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Fortnightly Magazine - February 1 1995

West Virginia Examines LEC Competition

Phillip S. Cross

The West Virginia Public Service Commission (PSC) is investigating whether to adopt rules it could apply "in the event of competition" in the telecommunications local exchange market. It said it would not promulgate its own proposed rules at this time, and invited submission of suggested rules by February 21, 1995. Re Competition for Local Exchange Services, Case No. 94-1102-T-GI, Nov.

The Future of the Local Gas Distributor

Vinod K. Dar

In less than a decade, three powerful trends will converge on gas distributors.

Pool Adds Transmission Distance Rate

Lori A. Burkhart

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has amended the Mid-Continent Area Power Pool (MAPP) agreement, adding a distance-based transmission service charge for short-term transmission services provided by MAPP members (Docket No. ER94-1529-000). Previously, MAPP members provided reciprocal short-term transmission services to each other, charging only for transmission losses.

MAPP wants to apply a distance-based transmission charge for wholesale coordination transactions of four years or less between pool members.

Ohio Proposes Emission Allowance Regs

Phillip S. Cross

The Ohio Public Utilities Commission (PUC) has proposed regulations to allow electric utilities to use fuel-cost clauses to recover gains or losses from trading Clean Air Act emission allowances. The PUC emphasized that utilities should use the allowance market to maximize trading while making the use of coal produced in the state part of a least-cost power-supply strategy. Re Amendment of Chapter 4901:1-11 of the Ohio Administrative Code, Case No. 94-1792-EL-ORD, Nov. 23, 1994 (Ohio P.U.C.).

In a separate case, the PUC ruled that Dayton Power & Light Co.

Power Marketers: Let's Make a Deal

By W. Lynn Garner

SIDE SUBHEAD

Everyone talks about them.

EPA Approves Alternative-Fueled Vehicle Program

Lori A. Burkhart

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has approved a plan by 12 northeastern states and the District of Columbia (the Ozone Transport Commission (OTC)) to improve air quality under the Clean Air Act. The plan allows the OTC to establish an alternative-fuel vehicle program fashioned after California's, beginning in model year 1999, or to choose other measures that would provide equivalent pollution reductions. The OTC plan envisions the sale of certain advanced technology vehicles that reduce pollution by more than 70 percent.

Entering the Appliance Repair BusinessGordon Canning

Gordon Canning

Nearly 40 utilities now offer an appliance services program. Most take a similar approach: They cover appliances such as gas and water heaters, offer repair service only (no preventive maintenance), and charge a modest price ($50 to $60 per year). Bill inserts often carry the load for service promotion.

FERC Allows "Retroactive" Rates

Lori A. Burkhart

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has approved a settlement permitting potential refunds or surcharges by New England Power Co. (NEP) and Northeast Utilities Service Co. (NU) on deferred rate issues relating to transmission services provided on facilities collectively known as the "New Hampshire corridor" (Docket Nos. ER92-764-000 and ER92-766-000).

When NU merged with Public Service Co. of New Hampshire (PSNH), the FERC authorized PSNH to dispose of its jurisdictional facilities.

Forecasting New Gas Users

Alexander Lonshteyn

(SIDE SUBHEAD)

Each year hundreds of oil or electric customers call Boston Gas to ask about fuel-switching. What do they look for?A gas utility can boost sales only one way-by gaining new customers. And in today's slowly growing economy, conservation trends limit growth opportunities. The average household today uses two-thirds the energy of 15 years ago.

Financial News

Charles M. Studness

SIDE SUBHEAD

With no need for new capital, utilities have lost political pressure, exposing the regulatory compact as an illusion.Recovery of stranded investment today marks the central issue in the debate over electric utility competition. Unfortunately, the utility argument in favor of recovery is flawed.

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