Economists often seem enamored of economic efficiency, honoring its merits while decrying the lost benefits of inefficient outcomes. But really ... what's the harm in a little inefficiency? Well,...
Sound bites from state and federal regulators.
Green Pricing. Michigan allows Detroit Edison Co. to expand its existing experimental photovoltaic "green pricing" program, finding current solar capacity fully subscribed, with a waiting list for new participants. Case No. U-10893, March 27 1997 (Mi.P.S.C.).
NUG Contracts. Virginia permits Delmarva Power & Light Co. to amend purchased power contract with Star Enterprises, its principal nonutility supplier, by suspending capacity supply and payment obligations through May 31, 2000. Case No. PUE950089, March 14, 1997 (Va.S.C.C.).
Gas Transportation. Michigan oks Michigan Consolidated Gas Co.'s modification of its new residential and commercial transportation pilot program by removing a $25 fee it had imposed on customers who either change gas suppliers or return to system sales service. MCG had claimed the fee might discourage participation. Case No. U-11328, March 10, 1997 (Mi.P.S.C.).
Telephone Inside Wiring. U.S. District Court in Oregon rejects claims by customers that U S WEST violated federal antitrust laws by using allegedly deceptive and misleading solicitations to market optional maintenance plans for inside wiring. Judge finds no proof of barriers to entry, tying arrangements between local calling and wire service plans, or that the carrier had achieved a monopoly in wire maintenance. Simpson v. U S WEST Communications, Inc., No. CIV. 96-456-RE, Jan, 29, 1997 (D. Oregon).
Demand-Side Management. Colorado approves plan by Westplains Energy to maintain demand-side management program for heat pumps, even though only eight customers had participated over a two-year trial. Customers are required to have natural gas furnace back-up system to participate. Docket No. 94S-469E, March 26, 1997 (Colo.P.U.C.).
Foreign Investment. Michigan certifies request by MCN Energy Group Inc. to invest approximately $60 million in an energy project in India. Case No. U-11322, March 10, 1997 (Mi.P.S.C.).
Centrex Pricing. Indiana Bell wins increased pricing flexibility for its Centrex business services, having convinced state regulators that competition had increased in the local business market for Centrex services, since MCI had offered Centrex-like service as a reseller in the Indianapolis area without pricing restrictions since late 1995, under a state-approved two-year pilot program. Cause No. 40178, Feb. 13, 1997 (Ind.U.R.C.). t
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