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N.C. Defers Retail Wheeling

Fortnightly Magazine - September 1 1995

Finding the state's electric regulation in excellent condition, and noting a slowdown in the movement toward retail wheeling in other states, the North Carolina Utilities Commission (UC) has decided against ruling on the issue at this time. It rejected calls to open a formal "adversarial" proceeding to investigate issues associated with retail wheeling or retail generation competition. The UC noted that: 1) the state's territorial statute appears to prohibit retail wheeling, 2) California recently postponed indefinitely its retail wheeling investigation "due to the complexity of the situation," 3) Connecticut found retail wheeling not in the public interest, and 4) Michigan's experiment with retail wheeling has been challenged in court. The UC also pointed to North Carolina's low electric rates and high industrial growth as evidence of the success of the state's current regulatory scheme. Nevertheless, the UC said it will continue to monitor developments in other states and at the federal level, and encouraged interested parties to suggest specific issues for further investigation. Re Retail Electric Generation Competition in North Carolina, Docket No. E-100, Sub 77, July 21, 1995 (N.C.U.C.). tPhillip S. Cross is an associate legal editor of PUBLIC UTILITIES FORTNIGHTLY.

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