice have been finalized. The guidelines pertain to write-off, collections, LDC consolidated bill, enrollment, drop, reinstatement, change, payment/remittance, application advice, historical usage, internal usage, and monthly usage. The full text of the NJ EDI Implementation Guidelines is available on the NEM Website.