Keywords

Public Utilities Reports

PUR Guide 2012 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 - June 1 1997

"Virtual Utility" Aims for Savings

Lori A. Burkhart

Strategic Energy Ltd. has premiered a "Virtual Utility," allowing electric consumers to shop nationwide for the best-priced power. Strategic Energy's control center will allow it to access real-time energy information and travel the grid to find available electricity.

"This is the beginning of the end of increasing electric rates for consumers nationwide," said Rick Zomnir, president of Strategic Energy Ltd.

Stranded Utilities: How Demographics, Not Management, Caused High Costs and Rates

Glenn D. Meyers, Buckner Wallingford II, and Horace J. DePodwin

And why policy on

stranded costs defies

a traditional legal or

economic analysis.

There are sound economic reasons why policymakers should allow electric utilities to recover stranded costs through a competitively neutral network access charge, or some similar fee. First, differences in the quality of utility management appear to have contributed little to differences in electricity rates among states.

Cinergy To Supply Power

Lori A. Burkhart

The Blue Ridge Power Agency has chosen Cinergy Corp. as the recommended supplier of wholesale electric power to five of its members during a seven-year period starting July 1, 1998.

Blue Ridge is a "joint action agency" that assists in making wholesale supply arrangements for eight municipal electric systems in the western part of Virginia. Cinergy replaces American Electric Power-Virginia as the power supplier, and beat out the other finalists (em AEP, Commonwealth Edison, Enron, and LG&E Power Marketing.

Stranded Investment: Utility Estimates or Investor Expectations?

Steven isser, and Robert Michaels

Ask this question: Are Investors today earning what they thought they would, back when they last had faith in regulation?

As their customers discover more competitive prices, many utilities remain saddled with the costs of uneconomic plant and power purchase contracts approved under regulation. They seek compensation for these costs, but the amount deserves a close examination.

Some utilities seek remuneration that exceeds the market value of their common stock. Such a settlement seems overly generous for investors, who will continue to own their shares after the payoff.

Nuclear Waste Debate Simmers on Capital Hill

Lori A. Burkhart

A Contentious Bill Passes Senate (em Two Votes Shy of Blocking a Veto

Recently passed by the U.S. Senate, nuclear waste bill S. 104 lies mired in quicksand, facing a promised presidential veto, not to mention attacks from senators representing those states targeted for possible waste storage sites. Disposal of waste from the nation's nuclear generating plants has turned into possibly the most contentious issue on Capitol Hill.

Sen. Frank H.

Securitization of Uneconomic Costs: Whom Does It Secure?

Kenneth Rose

Touted as a panacea for stranded costs, securitization would forever shield rates from market scrutiny.

We consumers display an amazing talent to squander the fruits of our labor on the whim of the moment. Examples might include bungee jumping, vanity license plates or pet rocks. Or just about anything you might find in a magazine stuffed in the back of an airline seat.

Now make way for electric utility restructuring, where the latest fashion calls for securitization of uneconomic costs.

FERC, Maryland PSC Approve Constellation

Lori A. Burkhart

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the Maryland Public Service Commission have approved the merger of Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. and Potomac Electric Power Co. to form Constellation Energy Corp.

However, the stiff terms for approval (em including mandatory rate cuts (em have prompted the utilities to claim they might abandon the merger.

Stranded Cost Recovery: A Practical Argument for Utilities

Charles E. Bayless

A recent conversation:

"When was the demise of the regulatory bargain? What you say is true, but at some point you had to know the bargain was over."

(em A state utility commissioner

"Beats me, it doesn't seem to be over yet. The electric industry still has a duty to serve all customers, and it must charge below-market rate confiscatory for many of our services because of the regulatory bargain.

Lawsuit Against TVA Alleges Sham Transactions

Lori A. Burkhart

Five utility companies have filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Birmingham against the Tennessee Valley Authority to bar it from making sales to unauthorized third parties for resale outside TVA's service territory, claiming such sales violate the TVA Act.

"TVA is under more intense attack from private utilities than at any time in its history," said TVA Chair Craven Crowell at an April 15 at a meeting of the TVA Caucus in Washington, D.C.

Electric Industry Issues Forum: Reliability, Transmission and COmpetition

Joseph F. Schuler, Jr.

Can NERC Juggle All Three En Route to Open Access?

At the year's start, the North American Electric Reliability Council decided to leave its "peer pressure" policy behind and require mandatory compliance with its reliability standards. As NERC grapples with its new policy, Public Utilities Fortnightly asked eight industry representatives how they might ensure reliability in a restructured electric industry.

It had taken time for NERC to arrive at this point, but itÆs official: Mandatory sanctions and business incentives will soon be used to enforce compliance.

Pages