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 - April 2006

Deregulation for Real

High power bills, with the lifting of rate freezes, give pause to politicians.
By Richard Stavros, Executive Editor

The Baltimore Sun recently carried a very poignant letter from one of its local readers— a letter that utility executives might well take to heart. Appearing under the title, “Energy Advice Cruel to Poorer Readers,” the letter took offense at an article that trivialized the effect of the huge increase in local electric bills (35 to 72 percent) expected this July with the lifting of a long-standing retail rate freeze.

People

New Opportunities: Southern Nuclear Operating Co. announced that its board of directors elected Joseph (Buzz) Miller as senior vice president of nuclear development. Miller is currently the vice president of government relations for Southern Co.

Letters to the Editor

To the Editor:

In “Rate-Base Cleansings: Rolling Over Ratepayers” (November 2005, p.58), Michael Majoros urges state public utility commissions to recognize a refundable regulatory liability for past charges to ratepayers for non-legal asset retirement costs.

Getting IRP Right

Quantifying uncertainty in the planning process.
By Mark Griffith and Fereidoon P. Sioshansi

During the 1980s and early 1990s, integrated resource planning (IRP) was a required practice for many utilities. Then competitive wholesale markets, merchant generation, and restructuring initiatives led many utilities to abandon IRP.

While wholesale competition generally has been successful, the regulatory process changes it brought were less so. And utilities now are getting back into long-term resource planning studies to provide decision support for their “back to basics” business strategies.

What's Holding Back the Nuclear Renaissance?

A compelling spokesperson, and a plan for Yucca Mountain.
By Craven Crowell

The stars would seem to be aligned for a renaissance of nuclear power in the United States. Fossil-fuel prices are historically high, political uncertainty plagues the Middle East, Russia, and other oil-producing regions, new reactor technology looks promising, and President Bush is promoting nuclear among the alternatives for electric power. Indeed, opinion polls suggest the public has an increasingly positive attitude towards nuclear power.

Wall Street's Egalitarian View

Investors are making little distinction between regulated or unregulated business strategies. One banker suggests it will be difficult to stand out.
By Richard Stavros

It seems history does repeat itself all too often. In the late1990s, a common complaint by utility CEOs was that utility price-to-earnings (P/E) multiples did not take into account whether a com- pany was a pure-play regulated utility, a diversified utility with a merchant subsidiary, or something else. Many say investors at the time just didn’t understand the different business models that were emerging after electric restructuring.

FERC's Tough New Rules: Survival Skills for A New Era

The nation’s first energy “top cop” and his colleague discuss important compliance implications of EPACT 2005.
By William F. Hederman Jr. and George D. Billinson

In its March 2005 report to the House Energy and Commerce Committee, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) repeated its request for enhanced civil penalty authority. When Congress passed the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPACT), it granted FERC all the authority that it had requested, and more. The new director of FERC’s Office of Market Oversight and Investigations (OMOI) called the new penalty authority “awesome.”1

Smackdown! Round Three - The Bankruptcy Court vs. FERC

The jurisdictional battle over authorizing rejection of wholesale power contracts continues.

Howard L. Siegel

The high stakes turf battle over whether FERC or the federal bankruptcy courts have jurisdiction over rejecting wholesale power contracts is now in its third round. Round one was fought in 2003 in the NRG bankruptcy case and ended in a settlement among the parties. Round two followed with the Mirant Chapter 11 case. Now punches and counterpunches are flying in round three: the Calpine bankruptcy.

East Vs. West: Growing the Grid

The models and motives behind tomorrow’s transmission expansion.

Bruce W. Radford

Major transmission projects based on two distinct models are showing signs of life. What can these projects teach us about future transmission investment?

The Key to California's Coal Future

Don’t overlook high-quality, project-based emissions reductions.

By Mike Burnett and Bjorn Fischer

Mike Burnett is executive director of the Climate Trust. Bjorn Fischer is business development manager at the Climate Trust. Contact Fischer at bfischer@climatetrust.org. The Climate Trust is a non-profit committed to providing high quality, project-based reductions and advancing the policies that support them. Its offices are located in Portland, Ore.

Pages