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Fortnightly Magazine - October 1 1995

Gas Wary of Electric IRP/DSM

Lori A. Burkhart

The American Gas Association (A.G.A.) has issued A Strategic Guide to IRP and DSM for Natural Gas Companies, prepared by Hampton Strategies, Inc. Because the evolution of IRP and DSM initiatives for electric and gas companies will be greatly affected by increased competition, the report contends, natural gas companies need to be familiar with issues and practices surrounding DSM cost recovery and profitability incentives.

Montana and Iowa Reject EPAct Section 115

Phillip S. Cross

The Montana Public Service Commission (PSC) has decided not to adopt federal standards for natural gas integrated resource planning (IRP) and demand-side management (DSM) contained in section 115 of the Energy Policy Act of 1992 (EPAct), concluding that current information did not support establishing formal standards in those areas. The PSC explained that the expected costs of future commission involvement in the matter outweigh the benefits that might reasonably be expected at this time. Re Section 115, Energy Policy Act of 1992, Order No. 5861, Docket No. 94.9.42, Aug.

Collision or Coexistence: The FERC, the CPUC, and Electric Restructuring

Sheila S. Hollis and Stephen L. Teichler

Will the Crown accept the olive branch offered by its colony, or will conflict ensue? That was the question posed on July 13 by Thomas Page, CEO of San Diego Gas and Electric Co., at the "Western States Workshop on California Restructuring," the first industrywide meeting to discuss the policy proposals issued six weeks before by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC).The Crown sent its emissaries.

Nuke Economics Improving

Lori A. Burkhart

A recent Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI) report, Sharpening the Competitive Edge, finds that, by focusing on improved economic performance and undertaking a range of individual and industry initiatives, utilities reduced nuclear plant operating and maintenance (O&M) expenses by 8 percent between 1994 and 1995.

Off Peak

"Througout much of the

history of generation, technology

devolved at a very slow pace after

the construction of the first generation

of large central generation stations. With

the development of nuclear energy in the

1940s and 1950s, the government promoted an

alternative energy source that was expected to

provide a cheap source of power as well as

provide a source of plutonium for nuclear

weapons development.

Aggregating Municipal Loads: The Future is Today

Kevin W. O'Donnell

The debate today in many state capitals is whether electric restructuring will help or hurt the residential and small commercial customer.

Proponents of wholesale and retail wheeling foresee a positive result. They claim that residential and small commercial electric consumers stand to gain as much from competition in electric generation as do large industrial customers with high load factors.

FERC Asked to Reconsider Avoided-cost Order

Lori A. Burkhart

Metropolitan Edison Co. (ME) and Pennsylvania Electric Co. (PE), subsidiaries of General Public Utilities Corp. (GPU), have asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for rehearing on parts of its July 6 order, which the two companies had challenged under the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act in Pennsylvania (Docket No. EL95-41-000).

Specifically, the utilities had challenged the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission's (PUC's) method of using a coal plant proxy to calculate a default level of avoided costs.

Demand-side Management: Mitigate, Don't Eliminate

Jeremy Levin

Electric utilities nationwide are attempting to retreat from commitments to energy efficiency (em a retreat that will benefit few customers, while damaging many. This retreat is driven by fear of retail wheeling (em that consumers will be able to shop for the lowest prices among competing entities. In turn, the threat of retail wheeling has spurred utilities to a frantic scramble to cut costs and trim rates.

Electric Industry Restructuring: The States Forge Ahead

Brian Gish

About 30 states have begun (em

either through the legislature, the utility commission, informal working groups, or some combination of these (em to consider issues such as retail wheeling, unbundled utility structures, and alternative rate regulation.1 California's "Blue Book" hearings have drawn the most attention, but significant efforts are also underway elsewhere. Although each state is approaching the issue in its own way, successful industry restructuring will ultimately require coordination across state lines.

California DSM: A Pyrrhic Victory for Energy Efficiency?

Robert L. Bradley, Jr.

California has led the nation in utility expenditures for ratepayer-subsidized energy conservation, also called

demand-side management (DSM).1

With broad-based support from utilities, consumer representatives, environmentalists, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), and the California Energy Commission (CEC), some $1.8 billion has been spent since 1990 (and $

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