The Idaho Public Utilities Commission has rejected a request by Intermountain Gas Co. to cut demand-side management and conservation requirements from its integrated resource planning guidelines, despite company claims that reforms were needed to align the planning process with current business practices.
Meanwhile, the Florida Public Service Commission has authorized Florida Power and Light Co. to terminate an existing research and development program for a new gas-driven technology.
Idaho. The Idaho PUC said ratepayers still found it important to consider conservation and DSM measures in the IRP process, since the utility had recently filed to increase rates to match rising gas prices. The company countered, however, that many of the commisssion's existing planning requirements in a fully regulated environment "have now been usurped by the pressures of a more open, competitive marketplace." Ironically, the commission also approved a plan to streamline other regulatory requirements and eliminate "costly overheads." Re Intermountain Gas Co., Case No. INT-G-97-2, Order No. 27024, June 30, 1997 (Idaho P.U.C.).
Florida. The Direct Expansion Air Conditioning technology research project was part of Florida Power and Light's approved demand-side management plan. The project was designed to help the utility and the commission set specific goals for natural gas substitution for electricity as a DSM option.
According to the utility, it had found only limited opportunities for "cost-effective" development of the technology since beginning the project in 1995. In approving the request to terminate the program, the commission found that the gas air-conditioning technology might be cost-effective if a customer could utilize a waste-heat recovery option. Limited research can continue under the utility's general Gas Business Customer Incentive program. Re Florida Power & Light Co., Docket No. 970174-EG, Order No. PSC-97-0607-FOF-EG, May 28, 1997 (Fla.P.S.C.).
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