Forty percent of 42 state public utility commissions (PUCs) expect electric utilities to unbundle generation from transmission and distribution within the next one to five years, according to a survey conducted for the Electric Generation Association (EGA) by Boston Pacific Co. EGA did not indicate whether the survey went out before or after March 29, when the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on transmission access and stranded investment, which of course would require functional (but not structural) unbundling of generation and transmission.
The EGA claims its survey suggests broad support for electric competition, but that market structures are not yet in place to afford a soup-to-nuts repeal of the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act. The Edison Electric Institute disagrees. David Owens, senior v.p., says "competition is real:" "EGA is misguided in believing that because states are not looking at unbundling and wholesale transmission, that competition is not increasing."
Copies are available from EGA (202-965-1134).
Bruce W. Radford is editor of PUBLIC UTILITIES FORTNIGHTLY.
The California PUC on April 26 issued interim rules that could allow local telephone competition in the Pacific Bell and GTE-California service areas as early as June. The rules would manage competition between competitive local carriers (CLCs) and franchised local telcos.
The rules would allow CLCs to offer individual service components (such as subscriber loops, line side ports, signaling links, signal transfer points, service control points, and dedicated channel network access connections) or choose to handle the entire phone call.