Some states have become well-known for their regulatory or legislative initiatives on electric restructuring and customer choice. Among those drawing the greatest attention are California, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New York, and Texas.
At press time, reports were filtering in of legislation about to be introduced in Montana and North Carolina (em states that might be considered unlikely subjects for competitive initiatives. Restructuring activity was also seen developing in Missouri, Connecticut, Minnesota, Washington, Louisiana and Arkansas, as noted below:
This March, the Public Service Commission opened a docket to focus specifically on retail electric competition issues (Case No. EW-97-245) and intends to shortly establish a task force. Since the commission does not view restructuring as within its jurisdiction, it has looked to the Legislature to set direction. On the legislative front, "enabling" bills were introduced in both the House and Senate in early March (H.B. 801 and S.B. 450); if enacted, the PSC would be permitted to develop competition in retail electric service and introduce retail pilot programs. The PSC has already approved an experimental retail choice plan for Utilicorp's Missouri division. This two-year pilot is limited to 10 customers with at least 20 delivery points and 2.5 MW of demand; so far, McDonald's is the only scheduled participant.