Fortnightly Magazine - November 1 1996

In Brief...

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.

Ohio High Court Rules on City's Muni Plan

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).

OASIS: Networking on the Grid

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.

Conn. Sets Rules for Telecom Facilities

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.

OASIS: A Mirage of Reliability

A Mirage of ReliabilityBy John C. Hoag

The Internet doesn't suit companies

that are vulnerable to security or financial risk (em

like electric transmission providers.

THE RUSH IS ON TO SET OASIS IN MOTION.

Per-use Calling Services Draw Complaints

Consumer complaints about billings for newly introduced "per-use" services offered by local exchange carriers (LECs) has prompted the North Carolina Utilities Commission (NCUC) to direct BellSouth Telecommunications, Inc., Carolina Telephone and Telegraph Co., and Central Telephone Co. to improve customer education and offer liberal forgiveness policies for charges associated with the new services.

Real-Time Pricing: Paying at the Margin

Savings, yes. But some load-management

techniques may imply trade-offs in service

quality.By Scott L. Englander, John E. Flory,

Leslie K. Norford, and Richard D. TaborsAs facility manager for a large hotel, you browse your energy vendor's web site to view tomorrow's hourly prices. But it seems your computer (pc) has already done some browsing of its own. Since it's connected to your energy management system, your pc has already looked up the weather forecast and has logged on to the hotel's main computer to find out what rooms will be used.

Calif. Reviews LEC Cost Studies

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has approved a Total Service Long Run Incremental Cost (TSLRIC) study submitted by Pacific Bell, a local-exchange carrier (LEC), for use in pricing bundled and unbundled basic-service network offerings. The CPUC rejected similar studies submitted by GTE California, Inc., finding that the LEC had employed flawed methodologies and that the studies lacked adequate supporting data.

Frontlines

Three weeks ago I traveled to Indianapolis to Speak at the Indiana Energy Conference, a meeting sponsored by the Citizens Action Coalition and a board group from the local gas and electric industries, including a fair number of state government employees. Focusing on issues largely specific to Indiana, that audience gave the meeting a novel perspective: What's a low-cost state to do?

Do you fix it if it ain't broke?

V