Fortnightly Magazine - March 2007

The Mobile-Sierra Doctrine, Part Deux

A new twist on an old doctrine.

The D.C. Circuit once observed that the Mobile-Sierra doctrine is “refreshingly simple.” In fact, however, the doctrine has become incredibly nuanced and complex over time. In two concurrently issued decisions, the court has discovered new prerequisites to the initial application of the doctrine, changed the independent “public interest” review standard into a presumption, and has jettisoned that presumption entirely when contract prices are too high as opposed to too low.

CIOs Under Pressure

IT officers are getting more efficient, but guess what keeps them up at night?

Ever-present security concerns are keeping utility chief information officers up at night. With their IT budgets under constraints in a back-to-basics era, four CIOs speak out about their concerns over funding, staffing, and the future.

Demand Response: The Green Effect

How demand response programs contribute to energy efficiency and environmental quality.

Demand response reduces overall energy usage, but the magnitude of the reduction depends on whether the technologies are developed and deployed with efficiency in mind.

Demand Response: Breaking Out of the Bubble

Using demand response to mitigate rate shocks.

In the minds of many policy-makers, DR has become associated with rate shocks, rate volatility, unpredictability, and loss of control over energy costs—the very things DR was designed to overcome. What can be done to change this?

Demand Response: The Missing Link

Everyone is in favor of more demand response, but little gets delivered when system operators need it the most.

Despite overwhelming theoretical and empirical evidence, we aren’t seeing more DR when it is needed most—during emergency periods. The reasons boil down to two obstacles, both of which must be addressed before widespread DR implementation can move forward.

Utility M&A: Betting on the CIO

Presenting 5 critical factors in realizing merger-related savings.

Booz Allen consultants offer five critical factors in realizing merger-related savings.

Valuing Demand-Response Benefits In Eastern PJM

When summer heat waves cause electric demand to peak, they also often cause wholesale electricity prices to rise substantially above their average levels. However, since most electricity customers face retail rates that do not reflect this movement in wholesale market prices, they do not modify their consumption patterns, causing a significant drop in economic efficiency. The Energy Policy Act of 2005 calls upon states and utilities to evaluate and implement DR programs to mitigate this problem.

A Monopolist Takeover

Dominion and AEP want to put the toothpaste back in the tube, but re-regulation could get messy.

Is it possible to go back to the way things were? Nostalgia for the old regulated model seems to be waxing of late, particularly in Virginia. The 70-percent rate increases in Maryland last year at the expiration of price caps—part of the transition to electric competition—has become the calamity that some state regulators fear most. Several utilities are pushing for re-regulation.

People

(March 2007) Constellation Energy named Kevin W. Hadlock vice president, investor relations, and Robert L. Gould vice president, corporate communications. Subsidiary Constellation NewEnergy appointed Emily Neill as business development manager. Dynegy Inc. announced several organizational changes related to the company’s proposed combination with LS Power. Robert W. Best, chairman, president, and CEO of Atmos Energy Corp., was elected chairman of the American Gas Foundation’s board of trustees for 2007. And others...