Calendar of Events

Sep 08, 2014 to Sep 10, 2014 | Chicago, IL
Sep 29, 2014 to Oct 03, 2014 | Michigan State University, Lansing MI
Oct 01, 2014 to Oct 03, 2014 | Washington, DC

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Public Utilities Reports

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AEP

Technology Corridor

The instant messaging wildfire spreads to the utilities industry.
Jennifer Alvey

The instant messaging wildfire spreads to the utilities industry.

Utilities are starting to take a good, hard look at incorporating instant messaging (IM) into their business. (Never heard of IM? Check out our primer in the sidebar.)

Commission Watch

FERC faces a growing chorus of rebellion on earnings incentives.
Phillip S. Cross and Bruce W. Radford

FERC faces a growing chorus of rebellion on earnings incentives.

"If I may say, today, we the states are the chosen ones." That was Virginia utility commissioner Hullihen ("Hulli") W. Moore, speaking on the phone in January with Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Chairman Pat Wood and other federal and state regulators, trying to untangle the business of transmission reform.

Commission Watch

While electric restructuring pauses, telecom pushes forward.
Phillip S. Cross

State PUCs Show Split Personality

 

 

While electric restructuring pauses, telecom pushes forward.

No matter which way they turn, state public utility commissions (PUCs) have their work cut out for them.

While federal policy-makers push ahead with wholesale market reforms in the electricity sector, many at the state level now call for a cautious approach to protect consumers.

Competition Lost

U.S. companies' international strategies turn sour, as Europe faces a future with an oligopoly of power companies.
Jeff Stanfield

U.S. companies' international strategies turn sour, as Europe faces a future with an oligopoly of power companies.

While the European Union is pushing to give all industrial and commercial customers electric choice by 2004, giant incumbent European utilities are increasingly dominating power markets across Europe and the United Kingdom.

People

We welcome submissions to People, especially those accompanied by a Color Photograph. Send to:

Off Peak

The utility teaches school kids about solar power.

AEP Spreads the Sunshine

The utility teaches school kids about solar power.

A merican Electric Power (AEP) has launched an innovative program that uses solar power to teach school children about renewable energy while-hopefully-getting them interested in math and science. The "Learning from Light!" program was started in 1999 by AEP, and now boasts membership of its 100th school.

It's a hands-on project for the kids.

Corporate Accountability: Utilities Take Stock

The real, painful reform has only just begun.
Jennifer Alvey and Lori A. Burkhart

The real, painful reform has only just begun.

It has been almost a year since Enron imploded into bankruptcy, but rather than solve problems, the event has only brought uncertainty-credit rating downgrades, a drop in investor confidence, and heightened scrutiny from the Congress, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).

Reign of the Bond Kings

S&P, Moody's, and Fitch tell why credit issues now rule the energy sector.
Richard Stavros

S&P, Moody's, and Fitch tell why credit issues now rule the energy sector.

This year saw energy companies forced to make some grim choices-issuing new stock in falling markets, angering investors with dividend cutbacks, selling prized assets at fire sale prices. Some blame it on the rating agencies-the bond kings-who imposed tougher credit standards after the fall of Enron.

People

We welcome submissions to People, especially those accompanied by a Color Photograph. Send to:

William J. Froehlich has been appointed director of the re-established Office of Administrative Litigation at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). Froehlich has been an attorney with FERC since 1975. As the head of the office, Froehlich will report directly to FERC Chairman Pat Wood III and the commissioners.

Energy Risk Management: Rise of the Chief Risk Officer

The new CROs are bringing back much-needed discipline to restore investor confidence.
Michael T. Burr

The new CROs are bringing back much-needed discipline to restore investor confidence.

Scott Smith's title is senior vice president and chief risk officer. But when he's out of earshot, some people at AEP call him the chief SOB.

"I'm not a popular guy," Smith says half-jokingly. "I continually get comments about what a pain I am. My people are aggressive and they don't take any crap."

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