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Fortnightly Magazine - April 1 1995

People

The Southern Company named A.W. (Bill) Dahlberg chairman and CEO in addition to his current duties as president. He succeeds Edward L. Addison, 65, who is retiring after 12 years as CEO and more than 40 years with the company. Dahlberg, 54, served as president since January 1, 1994. He began his career with The Southern Company at age 19 when he joined Georgia Power, a subsidiary, as a meter installer.

Ralph Johnson was named v.p., power resources, for the Texas-New Mexico Power Co.

Gas Customers Pay the Price

Phillip S. Cross

Who will pay the costs incurred by regulated utility companies as they shift to competitive markets under plans engineered at the federal and state levels? This question is part of the debate over electric industry restructuring, but any payments lie in the future. For ratepayers in the gas market, however, the time has come. So far, state regulators have interpreted the law as prohibiting any sharing of gas market "transition" costs between shareholders and ratepayers.

Mailbag

In his article "Making Hydro Sustainable" (Jan. 1, 1995), Thomas Russo forgets an important consideration in any large-scale engineering project: the social impact. The construction and commissioning of large-scale hydroelectric generating facilities have always required large capital investments and produced widespread impacts on the ecosystem. These impacts have generally been fairly obvious and carefully examined.

N.C. Requires Telecom Certification for Electric Utilities

Phillip S. Cross

The North Carolina Utilities Commission (NCUC) has ruled that electric utilities who plan to market excess capacity via their own fiber-optic telecommunications facilities must either obtain certification as an interexchange telecommunications carrier or form a separate subsidiary that obtains such certification. The NCUC noted that interexchange certification was sufficient because competitive local exchange service was not currently authorized in the state.

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.

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