Sound bites from state and federal regulators. Gas Load Building. Finding no protest from electric utilities, North Carolina waives requirements for preliminary cost-benefit analysis and approves incentive programs for Piedmont Natural Gas Co. Inc., designed to boots gas load by installing commercial gas cooking equipment at community colleges for use in culinary degree programs. Commission tells company to conduct a cost-effectiveness analysis as soon as it can gather the necessary data from actual operating experience. Docket No. G-9, Sub 377, Jan. 31, 1997 (N.C.U.C.).
Coal Tar Cleanup. New York OKs request by Long Island Lighting Co. to use "customer portion" of excess earnings from gas distribution service to offset increased costs for environmental remediation at former gas manufacturing sites, despite a multi-year settlement issued in 1993 that had promised customers an equal share of excess earnings (revenues exceeding a 10.6 percent return on equity). Case 93-G-0002, Nov. 19, 1996 (N.Y.P.S.C.).
Water Rate Discounts. State regulators allow New Jersey Water Co. to offer rate discounts under experimental program for economic development. Program covers newly leased or purchased commercial or industrial facilities used in manufacturing, research and development, office, warehousing or retail sales sectors. Docket No. WR96030195, Dec. 31, 1996 (N.J.B.P.U.).
DSM Benefits. California regulators release annual report listing claims by the state's major energy utilities of ratepayer benefits from demand-side management, and modifies standards for measuring and evaluating such claimed benefits, which are tied to earnings incentives for utilities. Applications 96-04-044 et al., Decision 96-12-079, Dec. 20, 1996 (Cal.P.U.C.).
Released Gas Supply. Wisconsin adopts standards governing "opportunity sales" by natural gas local distribution companies, to ensure that all interested parties can purchase released capacity and supply, and that the releasing utility receives the highest practicable sale price. 05-GI-108 (Phase II), Jan. 9, 1997 (Wi.P.S.C.).
Gas Imbalances. Colorado allows Public Service Co. of Colorado to revise tariffs and charges governing the curing or "cashing-out" of transportation imbalances associated with over- and under-deliveries of customer-owned gas to the LDC. Changes were found reasonable in light of recent "dramatic price fluctuations" in the natural gas commodity markets. Docket No. 97L-015G, Decision No. C97-109, Jan. 29, 1997 (Colo.P.U.C.).
Telco Resale Discounts. Tennessee sets wholesale rate discounts for sale of local exchange facilities and services by incumbent carriers to new competitors, with a single company-specific discount for each incumbent for all resold services, whether business or residential. Rhode Island opens investigation on same issue, noting concern over services currently offered at below cost, but acknowledging statement by Federal Communications Commission that "even tariffs that may price service below cost must, nonetheless, be discounted for resale." Docket No. 96-01331, Jan. 17, 1997 (Tenn.R.A.); Docket No. 2518, Jan. 10, 1997 (R.I.P.U.C.).
Gas LDC Mergers. Tennessee Regulatory Authority approves merger of United Cities Gas Co. into Atmos Energy Corp, a Texas-based gas distributor with customers throughout the South and Midwest. United Cities serves customers in Tennessee, Illinois Missouri, Kansas, Iowa, Georgia, South Carolina and Virginia. Docket No. 96-01299, Jan. 24, 1997 (Tenn.R.A.).
Firm Gas Transportation. New Jersey board allows Elizabethtown Gas Co. to modify and continue its existing nonresidential unbundling program,