Fortnightly Magazine - September 2006

Fortnightly 40 Best Energy Companies

Superior asset management, exceptional cost discipline, and magnificent growth opportunities define the winners of our second annual financial ranking.

(September 2006) Consistent performance over time is the Holy Grail of corporate management, and a focus of many of the executives who made this year’s Fortnightly 40 ranking. Who returned to the list, and who fell off? And more important, why?

High Performance? Your Strategy Matters

Leadership requires alignment between performance measurement and strategic priorities.

A defense of the total return to shareholders (TRS). Our authors use TRS as the bottom-line performance indicator, and come up with a number of performance insights.

Merchant Transmission Redux

Financial transmission rights and regulated returns have not induced needed construction. Presenting an alternative model.

By almost any measure, the nation is running short of transmission, and the existing volume of investment cannot long continue to reliably accommodate retail-load growth and larger wholesale volumes. Factors like environmental opposition also have caused declines and delays in transmission investment, but it seems clear that financial transmission rights and regulated returns have not sufficed to induce the necessary construction. The authors propose a new model to reward investors who lower congestion costs.

Coal No More: What If?

An analysis of what risks would have to be taken to significantly reduce carbon emissions by using natural gas in the short run.

An analysis of what risks must be taken, in the short run, to significantly reduce carbon emissions with use of natural gas.

AMI/Demand Response: For Real This Time?

Smart metering is coming of age. Is the utility world ready for it?

Some states, including Illinois, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Texas, have been considering smart-metering questions as part of rate cases and resource-planning discussions. Other states, such as Kentucky, Louisiana, Ohio, and Virginia, have initiated EPACT Section 1252 inquiries separately from other proceedings. The tenor of the discussion also varies from state to state, with high-cost power states generally more attracted to AMI than low-cost states are.

AMI/Demand Response: Getting It Right the First Time

Each DR portfolio will have a different set of AMI needs, based on overall technology infrastructure.

Advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) evaluations will benefit greatly from creating an appropriate DR portfolio as part of the overall solution.

In the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPACT), Congress sent a strong message to electric utilities, consumers, and industry regulators that they need to get serious about advanced metering, time-based rates, and demand response (DR).

To underline this point, EPACT states:

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