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.
Comparing Nonprice Terms in Utility
Filings Against FERC's Pro Forma Tariffs
AS ONE MIGHT EXPECT, THE VARIATIONS REFLECT THE HISTORIC TENSION BETWEEN NATIVE LOAD AND WHOLESALE TRANSACTIONS.
It comes as no surprise that regulated investor-owned utilities (IOUs) hold divergent views on the restructuring of the electric industry. Size, generation cost, transmission access, customer loyalty, and the friendliness of state regulators all factor into their individual visions of restructuring.
Wallace Edward Brand
The merger voltage (I) is rising on the electric grid, but it remains to be seen which will win out: current (E) policy or resistance (R) to it.
Charles M. Studness
Recovery of stranded investment is clearly the central point of contention in the debate over utility competition. Customers oppose competition and utilities favor it (em for what appear to be clear-cut reasons. Recovery would delay the benefits of competition for customers, but would give utilities additional cash and temporary protection against competitive price pressures. The battle has unfortunately turned into a morality play that centers on the right to recover stranded investment.
Joseph F. Schuler, Jr.
Looking for a Market Rate:
Anchor Glass Tries to Shake JCP&L Stranglehold
By Joseph F. Schuler, Jr.
Why assume that a city or town
can't run a power plant?
It wasn't a demand for a $2-million rate cut. It was a request for a rate in line with neighboring New Jersey utilities.
That's how Walter J.
John F. Mandt and Karl R. Moor
For the partners in a utility merger, the celebration must wait. After opening the most delicate of dialogues, and then negotiating the price and closing the deal, the merger partners must yet gain the approval of regulators. The application may lie sealed in its FedEx pouch, safely on its way to Washington.
Technological advances in electric generation and telecommunications make utility competition both possible and inevitable. These economic forces will eventually break down the regulatory structure of the electric industry. However, public policy should play a crucial role in molding and nurturing competition.In recent months, regulators in a majority of the states have opened proceedings to study electric competition.
Lori A. Burkhart
A broad coalition of Minnesota electric cooperatives, municipal utilities, consumer advocates, and environmentalists has joined the debate over the restructuring of the state's electric industry.
The competitive transformations of the natural gas and telecommunications industries are over a decade in the making. By contrast, competition in the electricity industry is still emerging. Special interests have defeated many proposed competitive reforms. For example, in 1988 the FERC failed in its attempt to adopt regulations to encourage competitive bidding and independent power producers (IPPs).1 Similarly, decades of forceful industry opposition delayed open access in bulk-power markets.