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Electric Industry Restructuring: The States Forge Ahead

Fortnightly Magazine - October 1 1995

retail wheeling. It adds that gains for retail wheeling customers would come at the expense of shareholders and those who elect to retain local utility service.

The PUC, which began its investigation of electric restructuring in April 1994 (Dkt. No. I-940032), calls the report an "interim step" and plans hearings on the issues for later this year.Competing From the Bottom UpA new-breed supply broker, two-year-old Wheeled Electric Power Co. (WEP), is pushing true electric retail competition in Massachusetts and New York.

WEP has asked the MA DPU to approve a five-year pilot program allowing New Bedford electric consumers to choose their electric suppliers. WEP would use New Bedford as a test case to acquire data on potential savings for consumers and to gauge impacts on the area's monopoly utility, Commonwealth Electric Co. (CE).

In New York, WEP has proposed to manage electric supply for the Suffolk County school districts, served by Long Island Lighting Co. (LILCO). The districts have sought authority to aggregate electric load and shop around for a supplier. WEP president John O'Brian plans to file a supplemental request in the LILCO rate proceeding, while launching a separate lobbying campaign. WEP believes the PSC has the authority to order retail wheeling and will not rest with the schools. It plans a pilot program on Long Island similar to its New Bedford scheme.Wisconsin UncensoredStatements [excerpts] of Scott A. Neitzel, Commissioner, WI PSC, and chairman, Advisory Committee on Electric Utility Restructuring in Wisconsin, on the PSC staff's draft environmental impact statement (EIS):What, I believe, the Draft EIS is not:

-an excuse to derail what has been an extremely worthwhile and productive processWhat, I believe, the Draft is:

-extreme by design, to meet [state law] requirementsThe Final EIS should be

-a balanced presentation of the potential impacts.Source: Wisconsin Power & Light Co.

1 Summary of Each State's Restructuring Activities. The National Council on Competition and the Electric Industry (July 17, 1995).

2 The permitted discount rates were subject to a specified floor price, and to the condition that revenues lost through discounting be shared by both ratepayers and shareholders, as determined in individual rate cases.

3 The PSC determined in that case that it has legal authority to approve negotiated rates, and may consider other types of competitive tariffs.


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