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 - May 15 1998

Mail

Steve Rosenstock

HANGING FUEL SOURCES. Editor Bruce Radford quoted me in his editorial "Water Heater War" in the March 15, 1998 issue. I'd like to clarify a few points.

Where I'm quoted as saying the Department of Energy should consider heat pump water heaters as separate appliances, my point was that the gas industry could market its own gas-fired heat pump water heaters (not gas-fired heat pumps (em a different technology), using a gas-fired heat pump and attaching a heat exchanger.

Mail

Timotny A. Bernadowski Sr.

ATER HEATER STANDARDS. Thank you for your recent "Frontlines" editorial regarding the debate on the options for basing new water heater efficiency standards ("Water Heater War," March 15, 1998, p. 6). Your article accurately captures the rhetoric which can result when standards setting actions meant to protect the public, such as the Department of Energy appliance standards, are used to promote political agendas and gain competitive advantage.

I wanted to provide some clarification regarding Virginia Power's comments on the water heater efficiency standard issue.

Mail

Sharon B. Heaton

UHCA REPEAL NOW. In her article, "Why PUHCA Repeal Is Still on Hold," published Feb. 15, 1998, Beverly Jones suggests the reason legislation to repeal the Public Utility Holding Company Act of 1935 hasn't passed Congress is because there hasn't yet been an "open dialogue" among all interests to deal with a wide range of electricity restructuring issues, including PUHCA.

Open dialogue is always important, and a review of the past two years shows that not only has such a dialogue taken place, but the case for immediate repeal of PUHCA, on a standalone basis, is stronger than ever.

Benchmarks

Christopher Seiple and Christopher Neil

LAST YEAR, RESOURCE DATA INTERNATIONAL PREDICTED THAT merchant plant activity was poised for explosive growth as deregulation created opportunities for a new breed of highly efficient generators. (See "Merchant Plant Activity Set to Explode," April 15, 1997, p. 14.) This prediction has proved true, with nearly 30,000 megawatts of publicly announced merchant plants under development.

More than 50 percent of this development is concentrated in New England, a particularly attractive market for merchant plant development.

News Digest

Lori A. Burkhart, Phillip S. Cross and Beth Lewis

TELCO UNIVERSAL SERVICE FUND. Reversing an appeals court, the Kansas Supreme Court upheld a decision by the Kansas Corporation Commission that had required wireless telecommunications carriers to contribute to the state's universal service fund. It also affirmed a KCC ruling setting the initial amount of the fund in a roundabout way based on equalizing inter- and intrastate long-distance rates.

The KCC order (issued Dec. 27, 1996) had slashed intrastate toll rates by $111 million over three years. It then cut access charges by an equal amount to offset the loss to toll carriers.

News Analysis

Lori A. Burkhart

IF AN INDEPENDENT SYSTEM OPERATOR OVERSEES THE TRANS-

mission grid, how much independence is too much? Should ISOs cede control over dispatch to scheduling coordinators, or market functions to a power exchange? Addressing some of these questions, a new report released in April by The Progress & Freedom Foundation criticizes a restructured electric industry built on ISOs with restricted authority.

Perspective

Jeffrey D. Watkiss

Editor's Note: It was an awkward spot. Power marketers wanted the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to block the "tagging" rules imposed by the North American Reliability Council. Could the FERC do that? Having stalled for more than six months, with no sign of action, the Commission surprised the federal energy bar when, on April 7, with no mention on the agenda (there could be no agenda, since there was no meeting), it surreptitiously released its opinion. Also caught unawares, the Fortnightly asked Jeffrey Watkiss, an attorney in the case, to explain what it all means.

Bootstrapping in 5 Steps FERC Trumps NERC Without Any Jurisdiction

Bruce W. Radford

1. IT'S NOT THE TAG, IT'S THE TRANSMISSION. "Coalition and its supporters are not so much challenging the information required by NERC's tagging plan, per se, as they are challenging what public utilities do with the information." FERC Order, slip opinion, p. 7.

2. AFTER ALL, WE LOVE TAGGING.

Off Peak

WHEN EXECUTIVES IN CHARGE OF ENERGY purchases for national, multi-site companies say, "Simplify my life," they mean it.

These executives are doing business nationwide with an average of 60 electricity suppliers. This figure will drop more than 80 percent to 11 suppliers once electric competition gets underway, according to RKS Research & Consulting's 1997 National Account Survey.

RKS Vice President Carmine Grastataro directed the study and oversaw focus groups of vice presidents of construction, energy management, retailer, health care and property management companies.

PSC - Restructuring Orders

Bruce W. Radford

PLANS OK'D for electric IOUs under New York's Competitive Opportunities docket.

CENTRAL HUDSON GAS & ELECTRIC CORP. RETAIL CHOICE: Offered to 8 percent of total load in 1998; additional 8 percent each year; choice for all by July 1, 2001. SAVINGS: $10.5 million to fund 5-percent rate cut for large industrials; all other rates frozen (since 1993) through June 30, 2001. Earmarks $24.5 million for incentives for residential, commercial and small industrial classes. Generation backout rate is highest among IOU restructuring plans.

Pages