DR 96-150
                  Electric Utility Industry Restructuring
                         EDI Working Group Report
                          O R D E R  N O. 22,919
                                May 4, 1998
         In order to facilitate the efficient and reliable
transfer of data between regulated distribution companies and
non-regulated providers of competitive services, the New
Hampshire Public Utilities Commission (Commission) in its Final
Plan authorized the establishment of an Electronic Data
Interchange (EDI) Working Group for the purpose of developing a
consensual plan for the transmission of electronic information. 
On April 2, 1998, the Working Group filed with the Commission a
report recommending the adoption of business rules and related
standard transactions and formats for the electronic transfer of
customer information.  The Working group also recommended that
competitive electricity suppliers and competitive service
providers attend a mandatory training session that will introduce
them to the regulatory and operational requirements of New
Hampshire's retail market.  In addition, those entities must
demonstrate their capability to electronically send data to and
receive data from each distribution company in whose service area
they intend to do business.  The Working Group also sought
Commission guidance on several issues on which the group members
could not reach consensus.  Finally, the Working Group requested
that the Commission approve the report promptly, and direct each
distribution company to implement its requirements.     
  The Commission commends the members of the EDI Working
group for the quality of their work.  The issues addressed in the
report are complex and deserve our careful and deliberate
attention.  In order to meet the statutorily imposed date for
retail competition as well as the time lines proposed in the
report, we will temporarily adopt the Working Group's
recommendations pending the outcome of a rulemaking on the
implementation of EDI standards.  Specifically, each distribution
company is directed to implement the report's requirements.  With
respect to the contested issues, we respond as follows:
  (1) The Commission adopts the majority recommendation
  that each distribution company establish and maintain
  an Internet site for the purpose of providing
  competitive suppliers easy access to standard
  documentation.  At a minimum, those documents must
  include approved tariffs, class average load shapes,
  loss adjustment factors, and scheduled meter-read
  (2) The Commission agrees with the group members that
  believe distribution companies should be given the
  opportunity to arrange mutually agreeable cash transfer
  procedures with competitive suppliers who elect the
  Consolidated Billing Service option.  In the event
  parties are unable to reach to agreement, we will
  attempt to resolve the disagreements through our
  dispute resolution procedures.  Distribution companies
  should note, however, that we currently know of no good
  reason why cash should not be transferred daily to
  competitive suppliers;
  (3) We will require interval usage data in the
  possession of distribution companies to be provided to
  authorized competitive suppliers when requested. 
  Distribution companies may recover the reasonable
  incremental costs of providing such a service;

  (4) The Commission accepts that not all distribution
  companies will be ready by May 7, 1998 to begin testing
  the capability of competitive suppliers to receive and
  send electronic data.  We will extend the date for
  testing to May 31, 1998.  Distribution companies that
  are unable to meet this new deadline may request an
  extension.   Any such request must fully explain the
  reasons for the company's inability to meet the new
  deadline, and must include a plan to address those
  issues as well as propose a new deadline for
  (5) The Commission agrees with the EDI Working Group
  that appropriate authorization for customer enrollment
  includes a written or electronic notification to
  competitive suppliers or an oral authorization to a
  qualified and independent third party verifier;
       (6) The Commission agrees with the EDI Working Group
       that competitive suppliers must provide a minimum of
       two-days notice to distribution companies for the
       termination of service to become effective on the
       customer's next meter read date.  We also agree that a
       written notice from the competitive supplier to the
       customer is not necessary; and 
  (7) We disagree with the EDI Working Group on the issue
  of notice to distribution companies and customers when
  a competitive supplier decides to terminate business in
  New Hampshire.  The notice required will be the later
  of thirty days or the start of the next billing cycle.  
  Based on the foregoing, it is hereby 
  ORDERED, that the recommendations of the EDI Working
Group as set forth in the above mentioned report and as clarified
in this order are approved pending the outcome of a rulemaking to
implement EDI standards; and it is 
  FURTHER ORDERED, that each distribution company
implement the report's requirements.

  By order of the Public Utilities Commission of New
Hampshire this fourth day of May, 1998. 

                Douglas L. Patch     Bruce B. Ellsworth       Susan S. Geiger
                    Chairman            Commissioner           Commissioner

Attested by:

Thomas B. Getz
Executive Director and Secretary