jü( )l, n: A unit of energy measurement equal to a watt-second. .Pp
Three company alliances offer utilities new tools to help customers use and save on energy:
Batavia, IL, (pop. 20,300) is studying a municipal broadband communications system that would provide high-speed data services for city businesses, homes, schools, and other customers. The system envisioned by city fathers would use a fiber-optic network extension of the municipal utility. The system would provide cable TV and telephone services, and provide a conduit for interactive data such as the Internet. The system would take advantage of provisions in the Federal Telecommunications Act of 1996: Because Batavia has its own utility, the Act overrides state and local barriers to electric utilities providing phone service.
A 50-Mw addition to the Thompson Falls Hydroelectric Station will provide power to 267,000 customers on the Montana Power Co. System. The project is a joint venture of Kiewit Western Co. and Stone and Webster Engineering.
A Carolina Power & Light Co. nuclear power unit set a record for continuous operation of a boiling water reactor: 581 days. (The previous record: 534 days.) The new record was set by Unit 2 of a 754-Mw plant in Southport, NC.
The Florida Public Service Commission received more than 2,300 "slamming" complaints involving nearly 120 companies last year. ("Slamming" means switching a consumer's long-distance service without her consent.) The Florida PSC says that slamming will no longer be tolerated; such complaints represent nearly 30 percent of all those logged with the PSC.
Four utilities have announced plans to join with information providers for various services:
s PECO Energy Co.'s new venture with AT&T Wireless PCS, Inc. will offer PCS to the Philadelphia metro area.
s Genesis Services( and Portland General Corp. have formed SI3, a utility information services company. SI3 will offer meter reading, meter and network installation, and other services.
s AT&T and Con Edison have joined to develop energy service products for commercial customers.
s Over the next three years, Kansas City Power & Light Co. will enhance its radio communications by 480 more units, provided by CellNet Data Systems. t
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