Michael R. Fox, and J.P.M. Maidment
Dwindling economic competitiveness has plagued the nuclear power industry for
some years. In the industry's early years, some reactors were completed for less than $100 million. Experience gained overseas (often in projects with American partners) provides sobering evidence that nuclear reactors can still be built at low cost in short periods of time.
Phillip S. Cross
The Florida Supreme Court has upheld a decision by the state commission (PSC) to test the cost-effectiveness of demand-side management (DSM) programs for the state's four largest investor-owned electric utilities by measuring the impact of the programs on rates for all consumers, whether or not they participate in DSM programs.
It held the Rate Impact Measure (RIM) test consistent with state law directives to avoid discrimination between rate classes for DSM initiatives (em more so than the Total Resource Cost (TRC) test used alone.
Joseph F. Schuler, Jr.
ManagementDeregulation isn't just for utilities anymore.
This year, PUBLIC UTILITIES FORTNIGHTLY'S
annual Electric Executive's Forum recognizes
the growing constituency of the electric
Bruce W. Radford
So the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) won't break up the electric utility industry. But it may happen anyway (em if not at the FERC's direction, then perhaps under pressure from state regulators who, some say, are threatening to link stranded-cost recovery to vertical disaggregation.
What would a breakup mean for bonds and bondholders?
As we reported last month ("New Corporate Structures Place Bondholders at Risk," May 1, 1996, p.
Since the federal Court of Appeals decision in the Calvert Cliffs case over 25 years ago, no power plant may be built without a thorough socioeconomic impact statement. Yet, schemes to alter the entire supply system of a state - or even the nation - are currently proposed with only cursory attention to socioeconomic consequences.
John S. Ferguson
If approved as proposed, the new accounting standard
for closure or removal of long-lived assets
will bring costs out into the open.
But is it rational?
On February 7, 1996, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) issued for comment an "Exposure Draft" of a new proposed statement of financial accounting standards pertaining to nuclear plant decommissioning and other similar legal obligations,
Stan Hadley, Eric Hirst, and Lester Baxter
Giving up today's customer to retail wheeling could help cut losses tomorrow.
Estimates of stranded investment for U.S. investor-owned electric utilities (IOUs) range from as little as $20 billion to as much as $500 billion (em more than double the shareholder equity in U.S. utilities.
Agustin Ros, John L. Domagalski, and Philip R. O'Connor
Investors are taking stock
of utility exposure to price competition.The utility trade press and even the general financial press have featured the views of regulators, utility executives, legislators, and various consumer advocates on the stranded-cost question. Stranded costs easily represent the most contentious issue facing the electric industry as it moves to an era of competition.
One popular model in electric utility restructuring assumes a fully competitive merchant segment providing retail energy services. These "retail energy service companies," or RESCOs, would offer services described as heating, cooling, ventilation, lighting, drive power, information, and communications.
Sound bites from state and federal regulators.
Electric Restructuring. North Dakota opens investigation on electric utility restructuring, asking how direct access might affect state utility customers, given the relatively small number of large commercial users. Case No. PU-439-96-54, Feb. 20, 1996 (N.D.P.S.C.).
Gas Storage Costs.