The restructuring debate in the electric industry has focused on nuclear assets at risk for "stranding" under deregulation, while another issue has largely eluded public scrutiny: accumulated deferred federal income taxes (ADFITs). ADFITs represent money that utilities have received from ratepayers to cover federal tax expenses not yet actually recognized and paid.
Fortnightly Magazine - July 1 1996
or Power Markets?
In their article, "Curbing Market Power: The Larger the Better" (Apr. 15, 1996, p. 10), Christopher D. Seiple and Douglas M. Logan show that market-share indices can be derived from commercially available databases. The authors reference their soon-to-be-released study, U.S. Electric Utility Industry Mergers and Acquisitions, as a source for further market-power assessments.
The topic is timely. The U.S.
The New York Public Service Commission (PSC) will permit Long Island Lighting Co. (LILCO), a natural gas local distribution company (LDC), to institute temporarily a series of tariff revisions designed to enhance customers' ability to choose competing suppliers of natural gas.
According to PSC staff, the LDC's plan to offer a new array of firm transportation choices constitutes a "reasonable alternative" to full disaggregation of existing sales rates.
Three separate utilities have formed subsidiaries:
s The Columbia Gas System, Inc.'s new unit, Columbia Service Partners, Inc. will market new, nongas needs to homeowners and businesses, including warranty, fuel management, and gas-line repair services.
s Brooklyn Union's new gas marketing affiliate, KeySpan Energy Services, Inc., will buy and sell gas and provide transportation and related services, first to commercial and industrial customers, then to aggregated commercial and residential customers.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit has upheld a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) ruling that permits Yankee Atomic Electric Co. to recover all costs associated with an abandoned nuclear plant.
In 1992, the utility decided to shut down its nuclear facility in Rowe, MA, after investigating safety concerns raised by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
The search for cheaper electricity is in full swing, from the East Coast to the West.
Orange and Rockland Utilities, Inc. of Pearl River, NY, proposes that 1,500 residential customers, along with industrial and commercial businesses, be allowed to pick their electric power supplier. The proposal, called "PowerPick," has been endorsed by New York Public Service Commission staff, the Industrial Energy Users Association, and the state Consumer Protection Board.
The North Carolina Utilities Commission (NCUC) has approved price-cap regulation plans for four major telecommunications local exchange carriers (LECs) in the state: BellSouth Telecommunications Inc. (BellSouth), Carolina Telephone and Telegraph Co. (Carolina), Central Telephone Co. (Central), and GTE South, Inc. (GTE). The NCUC rejected allegations by AT&T Communications of the Southern States, Inc., an interexchange carrier (IXC), that a separate "general rate case" was needed to gauge how the shift to price regulation affected LEC earnings.
Coopers & Lybrand has released its 1996 Electric Municipalization Review, which examines the two municipalizations completed since the Energy Policy Act of 1992: Broken Bow, OK, and Bozrah, CT.
Broken Bow, which began operating in 1995, serves the new six-megawatt (Mw) load of one industrial customer and owns no electric facilities; Public Service Co. of Oklahoma serves town residents. The Town of Bozrah had been served by a privately held corporation, Bozrah Light & Power (BL&P), whose owner was retiring and wanted to sell.
The North Carolina Utilities Commission (NCUC) has rejected a request by proponents of a plan to provide electricity and process steam for a large industrial electric user in the state for a declaration that the plan would not subject the participants to regulation as public utilities under state law.
Under the proposal, National Spinning Co., Inc., a current purchaser of over $3 million in annual industrial electric services from Carolina Power & Light Co., would build facilities to gasify wood waste, produce steam, and generate up to seven megawatts of electricity in partn
In a recent report, A Free Market for Power Would Mean Revenue Losses for All Utilities (em But Some Would Suffer More Than Others, Prudential Securities simulated a competitive electricity market (em assuming that all industrial and commercial customers would be able to choose their electric supplier by 1998 (em to find out how a completely free market for power would affect utility revenues, earnings, and dividends.
The competitive risk study statistically measured marginal costs, then created a simulated spot-market electricity price for each of the 11 geographical reg