Fortnightly Magazine - July 1 2003

Commission Watch

Is the "pathway concept" the answer to Virginia's qualms?

Is the "pathway concept" the answer to Virginia's qualms?

PJM, at its annual meeting, announced a plan to integrate ComEd into PJM by Oct. 1, pursuant to FERC's April 1 order, despite Virginia's saying no to membership by American Electric Power (AEP) or any other jurisdictional utility, according to PJM spokesman Ray Dotter. PJM introduced the "pathway concept" as a way to work around that state while the jurisdictional issues are being fought at FERC. (May 16 was the deadline for filings at FERC on whether the integration can proceed.)

Business & Money

Lehman Brothers and others say upcoming rate cases and falling unregulated earnings mean some IOUs will have less to show for their effort.

Technology Corridor

Virtual reality comes of age in the power industry.

Virtual reality comes of age in the power industry.

Technological breakthroughs in power generation, pollution control, waste management, renewable resource applications, and many similar areas are at the forefront of advances in developing, managing, and delivering public utility products. However, technology that is more often associated with computer games and Hollywood blockbusters is taking hold in the industry, and its impact may well be as great as any of the more well known technologies.

Off Peak

Surfside reading for the energy workaholic.

Surfside reading for the energy workaholic.

The Last Energy War: The Battle Over Utility Deregulation

Utility deregulation is the biggest consumer rip-off since the S&L debacle, activist Harvey Wasserman argues. He says electric competition has wider and more deadly implications: costs running to trillions of dollars, environmental threats, and the further delay of renewables like wind and solar energy.

Reinventing Electric Utilities: Competition, Citizen Action, and Clean Power

Predicting California Deman Response

How do customers react to hourly prices?

How do customers react to hourly prices?

As California embarks on a Statewide Pricing Pilot (SPP) for residential and small commercial (200 kW) customers, policymakers and participants in the proceedings are asking several questions:

California Experiment: Dynamic Pricing for the Mass Market

Will the state launch a full-scale rollout of dynamic tariffs?

Will the state launch a full-scale rollout of dynamic tariffs?

A pilot program in California is putting dynamic pricing and advanced metering to the test.

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) approved a Statewide Pricing Pilot (SPP) in March,1 at a cost of approximately $10 million, including metering, project planning, management, evaluation, and concurrent market research on non-pilot participants focused on customer preferences for rate options.2

The SPP has the following objectives:

Frontlines

The United States must turn overseas for natural gas supplies, in spite of worries about energy independence.