Applicants can only hope that a prompt review won't be even more difficult
By a unanimous vote, on December 18, 1996, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued Order No. 592, stating how it intends to evaluate utility mergers. The anticipation has ended, yet those hoping for a new approach and a quicker review are bound to be disappointed.
Order 592 is a "Policy Statement." As such, it only announces intentions; it imposes no new obligations and is not subject to judicial review until implemented in a specific case.
Gas Rate Indexing. Alabama continues its a rate stabilization and equalization (RSE) procedure for Alabama Gas Corp. (rates adjusted quarterly to conform return on equity to a preset range). Commission says RSE plan has helped company address recent gas market changes such as supply diversification, system bypass, and competition. Docket No. 25600, Oct. 7, 1996 (Ala.P.S.C.).
A Stock-price Premium for DSMA rise in DSM spending (as a percentage of total expenditures) indicated
an increase in market-to-book ratio.
For electric utilities, financial and managerial attributes such as rate of return or the dividend payout ratio often exert a strong positive effect on the market-to-book (M/B) ratio (em the ratio of the company's stock price divided by book value.
The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (BPU) has approved Jersey Central Power and Light Co.'s offer to help a local qualifying cogeneration facility (QF) switch its status to that of an exempt wholesale generator (EWG). The QF, NRG Generating (U.S.), Inc., a subsidiary of Northern States Power Co., seeks the change in classification due to concerns about potential future reductions in the need for steam at its host industrial facility owned by Du Pont de Nemours and Co.
Coopers & Lybrand has released its 1996 Electric Municipalization Review, which examines the two municipalizations completed since the Energy Policy Act of 1992: Broken Bow, OK, and Bozrah, CT.
Broken Bow, which began operating in 1995, serves the new six-megawatt (Mw) load of one industrial customer and owns no electric facilities; Public Service Co. of Oklahoma serves town residents. The Town of Bozrah had been served by a privately held corporation, Bozrah Light & Power (BL&P), whose owner was retiring and wanted to sell.
In a case reviewing standards for integrated resource planning (IRP) set out in the Energy Policy Act of 1992 (EPAct), the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) has recognized that changes in the natural gas industry, combined with an evolution toward competition (both upstream and inside the city gate), "will make gas IRP a less-necessary commission function in order to insure least-cost gas service."
The PUC said most of its existing regulations were consistent with the federal standards; however, it rejected the EPAct standards regarding guaranteed profitability an
Retail aggregation: Wherever you stand, it appears 1998 could be the year of reckoning.
By then (em say those watching the future of aggregation in the "leader" states of California, New York, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire (em rulemakings will have sorted out the issues of stranded costs, distribution, and reliability.
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.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has issued an order denying rehearing, effectively allowing Mojave Pipeline Co. (MP) to construct and operate its Northward Expansion Facilities in California (Docket No. CP93-258-007). The FERC has already issued five substantive orders in the proceeding.
Especially contentious was the clash with the California Public Utility Commission (CPUC) over jurisdiction, leading to a February 1995 FERC order holding that the Northward Expansion was an interstate pipeline subject to federal oversight.
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