Using the past, present, and future to optimize our understanding of today’s energy markets.
By Andy Dunn
Price forecasting is a significant business process within any energy merchant that trades electricity and natural gas. Business planning, trading, mergers and acquisitions (M&A), even rate-case activities rely upon some type of a price forecast as the foundation to analysis.
The problem with a single forecast is that it never is correct. As soon as the forecast is complete, the world changes and the information becomes dated and often even irrelevant.
Part way through the Feb. 27 conference on electric competition, it was so quiet you could hear a hockey puck slide across the ice. No, hell had not frozen over. Rather, it was Commissioner Marc Spitzer, who had found a clever story to ease the tension and allay fears that FERC somehow might want to undo the sins of the past, and give up its dream of workable markets for wholesale power.
Among a host of arguments for and against RD is the question of upside for consumers.
Retaining adequate earnings is the driving motive for revenue decoupling (RD) among gas utilities, while conservationists view RD as necessary for the removal of resistance to energy efficiency. But the benefits of RD to consumers are less certain.
An interpretation of FERC’s first application of EPACT.
William F. Hederman Jr.
At its open meeting on Jan. 18, 2007, FERC unanimously approved settlements with five electric utilities for a total of $22.5 million and other considerations. This action answers some important questions that energy market participants have been asking. In particular, it helps market participants connect some important dots regarding the regulatory landscape in which they must operate, but it also raises important questions that market participants would like answered.
How important is the risk function at your company?
Clay A. Jackson
Wither the chief risk officer (CRO)? Some utilities have moved risk staff under the CFO or controller, while other utilities have pushed CROs down the management hierarchy. But risk remains, and a rudimentary risk function will not do.
If private equity makes a killing, Congress should require full disclosure.
Richard Stavros, Executive Editor
There’s just no stopping it. The capital amassed by private takeover firms is simply overwhelming. Any reasonable person could conclude that public utilities face wholesale changes in terms of corporate ownership. Investor-owed? You bet. But the “public” part may well give way to “private.”
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