You've heard talk lately about the convergence of electricity and natural gas. That idea has grown as commodity markets have matured for gas and emerged for bulk power.
The Massachusetts Division of Energy Resources (DOER) has filed its electric restructuring proposal, "Power Choice," as part of the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities investigation into competition. The proposal will be considered along with restructuring plans submitted by the state's three largest utilities.
Power Choice calls for electric utilities to voluntarily separate into generation and distribution companies. Customers would continue to receive distribution service through their present providers; generation would become competitive. All customers served by investor-owned utilities would be allowed to choose their electric generator beginning January 1, 1998, but customer-choice pilots would begin in 1997.
To alleviate stranded costs, all generation assets would be sold or spun off to a new company at fair market value. Utilities would then be given a reasonable opportunity to recover any verifiable and unavoidable costs left unrecovered. (Niagara Mohawk unveiled its customer-choice plan, "PowerChoice," last October.)
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