Calendar of Events

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

Keywords

Public Utilities Reports

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cash flow

Turning Capital to Wealth: A Ranking of U. S. Utilities

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.

News Digest

State PUCs

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.

Frontlines

Bruce W. Radford

MIT professor Paul Joskow asks the FERC how its rulemaking will help consumers.

By Aug. 23, the electric industry had filed over 150 separate comments - nearly 4,000 pages - telling the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission what it thinks about regional transmission organizations.

All other stories pale in comparison. The commission's proposed rulemaking on RTOs would reinvent the electric transmission business. The case gives economists a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to instruct a government agency how to design and build a market from the ground up.

Power Markets Disconnected? How to Reconcile Retail with Wholesale

David Magnus Boonin and Stephen R. Fernands

Shopping credits, capacity rules and other mistakes from California and PJM.

With retail electric markets opening rapidly, why are so many getting off to a slow start? Why do suppliers abandon some markets and consumers decline to participate in others? The answer may lie in a series of disconnections between wholesale trading patterns and retail opportunities.

The Fortnightly 100 Revisited: Do Utility Stock Prices Reflect Operational Efficiency?

Hossein Haeri, Matei Perussi, and M. Sami Khawaja

The numbers say "yes," adding weight to last year's benchmarking survey.

Does productive efficiency help determine an electric utility's prospects in regulated or competitive markets? Is productive efficiency a better marker of real-world success than simple financial attributes, such as cash flow, dividend ratio or operating income?

In unregulated markets, higher productivity translates directly into relative declines in costs and prices, and by extension, greater ability to compete and prosper.

Generating Plant Sales and Acquisitions: Who's Doing What, and Why

Dean Maschoff, James Pardikes, David Thompson, Michael Rutkowski, and Nainish Gupta

Sales prices for power generation assets in the United States during the past two years have climbed to unprecedented levels. This trend should continue. More than 20,000 megawatts of generation assets have been sold, with another 20,000 MW announced. During the next five years, it is expected that 70,000 to 140,000 MW will change hands. We have seen only the beginning of a massive redistribution of generation assets - from regulated utilities to unregulated marketers and plant operators.

In fact, the prices we've seen for generation assets may turn out to be bargains.

Retail Wizardry: How To Make Money in Today's Power Market

Michael C. Hsu, and Nguyen T. Quan

A hedging strategy to protect gross margins in a fixed-price mass market.

The retail electricity markets in the United States are set to bloom. Retail power marketers presently must navigate various hurdles, raised by incumbent utilities, before they are able to establish a foothold. Some states, however, including Pennsylvania and Massachusetts, have established a fixed schedule for the recovery of stranded costs, resulting in profit opportunities for new entrants.

News Analysis

Lori A. Burkhart

Wholesale customer turns tables, threatens leveraged buyout against its own supplier.

Matanuska Electric Association, the largest customer of Alaska's Chugach Electric Association, has offered to acquire Chugach, the state's largest power company. But in launching the hostile takeover, Matanuska said it would pay not a cent to Chugach. Adding a new twist to the term "cooperative finance," the Matanuska co-op proposed a leveraged buy-out - a takeover strategy popular during the 1980s.

News Analysis

Carl J. Levesque

Rising projections, with few expenditures to date, paint an uncertain picture.

"In almost all cases, companies will have material events and changes requiring updated year 2000 disclosure in each quarterly and annual report filed with us."

That was the general mandate suggested by the Securities and Exchange Commission last summer in its interpretive release on the disclosure requirements for the Y2K issue.

Reforming California: Reflections on the Morning After

Jessie J. Knight Jr.

With few regrets, a regulator steps down from the PUC, still touting his brand of electric competition.

I'm proud to have been an author of the first chapter of a book still being written.

Today's electric industry is more competitive, more reliable, more efficient, and more dynamic than it was six years ago when I joined the California Public Utilities Commission. However, the future of the industry has not been set. The steps taken over the next several years will determine the outcome of electric competition.

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