WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The National Energy Marketers Association (NEM) will convene its 18th Annual National Energy Restructuring Conference on April 30 and May 1, 2015, at the Embassy Suites Convention Center in Washington, DC. Federal and state energy policy leaders as well as energy industry experts and thought leaders from across the United States, will review lessons learned from the polar vortex event in the winter of 2014. More than 50 of the nation’s top energy market regulators and industry experts will make presentations and participate in interactive discussions.
“Retail energy suppliers and consumers were impacted harshly by the severe weather and wholesale market events of 2014. NEM members responded quickly, and in many cases, generously to try to help customers offset drastic and unexpected wholesale price spikes,” said NEM President, Craig Goodman, a former high ranking energy policy official for three former presidents of both parties.
“There was a $500 million wealth transfer in the winter of 2014, leaving consumers, retail suppliers and generators reeling from unexpected shortages of natural gas pipeline capacity and unprecedented wholesale price spikes. Not only were the price spikes unexpected, but there was virtually no way to either anticipate or hedge against such drastic increases in demand,” said Goodman.
The 18th Annual National Energy Restructuring Conference will be a forum in which to address the problem of predatory, below-market pricing, anti-competitive exit fees, and failures to fairly allocate or actually withhold critical assets needed to serve all consumers. Permitting utility market power to remain in otherwise extremely price and technology competitive energy markets has been a major, long-running policy flaw in deregulated retail energy markets,” said Goodman.
“Committing utility ratepayer’s capital in volatile commodity markets makes no sense when a top national security imperative is to upgrade and ’bulletproof’ the nation’s utility infrastructure, and to ensure U.S. consumers and businesses can rely on iron-clad utility reliability to compete successfully in the 21st Century global economy,” said Goodman.
“The good news is that in response to last year’s ’Black Swan‘ event, the industry has implemented new market rules, operational safeguards, advanced technologies and has greatly enhanced customer services and protections. Despite an extremely cold winter in 2015, consumers avoided the price spikes, fuel and asset shortages that plagued them and the market during the vortex of 2014. Working together, the wholesale, retail and regulatory community in the Northeast successfully reduced the costs of a very severe 2015 winter by more than $500,000,000,” said Goodman.
“Further confirming the success of competition, the state of Texas documented a steep decline in electricity prices between 32% and 42% over the regulated utility rates charged to consumers over a decade ago. Today, the industry can better manage unexpected extreme weather, asset and fuel shortages as well as price volatility. Our primary goal is to ensure reliable service, incent innovation, and provide the best possible prices to the consumer,” said Goodman, a long-time, respected expert in energy law and public policy.
The National Energy Marketers Association (NEM) is a national, non-profit trade association representing wholesale and retail marketers of natural gas, electricity, as well as energy and financial related products, services, information and advanced technologies throughout the United States, Canada, and the European Union. Additional information about NEM’s 18th Annual National Energy Restructuring Conference and its Energy Summit to be held at Harvard University on October 12-14, 2015, is available from NEM's Washington, DC headquarters at (202) 333-3288 or its website at www.energymarketers.com.