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News Analysis

Fortnightly Magazine - May 15 1998

"unlikely that Bliley will get a bill through this year."

The report criticized use of a "wires charge" for stranded cost recovery, because that would impact power consumption. Instead it promotes the use of access or meter charges based on past usage or customer class, and finds that more attention should be paid to recovery mechanism design.

Meanwhile, Merrill called New Hampshire's attempt at allowing stranded cost recovery a "sleight of hand." He said the PSC ruled that all stranded costs could be recovered if the cost does not exceed the Northeast's average costs. But because the state already has the highest costs, it cannot be done. Merrill noted he had appointed two members of the PSC, so that perhaps he was criticizing himself, but he believes the PSC took such action to pay back Northeast Utilities for its financial problems and resulting bankruptcy.

Lori A. Burkhart is a contributing legal editor at Public Utilities Fortnightly.

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