Most electric utilities have invested heavily in building private telecommunications networks. In fact, U.S. utility telecommunication networks combine to form the largest private network, second...
Gas Appliance Repair. Acting on a complaint filed by a state trade association of heating, ventilation and air conditioning service contractors, the New York PSC ruled it was improper for Brooklyn Union of Long Island to have sent a letter to customers telling them that its unregulated affiliate could provide appliance repair and other non-safety appliance services, following deregulation and termination of such services by the regulated local distribution company.The PSC also ruled that Brooklyn Union could maintain rotating lists so as to recommend specific preferred contractors to customers for equipment and gas conversion work, but must provide at least two such recommendations to customers, rather than a single contractor. Case 98-G-1856, Sept. 22, 1999 (N.Y.P.S.C.).
Ancillary Services. To avoid billing retail power customers twice for certain ancillary services, New York regulators approved a proposal by New York State Electric & Gas Corp. to reimburse unregulated power suppliers for charges they have paid to the New York Independent System Operator for ancillary services. NYSEG chose that method rather than adjust its already-approved retail shopping credit. The shopping credit will continue on the assumption that retail customers will pay for ancillary services through the regulated distribution tariff. Case 96-E-0891, Sept. 17, 1999 (N.Y.P.S.C.).
Billing Rules. The Michigan PSC's newly approved consumer standards and billing practices for electric and gas service allow a utility to use an applicant's commercial credit rating for determining if it will require a deposit from the applicant, but only when prior utility service history information is not available. Under the rules, which have not been changed since 1992, a utility also may collect a deposit of twice the average peak season monthly bill for the premises, or twice the utility's system average peak season monthly bill for residential service if a consumption history is unavailable. Case No. U-11397, Sept. 3, 1999 (Mich.P.S.C.).
Electric Delivery Services. As part of its restructuring of the state's electricity industry, Illinois approved rates and terms for electricity distribution services for four in-state utilities, including treatment of energy imbalances, aggregation of delivery loads, metering and billing requirements, load profiling and service scheduling. The commission also decided issues involving the proper application of restructuring transition charges in conjunction with the delivery service rates.
* Central Illinois Light Co. Order rejects company's claims that state's restructuring law mandated a higher equity rate than other utilities in the state "in recognition of its efficiency." No 99-0119, Aug. 25, 1999 (Ill.C.C.).
* Illinois Power Co. Equity return rate set at 10.8 percent. No. 99-0120, Aug. 25, 1999 (Ill.C.C.).
* MidAmerican Energy Co. Order rejects use of financial performance data for natural gas distribution companies to determine expected levels of return, finding that the companies studied were riskier than the utility's electric delivery service business. No. 99- 0122, Aug. 25, 1999 (Ill.C.C.).
* South Beloit Water, Gas & Electric Co. Equity return rates set at 10.45 percent. No. 99- 0124, Aug. 25, 1999 (Ill.C.C.).
Stranded Costs. Meeting Bangor Hydro-Electric Co. halfway, the Maine PUC ruled that BHE can defer 50 percent of the direct costs incurred from electric