How far do states rights go in transmission planning?
The energy industry, coming off a remarkably difficult few years, had to deal with the huge Aug. 14 blackout, the ramifications of which have now reached regulatory policy. By putting transmission planning and reliability in the spotlight, the blackout could boost merchant transmission owners, as regulators and politicians scramble to make sure such an event does not happen again.
Fortnightly Magazine - November 15 2003
A Survey of Recent PUC Rulings
(November 15, 2003) With most restructuring efforts at a standstill in the energy industry, state public utility commissions (PUCs) have tended to shift their attention back to the art and science of ratemaking. For electric and gas utilities, that has meant a renewed emphasis on the mechanics of setting a maximum allowed rate of return on common equity (ROE).
Regulators are starting to show signs of strain over the restructuring debate.
Up to now, many in the industry thought everybody but the regulators had tired of the constant back-and-forth over regional market issues such as standard market design. This is not to say that state regulators have been able to find any common resolution. In fact, in our annual Regulators Forum on page 22, PUC chiefs from five states continue to disagree on what role the federal government should have.
Duke Energy Corp. appointed Paul Anderson as its chairman and CEO, succeeding Rick Priory, who will retire early next year. Anderson briefly worked for Duke after it merged with PanEnergy in 1997. He retired last year as managing director and CEO of BHP Billiton Ltd. in Australia.
Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham named Rosita O. Parkes chief information officer (CIO) at the Department of Energy. Parkes has served as CIO and deputy CIO at the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
A decade of restructuring has not affected the financial integrity of the average regulated utility.
Ideological bias, economic principles, success of previous deregulation, inordinate greed, and political expediency fueled the movement for electricity deregulation. The authorities, however, never deregulated. They chose to restructure.
Feds seek plug-and-play for distributed generation, but utilities want the power to stay local.
Pity the poor Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). With its market crusade out of favor, and transmission reform suddenly suspect after the Aug. 14 blackout, it could use a new agenda.
Business & Money
Obtaining a position measurement in energy markets has become more complex and has increased financial risks for integrated utilities.
"What's your position?" The answer to that simple question in today's energy markets is anything but simple. In fact, answering this question may be the single most difficult challenge faced by a fully integrated energy firm in its efforts to manage risk.
For most energy firms, the returns on investments in customer relationship management have been profoundly disappointing.
Back in the 1950s and 1960s, when big cars were all the rage, energy companies were developing the first systems designed to store and print customer billing data. These early version of the customer information system (CIS), written in FORTRAN and COBOL, ran on massive mainframes. The architectural model was simple.