Calendar of Events

Apr 28, 2014 | New York, NY
May 05, 2014 to May 08, 2014 | Las Vegas, Nevada
May 05, 2014 to May 09, 2014 | San Antonio, TX

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Public Utilities Reports

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New Jersey

In Brief...

Sound bites from state and federal regulators.

Build vs. Buy. Finding the "build" option as the cheapest alternative when two purchased power contracts expired, Florida PSC allows Tallahassee municipal electric utility to construct a 250-megawatt, combined-cycle, natural gas-fired power plant at an existing generation site. Docket No. 961512-EM, Order No. PSC-97-0659-FOF-EM, June 9, 1997 (Fla.P.S.C.).

Special Contract Discounts. New Jersey allows Elizabethtown Gas Co.

Frontlines

Bruce W. Radford

My electric company, Potomac Electric Power Co., has announced a joint venture with RCN Corp. of Princeton, N.J., to offer local and long-distance telephone service to callers in Washington, D.C., and nearby areas, plus cable television and high-speed connections to the Internet. With stockholder money, PEPCO would compete head-on against Bell Atlantic, which won approval from the Federal Communications Commission on Aug. 14 for its $25-billion merger with NYNEX.

Reporting the story, The Washington Post quoted PEPCO President John M.

Mid-Atlantic States Set Standards for Natural Gas Marketers

Phillip S. Cross

Regulators in Pennsylvania and New Jersey have taken steps to address relationships between natural gas utilities, customers, marketers and brokers operating in their respective states, announcing policies to cover such topics as fitness requirements, marketing practices and consumer protection.

One question that continues to raise concern is price arbitrage by marketers during supply emergencies that might affect service to captive residential customers.

Pennsylvania.

NJ Updates Plan to Modernize Phone Network

Phillip S. Cross

As it concluded its first review of an alternative rate plan for local telephone service, the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities approved a series of telecommunications network upgrades and associated network modernization program for Bell Atlantic-New Jersey.

The original rate plan, approved in 1993, had combined the promise of a modernized telephone infrastructure with rate deregulation for certain competitive services and a freeze on rates for residential phone service. (See, Re New Jersey Bell Tel.

Perspective

William A. Mogel

Uncle Sam buys a lot of power. Who supplies it may depend upon Article I, Sec. 8, Clause 17.

Today's intense competition to sell power should not overlook one large customer - the federal government. The Department of Defense alone consumed $1.4 billion worth of power in fiscal year 1994. Recently, one utility executive was quoted as saying: "We've got power marketers foaming at the mouth for DOD's business."%n1%n

Yet how does a marketer get the business of a federal agency, office or installation if retail wheeling is not mandated?

New Jersey Kills Gross Receipts Taxes

Lori A. Burkhart

The New Jersey Legislature has passed a utility tax reform package eliminating the gross receipts and franchise tax for electric, natural gas and telephone utilities.

The new tax system will levy a 6-percent tax on electric and gas sales, a 9-percent tax on companies selling the electric and gas and a transitional tax to be phased-out after five years. The package guarantees that municipalities will receive $745 million in aid in 1998 to make up for the lost revenues. That annual amount will climb to $755 million in 2002.

States OK Telephone Industry Consolidation

Phillip S. Cross

State regulators in New Jersey, New York and California have recently approved mergers of local exchange and long-distance telephone carriers operating within those states that are part of larger interstate and international consolidations.

NYNEX/Bell Atlantic. The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities has approved the merger of two major local-exchange carrier holding companies, NYNEX Corp. and Bell Atlantic Corp.

In Brief...

Sound bites from state and federal regulators.

Overseas Investment. Michigan certifies plan by Consumers Electric and Gas Co. to bid on the outstanding equity of three electric distribution companies being privatized in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Case No. U-11331, April 14, 1997 (Mi.P.S.C.).

Appliance Repair Rates. New Jersey OKs rates for Public Service Electric and Gas Co.

PJM Restructuring Battle Continues

Lori A. Burkhart

Nine members of the Pennsylvania-New Jersey-Maryland Power Pool filed a revised plan at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to establish an independent system operator for the Mid-Atlantic power market.

The utilities have been battling with lone dissenter PECO Energy over the details of the ISO.

The nine utilities, dubbed the "supporting companies," agree on the form that an ISO should take. In November 1996, the FERC had rejected ISO proposals by both parties as having failed to comply with Order 888.

Frontlines

Bruce W. Radford

The PJM Interconnection is what they call a "tight" power pool. As the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has explained, tight power pools "extensively coordinate" their planning and operations, with central dispatch of generating plants. This coordination builds reliability--one of the long-term benefits, says the FERC, of a tight power pool.

Coordination also builds market power, however. And, as we all know from FERC Order 888, market power in transmission stands as "the single greatest impediment" to electricity competition.

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