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Fortnightly Magazine - April 1 1995

Mailbag

An article by Renz Jennings et al. (Jan. 15, 1995), "DSM Programs Must Target Consumers, Not Just Technology," unintentionally implies that information from the national Database on Energy Efficiency Programs (DEEP) project "is not always available to the program analysts involved in designing, implementing, and evaluating programs conducted by their own organization." Nothing could be further from the truth.

Michigan Defers Approval of Antibypass Contract

Phillip S. Cross

The Michigan Public Service Commission (PSC) has rejected a request for expedited approval of a special contract between Consumers Power Co. and a natural gas transportation customer, the James River Corp. Consumers Power negotiated the contract when it learned that James River could bypass the local gas distribution system through a direct connection with a nearby pipeline operated by Panhandle Eastern Pipe Line Corp. The utility claimed that James River could rescind the contract and arrange for bypass service if approval was not obtained by February 3, 1995.

Electricity Futures Go West

W. Lynn Garner

The New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) has decided to seek approval of two electricity futures contracts in the West. One will be based on delivery at the California/

Oregon border; the other on delivery at the Palo Verde generating plant in Arizona. NYMEX hopes to have the contracts in place by the fourth quarter of this year.

R.

Florida Expands Telephone Access

Phillip S. Cross

The Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) has decided to expand interconnection for telecommunications switched-access service by requiring local exchange carriers (LECs) to offer virtual collocation services upon request. The PSC approved pricing flexibility in the form of zone density pricing for the new collocation tariffs.

NARUC Considers PUHCA Reform, GRI Funding

Lori A. Burkhart

At the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) winter committee meetings in Washington, DC, the executive committee passed a resolution that Congress should not hold hearings on reforms to the Public Utility Holding Company Act (PUHCA) until the Securities and Exchange Commission has completed its investigation on the implications of repeal or substantial modification.

ComEd Plants Win Rate Base Treatment

Phillip S. Cross

The Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) has approved a $303.2-million rate increase for Commonwealth Edison Co. In approving a rate of return on equity (ROE) allowance of 12.28 percent, the ICC chose an ROE presentation that "equally weighs the quarterly DCF and risk-premium based results." The increase reflects the ICC's finding that the company's Byron 2 and Braidwood 1 & 2 nuclear generating facilities are fully used and useful and eligible for rate recovery.

LG&E to Buy Hadson Corp.

W. Lynn Garner

LG&E Energy Corp. plans to reenter the natural gas marketing business by purchasing Dallas-based Hadson Corp. for $143 million. The deal includes all of Hadson's gas marketing operations, including 1,300 miles of gas-gathering systems, gas transmission systems, and gas processing and storage systems. Hadson's operations are located primarily in New Mexico, West Texas, Oklahoma, and Montana.

The two companies reached a definitive agreement, but the sale is subject to regulatory approval. The agreement marks LG&E Energy's second venture into natural gas marketing.

N.J. Utilities Must Market Test Power Proposals

Phillip S. Cross

The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (BPU) has announced an interim policy requiring electric utilities to "market test" all proposals for new capacity additions. The requirement grew out of a highly contentious proceeding involving a failed proposal by Jersey Central Power & Light Co. to purchase an interest in generating facilities from Duquesne Power & Light Co. in Pennsylvania and to construct major transmission facilities.

Consumers Power Targets "At-Risk" Customers

W. Lynn Garner

Consumers Power Co. has asked the Michigan Public Service Commission to approve a Special Competitive Service (SCS) rate to help retain industrial customers who threaten to leave the system. The SCS rate would be offered to customers who can obtain their power elsewhere and to new customers considering locating or expanding facilities in Michigan. "[A]pproval of this rate would grant Consumers Power the ability to negotiate special contracts with certain `at risk' large industrial customers which have competitive energy supply options," says Michael G.

Muni Competition Gets Utility Discount

Phillip S. Cross

The Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) has approved special discount rate tariffs to help Illinois Power Co., an electric utility, meet ongoing competition from municipal electric utilities within its service territory.

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