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News Digest

Fortnightly Magazine - June 1 1998

and purchased power cost increase.

"Nevada Power will cap rates until the middle of 2000¼ after retail competition is introduced in Nevada," said Michael Niggli, NP President and CEO. "Restructuring in the electric utility industry is a very complex issue. This rate cap will allow customers to avoid confusion and enjoy low, stable rates during this period of transition."

About $32 million of the increase would affect commercial customers. The remaining $13 million will increase the average residential bill 3.5 percent, or $2.52 a month.

TELEPHONE COMPETITION. At the New York Public Service Commission, outgoing Chair John F. O'Mara has written to incoming Chair Maureen O. Helmer to recommend that the PSC allow Bell Atlantic, the local telephone carrier, to compete for long distance service upon meeting certain conditions. O'Mara's letter follows on the heels of a two-year investigation involving the U.S. Department of Justice and competitive local exchange companies, which has yielded a plan that reportedly enjoys broad support. The details of the plan were outlined in a prefiling statement submitted to the PSC.

UNBUNDLING CAPITAL COSTS. The California Public Utilities Commission said it will ask Pacific Gas and Electric Co., San Diego Gas and Electric Co., and Southern California Edison to join workshops to study unbundling of cost of capital between regulated and unregulated assets. It set PG&E's bundled cost of common equity at 11.2 percent for the 1998 calendar year. Application 97-05-016, Decision 97-12-089, Dec. 16, 1997 (Cal.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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