I was amused and concerned by the allegations of marketing warfare that Mr. Krebs felt compelled to address in his December 1996 article. From my perspective as a gas marketing manager (1981-85), as project manager for gas cooling systems at the Gas Research Institute (1985-91), and as director of the thermal storage center at the Electric Power Research Institute (1991-present), I would like to share an observation.
On the gas side, the marketing reps always complained that their electric counterparts had larger budgets and more personnel and that they would use rebates from demand-side management programs to buy projects. And on the electric side, the marketing reps complained that their gas counterparts had larger budgets and more personnel and would use DSM rebates to buy projects.
They were both right and both wrong. Each organization wanted to increase market share, improve profitability, and satisfy the customer's needs. Usually the electric side won, however; not because of unfair marketing tactics, but because its product enjoyed a lower "first cost," was easier to maintain, and was more readily available in the required size or color. That was neither warfare nor anti-competitive.
Mr. Krebs has made some arguments that fuel-cycle analysis would justify regulatory promotion of gas technologies. The U.S. Department of Energy and Oak Ridge National Laboratory have calculated the environmental impact of HVAC systems using the Total Equivalent Warming Index method (TEWI) endorsed by the American