Privacy Concerns: Can Gaming Be Prevented?
The Federal Trade Commission likely will regulate those business-to-business Web portals, but how much?
Electric utility executives may be a step behind the Internet revolution, but in one key respect they may have an advantage over anyone else building an e-commerce Web portal for business-to-business (B2B) procurement.
Utility executives don't fear government regulation. They're already caught in the net.
The Fine Print: Who Won, Who Lost
EEI's contract is ready to go for physical trades of electricity, but the architects say it's likely too late to make a difference this summer.
Ajay Gupta is an attorney and economist and currently a senior associate in the San Francisco office of Analysis Group/Economics, a consulting firm. Previously, he practiced corporate law in the London office of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP, where he specialized in securities offerings, energy, and petrochemical project finance transactions and cross-border mergers and acquisitions. He can be reached at email@example.com.
Telecoms may offer IOUs a model for multiplying market caps by dividing their shareholdings.
April 1, 2000
T+D Investment Risk. The Maine PUC appeared to take a pro-consumer stance in setting principles it will use to set a revenue requirement for transmission and distribution (T&D) services provided by Bangor Hydro-Electric Co. after the company becomes a wires-only utility on March 1. The PUC downplayed the risk of wires operations, adopting a return on equity of 11 percent and disallowing about $3.5 million of some $71 million in claimed T&D costs.
Utilities and marketers hash out the final details on a standardized contract for physical trades of electricity.
A standardized master contract for U.S. power trading could help wring order out of chaos in electric commodities markets by defining a common set of terms for physical transactions for both utilities and marketers, say experts.
But success likely will hinge on how well utilities and marketers can compromise on a narrow list of issues still to be settled, say those same experts.
Gas Retail Rate Design. In a move toward equalizing rates of return between customer classes, the Oregon PUC authorized Northwest Natural Gas Co. to increase base rates by nearly $246,000, at the same time boosting residential rates by 1.3 percent but lowering rates for large commercial and industrial users. It set return on equity at 10.25 percent, finding the rate "consistent with the downward trend of ROEs authorized by other regulatory commissions." Order No. 99-697, Nov. 12, 1999 (Ore.P.U.C.).
S.R. Rajan, Ph.D.
An alternative measure of performance - not based on dividends, earnings growth or P/E ratios.
How to place a value on a utility company? That is the question.
The traditional models no longer work very well. Dividend discount models will not work well if utilities cut dividends and buy back stock to return capital to the shareholders. Earnings growth offers no reliable performance gauge either, as utilities acquire or divest large amounts of capital. Restructuring charges often become necessary to shift resources to their best use.
Electric Standard Offers. Connecticut OK'd a regulated standard offer distribution rate of 10.84 cents per kilowatt-hour for United Illuminating Co. The rate included subcomponent rates:
Gen. Shopping Credit 4.52 cents
T&D Regulated Service 3.89 cents
Systems Benefit Charge 0.17 cents
Compet. Transition Charge 1.91 cents
Conservation Funding 0.3 cents
Renewable Energy Funding 0.05 cents
The T&D charge was calculated without backing out unbundled retail transmission subject to FERC jurisdiction. Docket No. 99-03-35, Oct.
Mergers & Acquisitions
CP&L + Florida Progress. Carolina Power & Light announced Aug. 23 that it would purchase Florida Progress Corp. for $5.3 billion in a combination that would create the nation's ninth-largest utility in terms of generating capacity, with $6.7 billion in annual revenues and 2.5 million customers in three states. CP&L would pay a premium (between 16.5 percent and 21 percent) over the pre-announcement share price of FP stock.
Gas Capacity Rights. The New York PSC told retail suppliers that to serve firm retail gas load they must have rights to firm, non-recallable, primary delivery point pipeline capacity for the five winter months, November through March, or else must augment secondary capacity with a standby charge payable to local distribution companies holding primary rights.