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Fortnightly Magazine - May 2006

The Too-Perfect Hedge

Congress gives FERC an impossible task: Craft long-term transmission rights to save native load from paying grid congestion costs.

Bruce W. Radford

If “perfect” be the enemy of the “good,” then look no further for proof than in Federal Power Act section 217(b)(4), enacted by Congress in EPACT 2005.

The Gas Executives Forum: Gas Pains

Commodity price upheavals are energizing gas utilities to evolve their business models.

Michael T. Burr

Top officials at several U.S. retail gas companies reveal how they are rethinking their business models and developing new approaches to serve customers in the face of supply concerns and price volatilities.

Barriers to Transmission Superhighways

History teaches us that the most successful American businesses emerge from the crucible of competition.

Ed Krapels

Important challenges still confront the development of a coherent strategy to create an efficient modern transmission system. Assuming FERC and Congress are earnest about creating a 21st century grid, new ideas, projects, and technologies need to emerge.

After PUHCA Repeal: The State Response

Will the industry be able to meet capital investment and growth expectations?

Robert W. Gee

The Energy Policy Act of 2005 gave states a new federally enforceable right to access holding company books and records, but concern remains that some of these initiatives may run counter to the goal of capital attraction.

Field-Force Management: What's New for the Mobile Workforce?

How the maturation of location tracking can increase efficiency.

Greg Kneuer

To realize the enterprise benefits of field-force management, utility executives and managers should pay keen attention to advancements in real-time location tracking; fully extending mobile workforce management in the enterprise, back-end connectivity with enterprise-wide systems; and security of mobile applications.

CRM and Outsourcing: Inventing the Modern Utility

Developments in IT, outsourcing, customer information and customer relationship systems are challenging long-held notions on essential operations.

Richard Stavros

New developments in IT, outsourcing, customer information systems, and customer relationship management are challenging long held notions about utilities’ essential operations.

CRM and Outsourcing: Outsourcing Growth?

A behind-the-scenes look at what industry influencers are saying.

Richard Charles

Understanding the downstream effects of reading and billing from a customer’s meter in a near real-time scenario will increase significantly the data throughput into current customer information systems. Can current systems handle the volume increase? Will call centers have the capacity to handle increased call volumes once customers have access to smart meters and all that they imply? In this case, would outsourcing certain information technology processes be the answer to reducing a utility’s risk and costs?

Warming to the Crisis

Kyoto countries miss their targets, but scientists say climate change was already unstoppable.

Richard Stavros, Executive Editor

Hollywood and the media are way ahead of the politicians when it comes to the greenhouse effect and global warming. But even as utilities try to be good corporate citizens and help devise a federal or national plan, the question remains as to whether the domestic economy can achieve even a modest reduction in CO2 releases—enough to put even a small dent in current predictions of global climate change.

People

(May 2006) Kinder Morgan Inc. named Steve Kean executive vice president and COO, and Larry Pierce was named vice president, corporate communications. MidAmerican Energy Holdings Co. completed the purchase of PacifiCorp from ScottishPower and announced new staffing. Progress Energy named Jeffrey J. Lyash president and CEO of Progress Energy Florida. Westar Energy Inc. announced several changes in leadership. And others...

Getting the Gas

The search for supply goes global, for better or worse.

George Given, Gary L. Hunt, and Mike Donnelly

The expected increase in gas consumption for electric generation and high commodity prices has fueled a renewed interest in developing more LNG and other non-conventional resources (coal-bed methane, tight sands and shales, Arctic gas)

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