The Ohio Public Utilities Commission (PUC) has proposed regulations to allow electric utilities to use fuel-cost clauses to recover gains or losses from trading Clean Air Act emission allowances....
Idaho Approves Direct Access, Electric Pricing Plot
The Idaho Pubic Utilities Commission has approved two new electric market experiments to test a market-based pricing tariff proposed by one electric utility and a direct-access pilot program proposed by another.
Market-based pricing. It authorized Idaho Power Co. to offer industrial customers, on an experimental basis, the option of purchasing power under a market-based rate schedule. Customers who contract for 5 to 10 megawatts of firm demand at one delivery point qualify for the pilot tariff program. Qualifying companies may elect to have all or as little as one-third of their load delivered at charges tied to energy market prices.
The market-based rate schedule provides two options as market proxies: The Dow Jones-California-Oregon border index and the futures contracts traded on the New York Mercantile Exchange for the California-Oregon border delivery point. The energy price under the market-based price option includes an adder of 3.6 mills to ensure that pilot tariff customers contribute adequately to fixed system costs. Re Idaho Power Co., Case No. IPC-E-96-25, Order No. 26872, April 7, 197 (Idaho P.U.C.).
Direct access. The commission also authorized the Washington Water Power Co. to extend its existing industrial customer direct-access pilot program to commercial and residential users. Under the new plan, small users may choose alternative energy providers for a maximum of two years beginning July 1997.
The utility will select customers from its service territory for participation in "More Options for Power Service" program. The random selection process will continue until 2,805 voluntary participants are identified. The utility also will give participating energy suppliers the name, address and phone number of customers electing to participate. Customers are protected from interruption with standby energy service provided by Washington Water Power.
Despite objections by its staff, the commission permitted Washington Water to require participating utilities to allow comparable access to their own customers. Washington Water said it did not intend to "compete directly" with the alternate suppliers on the price of energy during the pilot program, although its rates are "among the lowest of the investor-owned electric utilities in the United States." It said that although it would offer energy service to customers participating in the pilot as a choice, the offer would focus on "nonprice" issues. The utility also said that it expected energy offered by alternate suppliers would be priced at or below the market rate. Re Washington Water Power Co., Case No. WWP-E-97-1, Order No. 26884, April 10, 1997 (Idaho P.U.C.).
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