Fortnightly Magazine - July 1 1996

LILCO to Promote Customer Choice

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.

Joules

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.

Circuit Court OKs Abandoned Plant Cost Recovery

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.

Munis See the Lite

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.

LECs Get Price Caps; IXCs Told to Reduce Rates

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.

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