When regulators grant changes to utility rates of return, they estimate growth on the basis of gross domestic product (GDP). But do utilities have any chance of growing at the same pace as GDP?...
I was surprised that the news item "N.Y. Issues Electric Restructuring Plan" (Courts and Commissions, 7/15/96, p. 45) neglected to mention one of the most significant aspects of the restructuring order at the New York Public Service Commission (PSC). In its May 20th order, it adopted the goal of wholesale competition by early 1997, and retail access by early 1998.
As the PSC stated: "A main benefit of setting a timetable is that it would give parties a goal and expectation that should move the process along. It also provides industrial and commercial customers an incentive to invest based on an expectation of retail choice and not seek ways to avoid the system through bypass or moving operations out of state."
In their Recommended Decision, the PSC's administrative law judges had not included a timetable. Many parties, representing all customer classes, urged the PSC to adopt the timetable that was included in the final order. That schedule should expedite the transition to a competitive electric industry in New York State.
Barbara S. Brenner, Esq.
Couch, White, Brenner, Howard & Feigenbaum, LLP
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