Fortnightly Magazine - May 1 1997

Ohio Upholds "Fresh Look"Option for Telephone Subscribers

The Ohio Public Utilities Commission has refused to modify an earlier ruling that required telecommunications local-exchange carriers to permit their special-contract customers to reexamine their negotiated rates to look for cost-saving alternatives once competition is established in the local market.

The Ohio Telecommunications Industry Association had asked the commission to reconsider the so-called "fresh look" provisions, issued Nov.


Zond Development Corp. will supply MidAmerican Energy Co. with 45 MW of wind-generated power per month for 20 years. Terms of the agreement were not released, but Zond will begin supplying energy within three years of regulatory approval. The contract helps fulfill the utility's alternate energy requirements under Iowa law. Zond will generate the power from about 150 wind turbines planned for Buena Vista County. The windmills will interconnect with the MidAmerican transmission system at a nearby substation.

Gas Utility Gets Burned on the Spot Market

Motivated by numerous consumer complaints regarding substantial, unexpected increases in bills for natural gas service, the New Mexico Public Utility Commission has fined Public Service Company of New Mexico, finding that the utility knowingly understated gas cost data in prior adjustment clause filings to avoid commission review of an ongoing gas price crisis.

The commission suspended the $2.2-million fine, however, in light of its decision to prevent PSNM from collecting more than $1.5 million in purchased gas revenues associated with the understated gas cost projection.