Fortnightly Magazine - December 2005

Demand-Response and Smart-Meter Provisions: Breakthrough or Non-Event?

Regulators and Utilities: The Ball’s in Your Court

Are the smart-metering provisions of EPACT 2005 a good thing? The answer, like most things in life, is, “It depends.” Looked at holistically, the opportunity is great. Viewed incrementally, it’s empty words on paper. It’s up to regulators and utilities to take the initiative.

The Economics of Low-Head Dams

How they can generate green energy and improve a municipality’s bottom line.

Federal incentive payment of 1.8 cents/kWh for the generation of renewable energy—part of The Energy Policy Act of 2005—increases the economic attractiveness of many potential hydro sites, and, as a consequence, could revive the building of low-head dams.

How to Tango With a Regulator

Utilities and financiers want ratepayers to fund the next wave of power plants. Will higher electric rates spoil the party?

You’ve heard the story. The local utility ought to be investing billions in new power plants, but the company CEO wants a guarantee from regulators for upfront costs and future operating expenses before laying down dollar one on the project. What to do? Utility CEOs attending the Edison Electric Institute’s 40th Financial Conference last month in Hollywood, Fla., were shuffling to the old rate base song-and-dance. But this time, they were working out a few new moves.

People

(December 2005) Mark Mulhern joins Progress Energy’s senior management committee and Bob Adrian is vice president of competitive commercial operations within the Ventures organization. The California Independent System Operator board of governors approved the appointment of Karen Edson to the position of vice president of external affairs. DTE Energy announced a series of organizational changes. The Southern California Edison board of directors elected John R. Fielder president.

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