Fortnightly Magazine - July 15 1995

Performance-based Ratemaking

Performance-based ratemaking (PBR) departs from the cost-of-service standard in setting just and reasonable utility rates, but that departure isn't as easy as it looks.

Up until now, cost-of-service ratemaking has provided relatively stable rates, while enabling utilities to attract enormous amounts of capital. Of late, however, regulators appear to be heeding the argument that changing markets warrant a second look.

Wisconsin Wants More EMF Research on Farms

The Wisconsin Public Service Commission (PSC) has called for additional research on Wisconsin dairy farms to determine what impact electromagnetic fields (EMF), direct current, and ground currents may have on dairy cattle. According to the PSC, Wisconsin farmers have been noticing behavioral changes in their milking herds for some years now (em changes that affect milk production.

Two More States Launch Electric Restructuring

Utility regulators in Minnesota and Nevada have opened dockets on electric utility restructuring, citing (Minnesota) the Energy Policy Act of 1992 as having lifted barriers to wholesale competition, and seeking (Nevada) recommendations on alternative ratemaking.

The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) said it would view open competition as "one part of a continuum of possible change," from traditional vertical integration to full deregulation.

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