Calendar of Events

Apr 14, 2014 to Apr 16, 2014 | Atlanta, GA
Apr 28, 2014 | New York, NY

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Public Utilities Reports

PUR Guide 2012 Fully Updated Version

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Letters to the Editor

To the Editor:

In “Rate-Base Cleansings: Rolling Over Ratepayers” (November 2005, p.58), Michael Majoros urges state public utility commissions to recognize a refundable regulatory liability for past charges to ratepayers for non-legal asset retirement costs.

A Hard Look at BPL: Utilities Speak Out

After closer study of the technology’s ongoing implementation and obstacles, the crystal ball remains cloudy.
By Christian Hamaker

What will it take for broadband over power line (BPL) technology to take hold? Is BPL on track to become, as the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) once contemplated, the “third broadband pipe into residential consumers’ homes, providing significant competition for cable and DSL service,” and an integral part of the 21st century “smart grid”?

The Art of Gas Storage Valuation

Benefits and drawbacks of the most popular estimation methods or modeling techniques.

Christopher Athaide

Before we go about trying to value natural-gas storage, we should try and come up with a list of important considerations in any valuation process. Also, the data requirements should be modest, and the calculation time should be reasonable. But not all gas storage valuations are created equal.

Encore for Negawatts?

Congress renews PURPA’s call for conservation and load management, but the world has changed since the 1970s.

Bruce W. Radford

The “N-word” in the title first appeared in this journal more than 20 years ago, courtesy of the celebrated environmentalist Amory Lovins and his widely quoted piece, “Saving Gigabucks with Negawatts” (Fortnightly, 1985). Scroll forward a few decades. With restructuring of wholesale electric markets at FERC, plus formation of regional transmission organizations and independent system operators, the game was changed.

Natural-Gas Procurement: A Hard Look at Incentive Mechanisms

Better designs are needed to realize the goal of lower-cost gas.

Ken Costello and James F. Wilson

A gas procurement incentive mechanism that provides strong incentives for a broad range of procurement-related costs and revenues, using a benchmark that is both exogenous and adaptive to external circumstances, can benefit consumers.

Rate-Case Mania: Lessons for a New Generation

Ahmad Faruqui and Robert Earle

This overview of ratemaking and rate-design principles should ease the myriad tasks awaiting new rate analysts and attorneys, while provoking nostalgia among industry veterans still manning the ratemaking stations.

Cutting Costs With Real-Time Mobile Data

All systems are Reddy.

Peter Manos

Miscellaneous distribution operations expenses totaled $878 million in 2004— the largest single element of the distribution operations expenditures. Greater integration of real-time data can bring such costs under control.

Before the Utility Merger: Thinking Through IT Integration

The way senior tech executives and business managers define success has changed.

Gary A. Curtis and Robert Laurens

Alignment of the business and the information technology (IT) functions within a company is critical to the effectiveness of any strategic initiative. Three years ago, our research identified a number of best practices in IT integration, as they affected M&A execution. What changed, according to our new survey, is the way senior IT executives and senior business managers define success in a merger transaction. With so much at stake in any merger, the distinctions between these two important management constituencies are critical.

People

(January 2006) Kathleen Chagnon joined Saul Ewing LLP as a partner in its business department. Sierra Pacific Resources announced that Donald D. Snyder was elected to its board of directors. Avista Corp. named Linda M. Jones director of corporate communications. Allegheny Energy Inc. named Loyd (Aldie) Warnock vice president, external affairs. And others...

Letters to the Editor

Jim Lundrigan, New Haven, Conn.: After reading Gordon van Welie’s article (“New England: A Critical Look at Competition,”) I couldn’t help but think back to California in 2000. Van Welie, who is president and CEO of ISO New England, is trying to feed the citizens of New England the same brand of malarkey that the California ISO fed the California Public Utilities Commission in 2000 when wholesale and retail prices in California were perfectly linked and nearly succeeded in bankrupting the wealthiest state in the country.

John S. Ferguson, Richardson, Texas: The article of Michael J. Majoros Jr. (“Rate-Base Cleansings: Rolling Over Ratepayers,”) attracted my attention, because I perceive it to propose a solution—PUCs’ need to recognize refundable regulatory liabilities—for a problem that does not exist.

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