Monopoly rents? Not in the short run. The real enemy is a price war, fueled by indifference to stranded costs. And when that happens, antitrust laws won't offer much help.Competition has formally...
State-by-state prospects for electric customer choice.
New Mexico. Public Service Co. of New Mexico asks state PUC to begin collaborative process to draft legislation to allow retail choice of electric suppliers (Case No. 2681). Draft would be proposed to the state's Interim Legislative Committee on integrated Water and Resource Planning, for possible passage in the 1998 legislative session. By mid-June, the utility intends to initiate a plan to allow customer choice by a date certain, defining methods to handle stranded costs and reliability.
Nevada. Nevada Power Co. supports proposed legislation to allow electric utilities to issue bonds (approved by the state public service commission) to lower the cost of power purchased from qualifying cogeneration and small power production facilities. Bill would give utilities an alternate method of financing a buy-out of uneconomic QF contracts. Details appear similar to asset-backed securitizations adopted in other states, including California, Pennsylvania and Washington. A designated revenue stream from customers would secure the bonds. A PSC order authorizing bonds and designating revenues would be irrevocable. Bill would limit use of proceeds from securitization to the costs directly related to a utility's QF obligations.
Montana. House of Representatives passes amendments to electric restructuring bill, S.B. 390, and returns bill to Senate for reconciliation. The bill, which the Senate originally passed in March, calls for large industrial customers to choose suppliers on July 1, 1998. Residential, commercial and small industrial customers would choose by July 1, 2002. The state public service commission would review proposals and plans to mitigate and recover stranded costs. Rural electric cooperatives could opt out of plans for competition, but in that case could not serve customers outside their areas.
North Carolina. Rep. David Miner (R) introduces "Customer Choice in Electricity Act," to restructure state's electricity industry and provide residential customers choice of electric supplier by Oct. 1, 1998. Commercial customers would be offered choice by Jan. 1, 1999 (industrials by July 1, 1999). All electric companies competing in the state would require approval from the utilities commission. Bill would impose surcharge of $0.0025 per kilowatt-hour on all customers to support renewable resources, energy efficiency and low-income assistance. t
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