Calendar of Events

Apr 28, 2014 | New York, NY
May 05, 2014 to May 08, 2014 | Las Vegas, Nevada

Keywords

Public Utilities Reports

PUR Guide 2012 Fully Updated Version

Available NOW!
PUR Guide

This comprehensive self-study certification course is designed to teach the novice or pro everything they need to understand and succeed in every phase of the public utilities business.

Order Now

California Public Utilities Commission

Industry Reorg. Prompts Same at Corporate Level

Phillip S. Cross

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has approved a corporate reorganization plan making San Diego Gas and Electric Co. (SDG&E) a wholly-owned subsidiary of a holding company structure formed by the utility. The utility said the reorganization would provide the separation of lines of business necessary to insulate regulated utility cash flows from the volatility and risk of competitive markets.

California Retains Affirmative Action Targets

Phillip S. Cross

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has decided not to increase voluntary goals for utility purchases from businesses owned by minorities and by women. The CPUC has also amended its rules on affirmative-action purchasing plans to state that "no penalty shall be imposed for failure of any utility to meet and/or exceed goals."

In 1988, the CPUC had set a goal that utilities must seek to purchase 20 percent of their goods and services from firms listed in the state-mandated program: 15 percent from minority firms and 5 percent from firms owned by women.

State Reviews Marginal Cost Pricing for Gas LDC

Phillip S. Cross

While examining cost allocation and rate design for natural gas distribution services provided by Pacific Gas and Electric Co., a local distribution company (LDC), the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has concluded that the long-run marginal cost method it adopted in 1992 was not proving effective in producing prices observed in fully competitive markets.

California Orders Tracking for Pipeline Reservation Charges

Phillip S. Cross

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has directed Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) to set up a special account to track savings from reduced reservation charges for interstate gas pipeline capacity. The cost savings will track efforts by SoCalGas to reduce capacity reservations on the El Paso and Transwestern pipeline systems.

The CPUC also set up a process to review allocation of savings between core and noncore customers.

Costs Denied for Pipeline Oversubscription

Phillip S. Cross

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has concluded that Pacific Gas and Electric Co. (PG&E) acted imprudently in deciding to enter a 15-year contract for interstate capacity on Transwestern Pipeline Co. expansion projects that came on line in 1992. It disallowed recovery of the costs associated with the Transwestern commitments in 1992 and in each subsequent year of the 15-year contract. The disallowed amount for 1992 is $13.6 million for the utility's gas department and $4.5 million for its electric department.

FERC Investigates ISOs

Lori A. Burkhart

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) on January 24 held a technical conference on independent system operators (ISOs) and power pools, as part of its electric transmission open-access Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NOPR). The FERC's question: Is it necessary in a competitive market for utilities to transfer control over transmission facilities to ISOs, and if so, what form should ISOs take? (18 CFR Part 35, Docket Nos. RM95-8-000 and RM94-7-001).

S&P Wary of CPUC Restructuring

Lori A. Burkhart

Standard & Poor's (S&P) plans to maintain negative outlooks on the three largest California electric utilities (em Southern California Edison (SCE), San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E), and Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E). Although it considers the California Public Utilities Commission's (CPUC's) December 20 electric restructuring order "reasonably favorable," S&P will not reexamine the ratings until it is sure the plan will be finalized as proposed. S&P's concern is that some members of the California State Senate believe small customer interests would not be adequately protected.

Calif. Finds EPAct Standards Obsolete

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has declined to adopt standards in the Energy Policy Act of 1992 (EPAct) that concern integrated resource planning and energy efficiency for electric and gas utilities, exempt wholesale generators and affiliated transactions, and investment in foreign utilities.

California Utilities to "Unbundle" Line Extension Costs

Phillip S. Cross

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has directed the state's electric and gas utilities to implement a two-year pilot allowing applicants such as residential real estate developers to design distribution facilities for their projects. (Currently, utilities are responsible for designing distribution plant.) In limiting the experiment to residential projects, the CPUC rejected allegations that the limitation would unfairly deny all ratepayers the immediate benefit of savings associated with the "unbundling of engineering costs" for distribution plant.

New Gas Storage Service Lets Customers Hedge

Lori A. Burkhart

Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) has unveiled a "transaction-based" storage program that allows customers to arrange one storage transaction at a time and to negotiate storage fees.The program was approved by the California Public Utilities Commission in November. Previously, most storage customers had to choose between basic, long-term, or auction services, which required differing storage commitments that ranged from a few months to 15 years.

Pages