The Regulatory Mix, TMI’s daily blog of regulatory activities, is a snapshot of PUC, FCC, legislative, and occasionally court, issues that our regulatory monitoring team uncovers each day. Depending on their significance, some items may be the subject of a TMI Regulatory Bulletin.
Effective July 12, 2014, a New Jersey law will allow LECs and IXCs to detariff all retail competitive services. Detariffed carriers will be required to post their terms and conditions of service on the Internet and provide customers with a copy of those terms and conditions upon request. The law will also allow LECs and IXCs to assess late payment charges on unpaid bills for competitive services. TMI Regulatory Bulletin Service subscribers see New Jersey Bulletin dated 1/27/14.
The Utilities Commission is seeking comments regarding 336 area code relief. Those commenters supporting the industry recommendation of an overlay must indicate if they have any changes to the industry’s proposal, and discuss the merits of the overlay as compared to a geographic split. If any commenters recommend a geographic split for the 336 area code, they must indicate which counties and exchanges comprise their proposed area codes and, to the extent practicable, the number of access lines therein. Comments are due by February 28, 2014; reply comments are due March 14, 2014. See Commission Order here. See errata for the meeting date here.
US House of Representatives
On January 28, 2014, the House Energy and Commerce Committee approved two bipartisan bills as part of its ongoing pursuit of an all-of-the-above energy strategy. H.R. 2126, the Better Buildings Act, advanced by voice vote and H.R. 3826, the Electricity Security and Affordability Act, passed by a vote of 29 to 19.
The Better Buildings Act improves energy efficiency by facilitating greater cooperation between landlords and tenants to lower energy consumption in commercial buildings. The legislation takes a market-driven and voluntary approach to encourage energy and cost savings.
The Electricity Security and Affordability Act offers a bipartisan alternative to the EPA’s proposed greenhouse gas standards for new power plants and the agency’s planned regulations for existing power plants. The bill would protect an all-of-the-above energy strategy by directing EPA to adopt workable standards for new coal-fired plants that require technologies that have been adequately demonstrated and are commercially feasible. It would also instruct Congress to set the effective date for EPA’s expected regulations for existing plants. The legislation allows coal to remain part of America’s energy mix, protects jobs, and ensures a diverse and affordable electricity portfolio.