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News Digest

Fortnightly Magazine - April 15 1998

The Ohio PUC approved the first

conjunctive electric service tariff for an Ohio utility. The tariff was accepted for Monongahela Power Co. The PSC had approved CES guidelines in December 1996 as part of Ohio's Energy Strategy. The CES tariffs permit utilities on a pilot basis to allow groups of customers within their existing service territories to aggregate and negotiate prices, rate design and other elements. Case No. 96-406-el-coi, Feb. 12, 1997 (Ohio P.U.C.)

ELECTRIC/TELECOM CONVERGENCE. The Georgia PSC ruled that

the Municipal Electric Authority of Georgia is not eligible to apply for certification to sell telecommunications services on its planned $35-million fiber-optic network. MEAG had argued that the introduction of competition to the electric industry required an infrastructure available to distributors to allow for a host of electric pricing options and more efficient management of its statewide electric system. MEAG's proposed 1,200-mile fiber-optic network would deliver other communications services such as telephone, cable and Internet. Docket No. 7967-u, Feb. 17, 1998 (Ga.P.S.C.).

MERGER SAVINGS. The Ohio PUC opened two inquiries

into mergers proposed between (1) Allegheny Power System Inc. And DQE Inc., and (2) American Electric Power Inc. and Central and South West Corp. The PUC will review how the companies will pass along merger-related savings to Ohio ratepayers and whether to impose safeguards concerning transactions with affiliates. The commission also wants the merged companies to submit plans for an independent system operator.

In the Allegheny/DQE case, the PUC is exploring how the addition of DQE's nuclear generating assets will affect Ohio ratepayers, since Allegheny owns no nuclear assets. For the AEP/CSW merger, the PUC is looking into how the merged company will comply with federal clean air regulations, and manage their separate system dispatch. Case Nos. 98-113-el-mer and 98-114-el-mer (Ohio P.U.C.).

News digest is compiled by Lori A. Burkhart and Phillip S. Cross, contributing legal editors, and by Beth Lewis, editorial assistant.

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