Keywords

Public Utilities Reports

PUR Guide 2012 Fully Updated Version

Available NOW!
PUR Guide

This comprehensive self-study certification course is designed to teach the novice or pro everything they need to understand and succeed in every phase of the public utilities business.

Order Now

Fortnightly Magazine - October 15 2003

Business & Money

By approaching Sarbanes-Oxley compliance as an opportunity rather than a burden, companies can reap strategic rewards and become stronger.
Michael T. Burr

Business & Money

By approaching Sarbanes-Oxley compliance as an opportunity rather than a burden, companies can reap strategic rewards and become stronger.

 

The stakes have risen in the compliance game. A series of incendiary scandals-followed by the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and its implementing regulations-have focused the scorching light of public scrutiny onto public companies in all industries, and the heat is particularly intense for investor-owned utilities.

Technology Corridor

Has the Aug. 14 blackout finally made it more than a pipe dream?
Jennifer Alvey

Technology Corridor

Has the Aug. 14 blackout finally made it more than a pipe dream?

 

Former Secretary of Energy Bill Richardson ticked off a whole lot of people in the industry when he pronounced the United States a superpower with "a Third World electricity grid."

Yet while debate continues about the causes of the Northeast blackout, there's no arguing that the majority of transmission and distribution in this country is controlled via mechanical technology largely developed in the 1950s.

The Finance Forum: Growth in a Back-to-Basics World

Thomas Fanning, executive vice president and CFO, Southern Co.
Richard Stavros

 

Interviews by

What next? That seems to be the question on every utility executive's mind. After two years of stomach-wrenching ratings downgrades, agonizing downward valuations, embarrassing accounting scandals, skyrocketing gas prices, and positively stubborn mild weather, or the "perfect storm," as many have called it, many believe the worst is now over.

But will the the recovery be worth the wait?

21st Century ROEs: What Is Reasonable?

How to benchmark return on equity (ROE) and depreciation expense in utility rate cases.
Johannes P. Pfeifenberger and Mark W. Jenkins

How to benchmark return on equity (ROE) and depreciation expense in utility rate cases.

 

The Dividend Bust?

A close look at the effect of the dividend tax cut reveals a disappointing investor reaction.
Robert G. Rosenberg

A close look at the effect of the dividend tax cut reveals a disappointing investor reaction.

 

While some predicted a very significant increase in price for utilities if dividend taxes were reduced, the actual price change data show a rather different picture.

Energy Technology: Winner Take All

A review of which technologies and companies stand to win and lose as a result of the 2003 blackout.
E. Kyle Datta and Dan Gabaldon

A review of which technologies and companies stand to win and lose as a result of the 2003 blackout.

 

Mishap, human error, and malice regularly crash the electric system. We have lurched from the Western economic power crisis of 1999-2000 to the Eastern reliability power crisis of 2003. Neither more studies nor more blackouts have changed what's been built-an excessive quantity of large generation plants dependent on relatively few major transmission lines. On its current course, the grid's inevitable destination is disaster.

Frontlines

Wall Street wants utilities to return to basics, but the CEOs worry it won't be enough.
Richard Stavros

Frontlines

Wall Street wants utilities to return to basics, but the CEOs worry it won't be enough.

One can certainly understand why so many utility chiefs steered their companies back to basics over the past two years. They read the newspapers. They knew what the financial community was saying. Investors and debt-rating agencies might have overreacted, I suppose. Some on Wall Street seem to think so. Not all utilities should have been downgraded or downsized, they argue. Not all business plans were suspect.

People

New Positions:
We welcome submissions to People, especially those accompanied by a high-resolution color photograph. E-mail to: photos@pur.com

People

Perspective

New realities demand new direction from utilities.
Timothy F. Sutherland and Gary Vicinus

Perspective

New realities demand new direction from utilities.

 

Commission Watch

The industry requires new analytical tools to incorporate the realities of today's higher risk operating and investment environment into the equity allowance process.
Mark Ciolek, Wallace Jones, and Dr. William Wilson

Commission Watch

The industry requires new analytical tools to incorporate the realities of today's higher risk operating and investment environment into the equity allowance process.