Utility executives face volatile energy markets, skyrocketing fuel prices, and changing federal energy policies. How are utilities benefiting from the turnaround in energy trading?
would total 6.5 percent, starting with 3.5 percent on Jan. 1, 2000, and an additional 1.5 percent on both July 1, 2000 and one month after sale closing. Both residential and commercial rates would be capped for four years.
PEPCO is hopeful that all residential customers would be allowed to participate in a pilot program for customer choice of electric suppliers no later than Jan. 1, 2000, provided the city council enacts the proposed tax and legislation by March 31, 2000.
EDI Standards. Maine's standards for electronic business transactions call for value-added networks (VANs) to be used in implementing electronic data interchange, but also call for the state to "move to using the Internet when open solutions and national standards are ready." The standards address the relationships between electric customers, competitive electric suppliers and the transmission and distribution utilities, define a set of electronic business transactions corresponding to those business relationships and define the electronic business transactions for standard offer service. Docket No. 99- 468, Nov. 2, 1998 (Me.P.U.C.).
Electric Standard Offers. Saying it cannot compete with a standard offer rate of 3.5 cents per kilowatt-hour, the retailer Sunshine Energy (a subsidiary of FP&L Energy Services) notified the Rhode Island PUC in early November that it will stop selling electricity to retail residential customers by the end of the year. It had sold power to 550 former Narragansett Electric customers.
Billing Requirements. The Maryland PSC will not force competitive generation retailers to post a "price to compare," or standard offer rate, on monthly bills to be sent to customers in the soon-to-be restructured electric market, saying it could cause confusion.
It explained that the supplier's price shown on a bill would not be an average price, but rather the actual price for the period of time covered by the billing statement. The PSC also will not mandate a uniform format for electric bills. Order No. 75722, Oct. 29, 1999 (Md.P.S.C.).
Gas Competition. The Kansas commission found it premature to implement natural gas competition at the residential retail level, but invited Midwest Energy to file its proposed pilot program to help it make a determination on the matter. Docket No. EC99-81-000, Oct. 29, 1999 (Kan.Corp.Comm'n.).
Earnings Sharing. In what it described as a fundamental change in the way it regulates electric utilities, the Florida PSC approved a three-year rate plan for Gulf Power Co. with an earnings-sharing mechanism that will force the company to refund to customers all earnings that exceed the utility's authorized rate of return on equity. Docket No. 990250-EI, Order No. PSC-99-2131-S-EI, Oct. 28, 1999 (Fla.P.S.C.).
Regulatory Assets. The Virginia commission will defer a ruling on whether to allow Virginia Electric & Power Co. to use excess 1997 earnings to write off a portion of stranded regulatory assets, to better consider what effect the impending transition to customer choice might have on the utility's future earnings. Case No. PUE980808, Oct. 20, 1999 (Va.S.C.C.).
Fuel Cost Adjustments. In light of the state's electric restructuring law passed last year, the Arkansas PSC closed a pending generic investigation of electric utility issues including