Fortnightly Magazine - January 15 1997

Trends

Wholesale power transactions continue to grow. During 1995, utilities spent more than $58 billion on bulk power and, for the first time, investor-owned utilities spent more for electricity ($30 billion) than for fuel ($29 billion) to generate it. The reasons for the expansion can be traced to more aggressive marketing strategies by electric utilities, an increasingly competitive group of independent power providers, and the presence of power marketers as a formidable and growing group of power traders.

Expansion in wholesale markets is hardly new.

Pa. Looks at Gas Marketers

In two recent actions concerning natural gas marketers and brokers, the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) has proposed new policy to define its authority over marketing by the state's local distribution companies (LDCs) and their affiliates, plus a new rule requiring LDCs to set tariffed guidelines to ensure that marketers and brokers possess the financial and technical fitness necessary "to meet their contractual obligations" in transporting gas through LDC systems.

It stressed that it would not permit unreasonable discrimination in retail offerings (em whether by the LDC

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