Fortnightly Magazine - March 15 1997

Carolinas Move Toward Restructuring

North Carolina and South Carolina, both relatively low-cost power states, recently have made moves toward competition. In North Carolina, bills calling for the formation of a study commission to examine the introduction of electric supplier choice in that state were introduced in the House (H.B. 12) and Senate (S.B. 38). The intent to introduce choice has prompted the North Carolina Coalition for Customer Choice in Electricity to call on legislators to develop a report by April 1998, in time for a bill to be considered by the General Assembly that same year.

LDC Fails in Bid To Recover Coal Tar Cleanup Costs

The Indiana Court of Appeals has upheld a ruling by state regulators denying permission to Indiana Gas Co. to recover costs associated with the cleanup of environmental contamination at former gas manufacturing sites.

The court could find no direct connection between coal tar cleanup and the current provision of gas distribution service, which it described as a necessary condition for cost recovery, even if the property is currently in use by the utility.

New York Aims for Flexible Rates

The New York Public Service Commission on Feb. 12 pushed toward competition by approving a multi-utility pilot program for electric retail access for commercial farms and food processors, and by allowing utilities to use their flexible-rate programs to compete against economic-development power offered by the New York Power Authority (Docket 97012/94EO385).

The Dairylea farming cooperative had asked the commission to approve a pilot open to commercial farms and food processors, except those that already have flexible rate contracts. The PSC agreed.

Ohio To Look at Emissions Trading in Fuel Clause Cases

The Ohio Pubic Utilities Commission has approved a series of amendments to its rules on fuel cost adjustments for electric utilities, implementing previously approved guidelines for the ratemaking treatment of emission allowance transaction activities.

In the earlier ruling, the commission had found that its Electric Fuel Component rate mechanism provides the most appropriate forum for review of emission allowance plans, transactions and recovery of associated costs.

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