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Fortnightly Magazine - October 1 1995

Mailbag

Extraterrestrial

I appreciated Michael Gerrard's August piece, "Dodging the NIMBY Bullet: A Solution to Waste Facility Siting" (Perspective, p. 18). Waste facility siting is a subject that I consider a significant problem facing every U.S. citizen. Clearly, source reduction and recycling of waste should be and often is given priority over the construction of new disposal capacity.

Telephone Business Class Under Attack

Phillip S. Cross

The Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) has signaled a willingness to remove the current business/residential differential from local telephone rates. While rejecting a proposal by its staff to begin the rate restructuring move in a case involving rates for a limited number of custom-calling services provided by Harrisonville Telephone Co., a small local exchange carrier, the ICC agreed that a movement toward eliminating the differential was appropriate under current pricing practices.

California Breakthrough

Lori A. Burkhart

At the request of California Gov. Pete Wilson (R) and key state legislators, Southern California Edison (SCE) has forged a consensus with a broad coalition, including electric customers and independent power producers (IPPs), on restructuring principles for California's electric utility industry. According to Thomas Higgins, SCE spokesman, the negotiated settlement represents a breakthrough compromise for the "PoolCo" and "anti-PoolCo" camps that will help prevent a fight in the legislature.

Utah Approves Sale of Telephone Exchange, Allocates Gain

Phillip S. Cross

The Utah Public Service Commission (PSC) has approved the sale of several local telephone exchanges by

U S WEST to South Central Utah Telephone Association, and also approved an agreement governing the rate treatment for the associated gain to U S WEST. The rate agreement allows U S WEST to retain for shareholders a portion of the gain on the sale in return for an obligation to pay for certain system upgrades and reduce the sales price for other transfers currently under consideration by the PSC.

CMS Energy Reveals LILCO Role

Lori A. Burkhart

CMS Energy Corp. has come clean as the "unnamed" potential investor in the plan announced in June by the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) to acquire the Long Island Lighting Co. (LILCO).

CMS had not revealed its involvement in the proposed takeover before because its participation through a management services agreement is conditioned on the support of N.Y. Gov. Pataki. The company said it still is interested in providing the management services if the governor and other state officials decide a takeover is in the best interests of the citizens of Long Island.

Utah Approves DSM Lost Revenue Recovery Rejects Statistical Recoupling

Phillip S. Cross

The Utah Public Service Commission has approved an agreement to continue allowing PacifiCorp to recover lost revenues associated with

demand-side management programs. A study of the functioning of interim policies on DSM cost-recovery methods indicated that the lost revenue recovery encouraged the utility to meet its conservation resource goals, according to the PSC.

Puget Sound P&L Berates BPA

Lori A. Burkhart

Puget Sound Power & Light (PSPL) has protested Bonneville Power Administration's (BPA's) plan to negotiate industrial power contracts with its own direct services industries, giving them rate cuts without first taking part in full public hearings. Gary Swofford, PSPL senior vice president for customer operations, said in August that BPA planned to have signed contracts in place by September, when consumer hearings are scheduled.

D.C. Rejects DSM Plan to Recover Lost Revenues

Phillip S. Cross

The District of Columbia Public Service Commission (PSC) has rejected a proposal by Potomac Electric Power Co. calling for rate recovery of lost revenues associated with demand-side management (DSM) activities.

Cajun Conflict Continues

Lori A. Burkhart

Cajun Electric Cooperative has lost its request with the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals for an emergency stay of the appointment of a trustee in bankruptcy. Cajun had claimed a conflict of interest because the proposed trustee, Ralph Maybe, belongs to the Salt Lake City law office of LeBoeuf, Lamb, Greene & McRae, which worked for Entergy and Gulf States Utilities Co. (GSU) on matters concerning the River Bend nuclear plant. Entergy and GSU have been involved in a $2-billion lawsuit with Cajun over the plant since 1989.

U.S.

Heat Pump Program Fails Test in Arkansas

Phillip S. Cross

The Arkansas Public Service Commission (PSC) has rejected a set of promotional programs proposed by Southwestern Electric Power Co. that included incentives for customers to install heat pumps and electric hot water heaters. The PSC found that the programs came down heavily on the side of fuel substitution as opposed to serving conservation goals.

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