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How to Tango With a Regulator

Utilities and financiers want ratepayers to fund the next wave of power plants. Will higher electric rates spoil the party?

Fortnightly Magazine - December 2005

might not look like much to the seasoned executive, but Richard Rudden, managing director, R.J. Rudden Associates, a Black & Veatch company, provided a whopping number for transmission and capital development over 10 years: as much as $300 billion industry-wide. He said that could mean a 40 percent cumulative increase in retail electric rates, and he warned that regulators might go back to conducting prudence reviews.

That would be a cold splash of water on the warming relationship between regulators and utilities. But in the end, no matter how it plays out, both will have to face the music.