Fortnightly Magazine - October 2010

Utility-Customer Partnerships

Engaging the consumer takes on new meaning.

Customer backlash over dynamic pricing and the smart-grid caught the industry unprepared. CIOs and top customer specialists share their strategies for engagement and attaining consumer satisfaction.

ARRA Sunset

A renewable incentive expires with the Treasury grant program.

With incentives under the Treasury grant program set to expire at the end of the year, green-power development once again seems to be entering the bust phase of its perennial boom-bust cycle. Statutory deadlines presage a surge in new construction beginning between now and the end of the year. What happens after that depends on Congress.

Main Street Gold Mine

Funds collected for cost-of-removal liabilities could finance capital spending.

The industry might be overlooking a source of capital for smart-grid and similar investments. Funds collected in depreciation accounts for cost-of-removal liabilities could finance capital spending projects.

Smothering Sparks

Enhanced standards of care for companies operating in fire-prone terrain.

Utility systems are responsible for a large share of wildfires that damage billions of dollars worth of property and threaten the safety of people and wildlife. Wildfire threats have escalated in recent years, prompting utilities and regulators to develop a more rigorous approach to mitigating the risk. Leading utilities are establishing new standards of care that eventually will evolve into national best practices.

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