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Fortnightly Magazine - November 2009

Annual ROE Survey: Austerity Savings

Volatile economic conditions push regulators in new directions.

Phillip S. Cross

(November 2009) Regulators are in the unenviable position of determining an allowance for ROE that’s fair to consumers and investors in a volatile economy. The cases that stand out this year are those in which regulators explored the limits of their discretion.

Policy Shift: 2009 Law & Lawyers Report

Legal and regulatory changes are transforming the industry.

Michael T. Burr

This year has marked a sea change in energy policy, from environmental compliance to transmission pricing. Fortnightly interviews top lawyers to better understand how regulatory developments are affecting the power and gas industries.

2009 Regulator's Forum: Walking A Tightrope

The economy forces tough decisions.

Lori A. Burkhart

The economy has put state commissioners and regulated utilities in precarious positions. Seven state chairmen explain how they’re applying fair rate treatment.

Active Demand Management

A system approach to managing demand.

Mani Vadari

To fulfill the promise of the smart grid, utilities need to give consumers a greater range of options as well as the education to make sustainable, energy-saving decisions. That includes integrating demand management into the utility back-office.

Integrating New England Renewables

How to manage the green revolution.

Gordon van Welie

Dramatic changes are coming to the electric industry, sparked by a surge of renewable energy and related transmission. Growth in demand-side resources, conservation and smart technologies will add integration dilemmas to an already complex power system.

Regulatory Reform in Ontario

Successes, shortcomings and unfinished business.

Lawrence Kaufmann

A rebuttal to conclusions made in three Fortnightly articles that service quality declined in Ontario because of a performance-based regulation plan implementation.

O Pioneers!

A land rush in the burgeoning home energy management market.

Steven Andersen

The Prius Effect—a term that’s gained currency in sustainability circles—is shorthand for the strong link between information and behavior demonstrated by the popular Toyota hybrid. The car was among the first to provide a real-time fuel consumption gage on the dash; step hard on the gas, watch the MPG gage go down. Coast gently along and see the savings. Drivers with the gage become aware of—even obsessive about—the way their driving habits affect consumption, and by extension, cost.

Bench Report: Top 10 Groundbreaking Legal Decisions in 2009

Bruce W. Radford and Michael T. Burr

1. High Court Reconsiders ‘Just and Reasonable’ Standard; 2. EPA Endangerment Finding: Implementing; 3. Paying the Postage for Grid Expansion; 4. Weighing the Certainty of Climate Change; 5. Lawful Emissions Deemed Public Nuisance; 6. Not Quite a Leak-proof Backstop; 7. FERC Bends Rules to Boost Renewables; 8. An ‘Anchor’ for Merchant Transmission; 9. Texas Throws a Curve at Small Wind Developers; 10. Resource Adequacy.

Going Off the Record

Lawyers say what they really think about changing policies.

Michael T. Burr, Editor-in-Chief

Lawyers get a bad rap in this country, and in some cases it’s well earned. However, during the month of October I enjoyed the distinct privilege of interviewing nearly a dozen of the industry’s most insightful, informed and hard-working people—all of them law-firm lawyers serving energy companies, regulatory agencies and customer groups.

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