Keywords

Public Utilities Reports

PUR Guide Fully Updated Version

Available NOW!
PUR Guide

This comprehensive self-study certification course is designed to teach the novice or pro everything they need to understand and succeed in every phase of the public utilities business.

Order Now

Fortnightly Magazine - April 15 1996

Retail Aggregation: A Guaranteed Right for Small Customers?

Joseph F. Schuler, Jr.

With a CTC likely to cover stranded costs,

aggregators must somehow find power cheap

enough to offer real savings.

Retail aggregation: Wherever you stand, it appears 1998 could be the year of reckoning.

By then (em say those watching the future of aggregation in the "leader" states of California, New York, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire (em rulemakings will have sorted out the issues of stranded costs, distribution, and reliability.

FERC Signals Flexibility on Open-Acces Problems

Lori A. Burkhart

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has approved a series of orders clarifying that it will not deny or revoke market-based, wholesale electric rates for utilities or their marketing affiliates without first allowing them to correct defects in their open-access transmission tariffs (Docket Nos. ER94-1045-000 et al., Feb. 14, 1996).

Utilities with existing market-based rates (or affiliates with such rates) will have 15 days to refine their open-access tariffs after the FERC identifies a problem (em only then will market-based rates be revoked.

Off Peak

Patrick Joseph Keenan

As long as we're talking about "stranded costs," why not consider the "unearned gains" accrued during construction? Namely (em the allowance for funds used during construction (AFUDC) representing capitalized financing costs that built up to such high levels back in the 1970s, during the peak of the last construction cycle for baseload electric generating plants.

One can argue the policy: Did those 70's-era rules on AFUDC extract unwarranted economic rents for nuclear construction? Good or bad, those costs are sunk.

The Gas Storage Market: What Does it Tell Us?

Ruth K. Kreschmer and Agustin J. Ros

The authors asked pipelines

and LDCs how they used storage.

Leasing activity proved a surprise.

Since deregulation, the natural gas industry has seen tremendous changes in every sector. Competitive pressures have reorganized business strategies so much that only those firms that adapt will survive. One area that stands ripe for change is the natural gas storage market.

Why build gas storage fields?

NRDC, Others, Ask FERC to Rethink Pollution

Lori A. Burkhart

A unique force of 25 environmental and energy/utility companies have joined together and filed comments on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on open-access electric transmission (Mega-NOPR), and the subsequent draft environmental impact statement (EIS), asking the FERC to mitigate the air-pollution impact of plans to promote wholesale electric competition and open access to utility transmission lines.

The parties urge the FERC to link its open-access policy with an environmental strategy that reduces air pollution at the g

Frontlines

Bruce W. Radford

Lately I'm reading up on the new Telecommunications Act. Last week I printed a copy from the Internet and stuffed it in my briefcase. Each night on the train I give it a go and skim a few sections.

The new law unabashedly favors competition over regulation, but appoints state commissions (PUCs) to certify when that competition may be deemed effective enough to open markets. Thus, the PUCs will take at least one last shot at managing markets before they relax regulation for competitive services.

Massey Urges Self-help for Pipeline Decontracting

Lori A. Burkhart

Speaking at the American Gas Association's Natural Gas Roundtable in Washington, DC, on February 13, FERC Commissioner William L. Massey called on parties within the natural gas industry to resolve the problem of decontracting (capacity turnback) on natural gas interstate pipelines. Nevertheless, he offered a bit of help from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).

For its part, said Massey, the FERC will remain flexible, as shown by its order allowing Natural Gas Pipeline Co.

People

Carter T. Funk was promoted to v.p.-business and operations services at Consolidated Natural Gas Co. He moves up from v.p.-asset acquisition and resource development at CNG Energy Services.

Marian M. Davenport was promoted to v.p., general counsel, and secretary for Destec Energy, Inc. She replaces Stephen R. Wright, who retired.

Central and South West Corp. has elected Jim Ellis, chairman and CEO of SEEBOARD plc, to its board of directors.

C&SW Sub First to File Under Telecom Act

Lori A. Burkhart

CSW Communications, Inc., a subsidiary of Central and South West Corp., has become the first company to file at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to become an "exempt telecommunications company" under the telecommunications reform legislation signed into law by President Clinton. Previously, CSW was barred from entering the telecommunications market by the Public Utility Holding Company Act.

Mailbag

Forecasts Send ROEs Wide of the Mark

In a recent "Offpeak" ("Forecasting is Just That," Jan. 1, 1996, p. 54), David Foti and Clay Denton report data showing the percentage of error found in various seven-year forecasts of natural gas prices (1988-94) produced by the American Gas Association (A.G.A.), Energy Information Administration (EIA), DRI/McGraw-Hill (DRI), Gas Research Institute, and WEFA Group. These errors ranged from approximately 50 to 95 percent.

Pages