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California Public Utilities Commission

Frontlines

Bruce W. Radford

Mark your calendars for April 29, 1996. That's the date of the "filing of the century," according to Donald Garber, group manager for strategic plans and projects at San Diego Gas & Electric Co.

Garber is talking about plans to file a draft operating agreement at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for the proposed California Power Exchange. The April filing will mark an important step in executing the December 20 order by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC).

Playing the Pool: Can Everybody Win?

Robert D. Grow

As electric restructuring spreads around the nation and the world, the idea of a "PoolCo" spot market (pool) gains credence. Pools already exist in England, Australia, Norway, Alberta, and Argentina. On December 20,1 the California Public Utilities Commission formally proposed a pool, called the California Power Exchange, to begin operation as of January 1, 1998.

LEC Gets Price-cap Plan and Service Penalty

Phillip S. Cross

While reducing rates by $5.7 million for Citizens Utility Co.

Calif. Maintains LEV Programs

Phillip S. Cross

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has approved requests by the state's major energy utilities to maintain (and in some cases expand) funding for certain programs designed to aid in the development of low emission vehicles (LEV) and infrastructure. However, the CPUC approved less than the total requested by the state's energy utilities and stressed that ratepayer funding should not be used to support utility involvement in the competitive transportation market.

California Set ROE for 1996

Phillip S. Cross

Energy utilities in California will be permitted to set charges at a level high enough to earn an 11.6-percent return on equity (ROE) for 1996. Pacific Gas and Electric Co. was also awarded a separate 50-basis-point risk premium (12.01 percent) for the 70/30 debt/equity ratio associated with its natural gas pipeline expansion project.

The award reduces the ROE for all of the state's utilities except Sierra Pacific Power Co., which operated under an ROE allowance of 11.3 percent last year. Both Southwest Gas Corp.

Rate Unbundling: Are We There Yet?

BY SUSAN STRATTON MORSE, MEG MEAL, AND MELISSA LAVINSON


RATE UNBUNDLING: ARE WE THERE YET?

FEBRUARY 15, 1996

BY SUSAN STRATTON MORSE, MEG MEAL, AND MELISSA LAVINSON

Utilities to Monitor Cellular Radiation

Phillip S. Cross

Scientific studies have not indicated any

"obvious relationship" between prolonged lower-level radio frequency (RF) radiation exposure and increased disease in humans, according to the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC). The CPUC's investigation into electromagnetic fields (EMF) and RF radiation at cellular radio telephone facilities found cellular power densities consistently below current industry exposure standards.

CPUC to Review SCE Plans to Divest DSM Assets

Phillip S. Cross

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has asserted jurisdiction over a controversial proposal by Southern California Edison Co. (SCE) to transfer personnel and assets from an existing ratepayer-funded energy-efficiency program to an unregulated affiliate.

Frontlines

Bruce W. Radford

As I began to write this column, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) was slated in less than 30 minutes (this time, for real) to unveil its final proposed plan to restructure the electric utility industry. After the deed was done, on Wednesday, December 20, I logged on to ftp.cpuc.ca.gov and downloaded the text of the two opinions, issued by California commissioners Daniel Fessler and Jessie Knight.

Regulatory Reforms in Telecom Mature

Phillip S. Cross

Having committed to employing competition in the telecommunications local exchange carrier (LEC) market to elicit the broadest range of service offerings while ensuring fair rates, state commissions are now establishing regulations to put the new policies into effect. Current investigations focus on the proper costing and rate-setting methods for interconnection and transport services among newly competing carriers.

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