Distributed Generation. California opened a rulemaking proceeding to consider regulatory reforms in electricity distribution service, with a possible focus on distributed generation. The commission emphasized that its intent was not to define new policies, but to gather information. Comments are due March 17, and the commission intends to consider a proposal from the assigned commissioner this summer. Rulemaking 98-12-015, Dec. 17, 1998 (Calif. P.U.C.).
Gas Transportation Rates. In response to a request for clarification from Consolidated Edison of New York Inc., the state commission stated that gas transportation rates for certain generation plants to be divested under electric restructuring plans should continue in effect for the duration of the electric rate plans.
Con Ed's concern was that gas transportation prices could affect the value of a generation facility, adding uncertainty for bidders of plants to be divested. The PSC said its "interim" policy should apply to all electric utilities until a permanent policy is implemented. Case No.98-G- 0122, Dec. 18, 1998 (N.Y.P.S.C.).
Day-Ahead Electric Pricing. Commending the applicants for expanding customer options, Ohio ok'd proposals by Columbus Southern Power Co. and Ohio Power Co. to offer day-ahead pricing for interruptible electric service. The utilities will notify customers when a capacity deficiency is projected for the next business day. Customers then may purchase, at a market-driven price, day-ahead replacement electricity for a specified kilovolt-amperes amount not to exceed the customer's Schedule IRP-CDB interruptible service capacity reservation. If a customer ends up using less, it would receive credit. To determine continued approval, the PUC intends to evaluate reports that the utilities must file regarding the service. Case Nos. 98-1474-EL-AEC, 98-1476-EL-AEC, Dec. 22, 1998 (Ohio P.U.C.).
Real-Time Electric Pricing. Ohio also approved a two-year renewal of Ohio Edison Co.'s real-time pricing program under which selected business customers receive day-ahead pricing so that they may plan their electric use accordingly. The program, first approved by the commission and offered to customers in August 1996, allows customers to access by 1 p.m. the company's price of electricity for the following day. About 53 business customers are expected to participate in the program, which is extended to Dec. 31, 2000. Case No. 98-1610-EL-ATA, Dec. 17, 1998 (Ohio P.U.C.).
Nuclear Power. The New York Public Service Commission was to hold its initial collaborative conference on the future of nuclear power under electric competition on January 20. Case 98-E-0405, Dec. 14, 1998 (N.Y. P.U.C.).
Generation Source Disclosure. The Colorado PUC was to hold a hearing on Jan. 11 on proposed rules that would require utilities to itemize electricity cost components and disclose their generation fuel sources to customers. Under the proposed rules, utilities would list the current percentage components of the total average delivered price of electricity attributable to generation, transmission and distribution. Fuel type categories would include: a) renewable, b) hydroelectric, c) coal, d) natural gas, e) nuclear and f) other. Comments were due 10 days prior to the hearing. Docket No. 98R-536E, Decision No. C98-1176, Nov. 25, 1998 (Col. P.U.C.).
Environmental Disclosure. New York directed retail electricity providers to provide periodic environmental disclosure statements to their