Although problems in the power business grabbed the headlines early this decade, the industry now seems fundamentally strong. In contrast to their ratings of banks, rating agencies appear to have...
mitigation measures, can overcome presumption. Case 96- E-0900 et al., July 17, 1998 (N.Y.P.S.C.).
• Net Metering. Allows competitive energy retailers to offer net metering to customers using photovoltaic systems for self-generation. Case 97-E-1951 et al., July 28, 1998 (N.Y.P.S.C.).
• Transaction Fees. PSC strikes down charges assessed by New York State Electric and Gas Corp. to energy retailers for services such as meter reading, billing changes, load balancing and settlements (over $170 per month), as discouraging entry by competitors. Case 96-E-0891, July 7, 1998 (N.Y.P.S.C.).
• Public Benefits. Approves six-year plan for New York State Research and Development Authority to administer $243.3 million in systems benefits charges for public purposes (other than stranded-cost recovery or transmission and distribution). Plan includes $143 million for energy efficiency, $22.10 million for R&D, and $9.40 million for low-income assistance. Reserves $59.8 million for use by utilities to fund their own programs. Case 94-E- 0952, July 2, 1998 (N.Y.P.S.C.).
GAS PROCUREMENT COSTS. The California Public Utilities Commission has authorized San Diego Gas and Electric Co. to start a new performance-based ratemaking plan for natural gas procurement. Any gas cost savings (measured against a market benchmark) will be shared equally between ratepayers and shareholders with ratepayers paying only 75 percent of the costs exceeding the benchmark. Decision 98-08-038, A. 97-09-049, Aug. 6, 1998 (Cal.P.U.C.).
LEGAL COSTS. The New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission has barred New Hampshire Electric Co-op. from upping its power cost adjustment rate to include legal costs incurred in a dispute over its obligation to purchase power from the Maine Yankee nuclear plant. Order No. 22,991, DR 98-093, Aug. 3, 1998 (N.H.P.U.C.).
ELECTRIC COST REPORTING. Finding no reason to collect detailed information for its own sake, the Idaho Public Utilities Commission has closed its electric unbundling investigation and will no longer require investor-owned utilities and co-ops to submit separate cost analyses for generation, transmission, distribution, metering, meter reading, billing and other customer services, plus reports for public purpose programs such as demand-side management, fish mitigation, alternative energy, and low-income assistance. Instead, it will require a single annual report and then decide whether to ask for more detail. Order No. 27678, Case No. UPL-E-98-1 (Utah P&L Co.), Order No. 27679, Case No. WWP-E-98-1 (Wash. Water Pwr.), Order No. 27676, Case No. IPC-E-98-2 (Idaho Pwr.) , Aug. 24, 1998 (Idaho P.U.C.).
Transmission and ISOs
SYSTEM ENHANCEMENTS. On September 1 the Wisconsin Public Service Commission issued a report to the state legislature on the state's electric transmission system, identifying preferred options for system enhancements to mitigate constraints and to provide a simultaneous power transfer capability into Wisconsin of 3,000 megawatts - an approximate doubling of the state's current transfer capability - saying the increase was needed to achieve the reliability standard historically used in Wisconsin, a loss-of-load probability of no more than one day in 10 years.
The report was required by a 1997 law (Act 204) instructing the PSC to identify "any constraint on an intrastate or interstate electric transmission system that adversely affects the reliability of transmission service" provided to Wisconsin electric customers. The PSC warned, however, that any