Joseph F. Schuler, Jr.
Enova/PE merger finds
California utilities learning
how to "micro-unbundle."
here's a meter war ticking away out West, pitting natural gas against electricity.
Enova Corp. is set to acquire Southern California Gas Co. through a merger with the gas utility's parent company, Pacific Enterprises. This strategy raises a tantalizing question: Can the new, merged company sell electricity "through" SoCalGas meters, using customer contacts on the gas side to grab market share in electricity from Southern California Edison, whose territory overlaps that of SoCalGas?
Vinod K. Dar
s The technology is digital.
s The medium is cyberspace. The product is a strategic system for billing, collection and customer services (BCCS) that integrates knowledge and choice through an automated customer interface.
The impending obliteration of the business boundaries between the gas, electric and other energy industries will launch a series of convergent waves of change. Executives, regulators, legislators, investors and, naturally, consumers must ride this wave over the next 10 to 15 years.
Kent Knutson and Chris Seiple
Competitive Power Markets
Put Capacity at Risk
Generation markets in the U.S. are about to go through a period of radical transformation as full competition is introduced to the industry. One of the largest impacts of this transformation will be the creation of a more efficient generation industry. According to a new study by Resource Data International, the drive towards increased efficiency will result in the premature shutdown of some high-cost, inefficient power plants.
Our analysis starts by analyzing the costs of every utility owned power plant in the country.
Four U.S., Canadian and British organization formed a $5.3 million venture to develop ultrasonic tools for detecting stress corrosion in natural gas an liquid pipelines. The consortium includes the Gas Research Institute, British Gas plc, the Canadian Energy Pipeline Association, and PRC International. The new device will allow inspection of a wider range of gas pipelines. Field testing was expected to begin in 1998.
Conoco Global Power, Inc. and Western Resources' The Wing Group are among investors in a 160-megawatt (MW), natural gas-fired power plant in Columbia.
Gordon L. Weil
With its membership opened, NEPOOL sets a transmission tariff, but still must develop competitive markets. In 1993, after a series of attempts going back as far as 1971, the New England Power Pool failed to reach agreement among its members for a regional transmission arrangement. But destiny then took over (em with help from the newly enacted Energy Policy Act (em to lead pool members back to the bargaining table. Finally, on Sept. 30, 1996, NEPOOL announced that its executive committee had agreed in principle on restructuring the pool.
Phillip S. Cross
The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) has decided that Bell Atlantic-Pennsylvania, Inc., a local-exchange telephone carrier (LEC), should reduce rates for its residential digital high-speed service offerings. The residential Integrated Service Digital Network (ISDN) service enables users to access and send voice, data, and imaging services at the same time over their telephone lines.
Joseph F. Schuler, Jr.
Once burned, but twice eager, utilities reprise their 1980s-era strategy, this time in the telephone business.
"It's not like they're going to open a pharmacy. It is directly related in some way, or at least arguably."
Earlier this year, 15 utilities grabbed the brass ring: a full-blown chance to enter the telecom business.
Entergy Corp. signed a letter of intent to acquire National Security Service, a security monitoring company that operates in North Carolina and Alabama. Entergy claims the acquisition places it among the top alarm companies in the country.
K Energy, Inc. has begun "Simple ChoiceSM" (em energy, communications, and "infotainment" services in one package, paid with one bill.
Phillip S. Cross
The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has approved a Total Service Long Run Incremental Cost (TSLRIC) study submitted by Pacific Bell, a local-exchange carrier (LEC), for use in pricing bundled and unbundled basic-service network offerings. The CPUC rejected similar studies submitted by GTE California, Inc., finding that the LEC had employed flawed methodologies and that the studies lacked adequate supporting data.
SCANA Corp. promoted William B. Timmerman, president, to COO. John L. Skolds, senior v.p. of generation at SCANA subsidiary South Carolina Electric & Gas, became president and COO. Skolds replaces Bruce D. Kenyon, who left the company to become president of Northeast Nuclear Energy Co.
James T. Egler was promoted from president of Equitable Resources Inc.'s marketing division to CEO of Equitable Gas Co., a regulated subsidiary.
Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Corp. promoted Bob Bahnick to v.p., operations & engineering.