Electric Competition Moves On
The recent months have brought a flurry of activity in a number of states:
ARIZONA: The Arizona Corporation Commission approved rules opening Arizona's electric industry to competition over a four-year period starting in 1999. The rules allow retail customers to retain standard electric service, or to choose competitive services.
Beginning Jan. 1, 1999, utilities must make available 20 percent of its peak 1995 demand to all customers, including small business and residential. No more than 50 percent of that amount may be sold to large customers, and 15 percent of the total will be reserved for residential customers.
Starting on Jan. 1, 2001, 50 percent of a utilitiy's peak 1995 demand must be available competitively. Thirty percent of that total must be reserved for residential customers. Finally, on Jan. 1, 2003, 100 percent of the total electric supply will be available on the competitive market.
All electric companies will have to get commission approval to provide competitive services. Although early drafts of the commission's proposal excluded the Salt River Project from participating in the competitive market, SRP was allowed to participate by signing an intergovernmental agreement. However, a hearing regarding SRP, a municipality serving 635,000 customers, will be held prior to final approval.
Several issues remain to be decided, including how to deal with stranded-cost recovery. The commission is holding a series of workshops to decide such issues.
COLORADO: The Colorado Public Utility Commission released a 125-page electric restructuring report, which is a compilation of responses to a PUC questionnaire. The report, which is intended for information purposes only, was