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May 31, 2019
NEM Fall Leadership Roundtable and Executive Committee Meeting

NEM will convene a Fall Leadership Roundtable and Executive Committee Meeting on October 16-18, 2019, in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Please mark your calendars. Additional details and a draft agenda are forthcoming.

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Decision on Direct Access Expansion

The Commission adopted a decision on the implementation of SB237. SB 237 directed the Commission to increase the maximum allowable kilowatt-hour annual limit for direct access (DA) transactions by 4,000 GWh and to apportion the increase among the service territories of the IOUs. "In order to allow equal access to the DA program, the Commission is apportioning the 4,000 GWh to each IOU’s service territory based on the proportion of each respective IOU’s eligible DA load to the total statewide eligible DA load." The proposed decision sets forth a calculation methodology for this purpose.

With respect to eligible customer participation, "we find that the increase in the DA cap should be apportioned between the 2019 and 2020 waitlists. Half of the DA expansion (specifically, 2,000 GWh) must be enrolled using the 2019 Waitlist and the remaining half of the DA expansion (specifically, 2,000 GWh) should be enrolled using the 2020 Waitlist." Moreover, the Commission found that "because the RA [resource adequacy] year-ahead forecasts are due in April of the prior year, the earliest date that customers may enroll in the DA expansion is January 1, 2021."

As for the timeframe for DA expansion, the Commission adopted the following schedule:

June 14, 2019 - deadline for customers to submit Notice of Intent to participate in 2020 waitlist

July 29, 2019 - deadline for review, audit, and confirmation of Notice of Intent for the 2020 waitlist

August 12, 2019 - deadline for IOUs to finish notifying customers on the 2019 and 2020 Waitlist of their eligibility to participate on January 1, 2021

September 3, 2019 - deadline for customers to notify IOUs that they will pursue DA

September 10, 2019 - deadline for IOUs to notify CCAs of departing load

December 31, 2019 - 2019 Waitlist expires

February 3, 2020 - latest deadline for customers and ESPs to negotiate contracts and submit DASR to IOUs

February 10, 2020 deadline for IOUs to notify CCAs of departing load

Mid-April 2020 - deadline to make RA forecast filing for 2021

January 1, 2021 - first possible meter read for customers on DA service

The full text of the Decision in available on the NEM Website.

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Energy Choice Amendment Ballot Initiative

The Attorney General of Florida petitioned the Florida Supreme Court for an opinion as to whether the text of the proposed energy choice amendment ballot initiative complies with legal requirements that it address a single subject and that the ballot title and summary accurately informs voters of the purpose of the amendment. The utilities, the Commission and other parties filed briefs in response to the AG's petition opposing the amendment. Competitive Suppliers, including NEM and NEM members, filed briefs in support of the initiative and explaining how the ballot language is indeed in compliance with legal requirements. Moreover, in response to superfluous and misleading arguments filed by opponents, the Competitive Suppliers explained how the ballot initiative is premised on the successful Texas retail electric market; how the economic justification for utility monopoly in generation and related services no longer exists; the costs and risks borne by captive ratepayers in markets without energy choice; and the benefits to be realized by allowing consumers to shop for energy choice. The full text of the Stakeholder Briefs are available at this link.

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Commission Denies Costco Shopping Petition

The Commission denied Costco's petition to aggregate demand to meet the 5 megawatt nonresidential customer shopping threshold applicable in the state. The Commission found that approval of the Petition was not "consistent with the public interest." This finding was predicated on "the costs that would be shifted to remaining customers — primarily residential and small business customers — who do not (or cannot) switch to a CSP, in the current context of a decade of rising rates and the likelihood of even higher rates in the future." For this the Commission cited evidence in the record that "if Costco aggregates its load and purchases its electricity from a CSP instead of Dominion, $1.57 million of additional costs could be shifted to non-shopping customers on an annual basis." The Commission also found, as it did when it denied WalMart's petition to aggregate demand, that "retail customers of [Dominion] that do not choose to obtain electric energy from alternate suppliers will be adversely affected in a manner contrary to the public interest by granting [Costco's Petition]."

The Commission concluded the Order by stating that, "if Costco believes that the current statutory structure for setting vertically-integrated electric utility rates results in unreasonable or unnecessarily high rates, its potential for recourse may be found through the legislative process. In the instant case, given the context of a decade of rising rates and the likelihood of even higher rates in the future, the Commission does not find it consistent with the public interest for non-shopping or rate-captive customers — predominantly residential and small business — to experience the cost-shifting identified herein by enabling a larger commercial customer to seek its power supply elsewhere through aggregation. This Commission will not allow small customers who cannot escape this structure, predominantly small businesses and residential customers, to be further burdened by the identified cost-shifting that will occur if larger customers like Costco choose to seek better deals for themselves outside of Dominion's system."

The full text of the Costco Order is available on the NEM Website.

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