Moody's Finds Northeastern Utilities Under Pressure

Fortnightly Magazine - March 1 1996
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A new report by Moody's Investors Service, Northeast Break-Even Analysis, finds that wide variations in the cost structures of investor-owned, municipal, and state electric utilities in the Northeastern United States will disadvantage the majority under deregulation in relation to their peers in contiguous regions. If full competition is introduced, Moody's concludes that the credit quality of Northeastern utilities with above-average costs would likely deteriorate because some investments are unrecoverable from ratepayers. Moody's estimates $43 billion in stranded costs in this region alone (em about one-quarter of all U.S. stranded costs.

Moody's defines the Northeast competitive arena as all major rated utilities within two transmission interconnects of Consolidated Edison Co. of New York. This area includes 25 investor-owned utilities in 9 states as well as 2 public power and 2 Canadian utilities. These entities represent over $153 billion in

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combined assets, $29.7 billion in combined equity, and over $48 billion in annual revenues.

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