Sound bites from state and federal regulators.
Pole Attachment Rates. Michigan PSC adopts new costing method to set utility pole attachment rates, aimed at developing competition in telecommunications services and discouraging investment in duplicate facilities by new market entrants. It cautions that changes in markets or regulatory environment might prompt a reconsideration. Case Nos. U-10741 et al., Feb. 11, 1997 (Mich.P.S.C.).
Internet Tariff Posting. New York PSC authorizes New York State Electric and Gas Corp. to convert its gas sales and transportation service tariffs to an electronic format allowing public access to the material via the commission's Internet "web" site within 24 hours of each new filing. Action marks first new electronic tariff approved under a new program begun on Dec. 18, 1996. Case No. 96-G-1154, March 5, 1997 (N.Y.P.S.C.).
Real-Time Pricing. Florida PSC allows Gulf Power Co. to increase maximum number of customers eligible for service under its two-year pilot real-time-pricing tariff, from 12 to 24, to determine if hourly pricing can have a more general application across a broader group of customer types. Docket No. 961483, Order No. PSC-97-0217-FOF-EI, Feb 24, 1997 (Fla.P.S.C.).
Slamming. Florida PSC concludes investigation of complaints that telecommunications long-distance users were switched to AT&T Communications of the Southern States Inc., without consent. PSC finds carrier was providing billing services to other carriers using forms containing its own AT&T corporate logo. AT&T said that it would modify its billing procedure to remove its logo from bills rendered on behalf of its resale vendors. Docket No. 961459-TI, PSC-97-0234-FOF-TI, Feb 27, 1997 (Fla.P.S.C.).
Foreign Investments. Minnesota PUC OKs request by Minnegasco, a division of NorAm Energy Corp., for certification to the federal Securities and Exchange Commission of corporate plans to spend up to $500 million in unspecified foreign utility investments. The LDC made the request on behalf of Houston Industries Inc., its partner in a recently approved merger. PUC also grants request for certification of a similar plan by Noram Energy Corp. NorAm is considering investing approximately $100 million in Latin American gas projects. Docket Nos. G-008/S-96-1581, G-008/S- 96-1149 March 14, 1997 (Minn.P.U.C.).
Biomass Resources. Minnesota PUC allows Northern States Power Co. to bypass established competitive bidding requirements for acquisition of biomass generation resources, explaining that utility faces a "fairly narrow" field of developers. Utility now can conduct "simultaneous negotiations" with interested developers. PUC says it still supports competitive bidding model but that a flexible approach will allow parties to find ways to overcome obstacles such as inexperienced developers, financing difficulties and reliability of fuel supplies. Docket No. E-002/M-96-1405, March 12, 1997 (Minn.P.U.C.). t
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