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Fortnightly Magazine - November 1 1995

Learning from Waterloo: Computer Information Systems Will Carry the Day

Leonard M. Fuld and Diane Borska

Nathan Rothschild knew before anyone else that Napoleon would lose the Battle of Waterloo in 1815. With this advance knowledge he dumped his British-backed government securities on the market, making it appear as if he had heard the opposite outcome. His competing merchant bankers, following Rothschild's move, also sold their securities. After Rothschild saw the market bottom out, he repurchased every piece of paper he could lay his hands on (em at fire sale prices.

FERC OKs Resale Price Caps in Comparability Case

Lori A. Burkhart

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has conditionally approved an open-access transmission tariff that contains a price cap in the secondary market for Kansas City Power & Light Co. (KCPL), marking the second settlement of a comparability tariff filing (Docket Nos. ER94-1045-000 et al.).

LDC Must Study Externalities

Phillip S. Cross

The Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities (DPU) has accepted a settlement agreement calling for approval of gas-forecasting, supply-planning and demand-side management (DSM) efforts by Berkshire Gas Co., a natural gas local distribution company (LDC). Nevertheless, the DPU directed the LDC to undertake a good-faith effort to quantify avoidable environmental costs

and to incorporate those findings in rescreening its DSM options.

Outsourcing Information Technology: One Step at a Time

David A. Miller

The challenges facing the information technology (IT) industry into the next century are significant. Yet so are the opportunities.

Pipeline Asks for Market-Based Rates

Lori A. Burkhart

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has set for hearing a request by Koch Gateway Pipeline Co. (KGP) to charge market-based rates for firm and interruptible natural gas transportation services (Docket No. RP95-362-000). First, however, the FERC must conclude Docket No. RM95-6-000, which will delineate the circumstances under which it may approve market-based rates.

N.J. Updates Economic Development Rates

Phillip S. Cross

The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (BPU) has approved a plan by Jersey Central Power & Light Co. to replace its existing economic development tariffs with a new "Business Enhancement Incentive" rider. The tariff revision would continue programs designed to further the building expansion and use plans of large customers by offering discounted rates, but would eliminate ineffective programs such as per-worker rebates, priority location rebates, and high energy-efficiency programs.

Flexibility: Key to Success When Outsourcing Information Technology

Paul Sweeny

In the utility industry's brave new world of deregulation, information technology (IT) (em and, specifically, "outsourcing" (em has acquired an entirely new meaning.

IT has become strategic. And important. So important that utility companies are seeking outside expertise to help them leverage technology to conduct business more efficiently, help grow revenues, and hone their edge in the new competitive world. Time has become an unaffordable luxury.

FERC to Examine MAPP's Membership Rolls

Lori A. Burkhart

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has set for hearing a request by Koch Gateway Pipeline Co. (KGP) to charge market-based rates for firm and interruptible natural gas transportation services (Docket No. RP95-362-000). First, however, the FERC must conclude Docket No. RM95-6-000, which will delineate the circumstances under which it may approve market-based rates.

Space Heating Discount Scrutinized

Phillip S. Cross

While approving a proposed rate discount program for new electric heating customers, the Maine Public Service Commission (PSC) has ruled that the program must meet "permanent load" requirements designed to protect ratepayers. Bangor Hydro-Electric Co. had filed proposals to market power to new electric heating customers at 5 cents per kilowatt-hour, as a temporary addition to its load requirements, with a price floor based on short-run marginal costs.

Cooperative Outsourcing: Securing Value from Information Technology

Ken Scott

As competitive pressures push utilities to look for new ways to do business, outsourcing the information technology (IT) function becomes increasingly attractive. By contracting for outside IT services, utilities can reduce costs and increase efficiency.

The decision to outsource, however, now goes beyond cost-cutting considerations. Companies are just as likely to turn to outsourcing when they want to concentrate on new business opportunities or dramatically change their overall structure.

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