The decision to buy, build, and/or sell information technology assets carries many pitfalls, especially for a regulated utility.
Fortnightly Magazine - November 1 1996
NIPSCO wins top prize for customer information
system deemed state-of-the-art.
Runner-up Brooklyn Union melds Internet
technology with internal systems.To borrow a phrase, only three things matter in energy competition: technology, technology, and technology.
An exaggeration, perhaps, but not too far off for the three-dozen-plus electric and gas utilities that submitted applications for the 1996 Utility Leadership Award for Information Technology (em ULTRA for short.
Sponsored by PUBLIC
In the race toward competition, will outside investments break their poor track record?
The current rash of utility investments outside of the core franchise businesses appears to follow a pattern: a new spree of diversification every decade. Diversification was the rage in the early 1970s before the energy crisis, and revived during the mid-1980s when huge construction programs wound down. It has now reemerged as the threat of competition curtails traditional investment opportunities.
at the Meter: Lessons
From the U.K.Metering lies at the heart of electric competition, but may work best as a "natural" monopoly controlled by the distribution utility.Metering represents one of the more complex issues in retail electric competition (em one that suffers from major misperceptions.
Sound bites from state and federal regulators.
LDC Certificates. North Carolina assigns currently unfranchised natural gas service territories. Awards certificates of public convenience and necessity. Docket No. G-100, Sub 69, Aug. 16, 1996 (N.C.U.C. 1996).
Externality Benefits. Utility should not include "net social benefits" when calculating shareholder incentive award. Docket No. G-011/M-95-1372, Aug. 1, 1996 (Minn.P.U.C.).
Area Code Shortage.
With no system in place to collect data, retail choice brought gridlock to England and Wales in 1994.
The Ohio Supreme Court has concluded its review of the municipalization dispute between Toledo Edison Co., an electric utility, and the City of Clyde. The court said that a city ordinance passed on January 17, 1995, seeking to force the utility to stop providing service within municipal boundaries, violated state law in attempting to accomplish the municipalization of Toledo Edison's facilities without the approval of the Ohio Public Utilities Commission (PUC).
Despite a recent delay, the stage
appears set for online trading
in electric transmission capacity.
THIS IS ONLY A TEST (EM FOR NOW.
But come January, if all goes well, the OASIS program will start up in real time, with customers venturing onto the Internet to place reservations for capacity on the nation's electric transmission grid.
Having completed several rounds of telecommunications reforms, the Connecticut Department of Public Utility Control (DPUC) has now announced a number of policy decisions governing the infrastructure provided by new market entrants. To ensure that the public benefits from a competitive market through a "network of networks," the DPUC ordered all facilities-based carriers to make their services available for resale and their networks available on an unbundled basis.