Utilities can transform the business while managing risk.
Victor Reyes, Cathy Newman, and Defne Dellaloglu
In a survey of 305 North American utilities, 51 percent of the respondents said they either had outsourced or were planning to outsource a customer-care function in the next two years. But despite its advantages, outsourcing remains fraught with risk—the very reason that traditionally conservative utility companies have in the past shied away from letting third parties take over parts of their business.
Where should outsourcing end—and the real utility begin?
When utilities evaluate business process outsourcing, they need to determine which processes are most advantageous to outsource—core or non-core? Rather than debating the merits of core or non-core, perhaps the more critical questions utilities should ask are: How are our key processes performing? Are they cost-efficient and effective? Do they enhance or inhibit our corporate performance?
There is much to celebrate in the Energy Policy Act of 2005, but what will federal regulators do?
When we least expected it, the politicians finally were able to pull a multi-billion white rabbit out of their hat—enacting a comprehensive national energy law (Energy Policy Act of 2005) that will usher in extraordinary changes in the industry However, just how the new law really will affect the industry is the question of the hour, with many provisions of the law left to the interpretation of regulators.
(September 2005) The Consolidated Edison Inc. board of directors elected Kevin Burke as a member. Great River Energy named Greg Ridderbusch vice president, business development and strategy. Millennium Pipeline named Dick Leehr as president. And others...
Consider the opening of the PJM market, and its effect on prices.
Gary Hunt, Doug Buresh, and Mark Turner
Wholesale competition is working, and the best evidence to date is the savings produced from the opening of the PJM market to competitive power generation from the Midwest. A real-time case study unfolded before our eyes in May and October 2004.
Since 2002, the annual energy auctions created and administered by the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities have proven to be an innovative and successful way to meet our state's growing demand for electricity. We were the first state in the nation to procure most of its electric needs through an Internet-based auction. We will keep moving forward at a measured, prudent pace on hourly pricing.
The bias in RTO markets, and how FERC might fix it.
Bruce W. Radford
RTO practice creates less risk and uncertainty over the nominal short-term wholesale price of power, but more risk and uncertainty over the long-term cost of transmission. That spells trouble for the coal-fired plant, sited far off at the mine mouth, needing long-haul transmission over a long-enough term to pay back the capital costs.
How Exelon uses its human resources department as a strategic weapon.
What sort of leadership does today's utility need for the future? How does the culture need to change? Who should be hired from within the industry? Who should be hired from outside the industry? Exelon has sought to answer all of these questions, using human resources as a strategic advantage.
New federal policies portend a wave of demand-response programs, and perhaps a new era in resource planning.
Michael T. Burr
When President Bush signed the energy bill on August 8, he set in motion a chain of events that might lead to major changes in the way utilities price and meter retail electric services—and ultimately in the way they value and use non-traditional energy resources.
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