Today in Fortnightly

FERC Fun: March 2016 Crossword Puzzle answers

Spoiler alert! Here’s the answers to this month’s crossword puzzle, FERC Fun, page 37, March issue of Public Utilities Fortnightly.


5. order one ___: thousand

7. watcher of RTO: monitor

9. ___ charge adjustment: annual

11. planning for the whole east: eipc

12. how many megawatts can go: atc

13. in charge of a hearing: alj

14. agency before FERC: fpc

16. accepted as a power plant: qf

17. contract you can count on: firm

18. lines that FERC approves: pipelines

20. big gas law: ngpa

21. depression era law: puhca

23. Carter law: purpa

26. region without markets: south

27. supply's opposite: demand 

Commissioners for Four Decades, Even More

Commissioners H. Lester Hooker, Bruce Hagen, Walter McDonald, Nat King, Guy Butler 

Was visiting NARUC last week. We were talking about Commissioner Ruth Kretschmer of Illinois, who retired after nearly twenty years in 2003. You may recall the column I recently wrote about her, the longest serving female regulator of utilities. 

Which begs the question. Who was the longest serving commissioner, period, male or female?

Articles We Accept for Publication in PUF

We’re raising the bar, including only the most thought-provoking and engaging articles.

You knew something was up when you received your February issue of Public Utilities Fortnightly. It had more pages and more features. And a new attractive look and feel. 

By now you’ve received your March issue. Still more pages and more features. And an even more attractive look and feel. 

Bernie, Hillary Debate Fracking

March 6th Democratic debate featured fracking food fight.

Most of you know the abundance of natural gas, hence its low price, is due to the fracking revolution.  And that the public's electric and gas utility bills are relatively low as a result.

So you might find of interest this transcript of the March 6th Democratic debate, where the presidential candidates had a food fight over fracking:  

Bernie, Hillary Debate Climate Change Plans

In March 6th Democratic debate, the candidates clashed over climate change plans.

Continuing from yesterday's column. You might find of interest this excerpt of the March 6th Democratic debate.

The presidential candidates finished their food fight over fracking. Then they clashed over climate change plans: 

CNN's Anderson Cooper: Senator Sanders ... there are a number of Democratic governors in many states who say that fracking can be done safely. And that it's helping their economies. Are they wrong?  

Residential Electric Rates to Drop in 2016

Energy Dept. forecasts residential electric rates to drop 0.7% in 2016

Residential electric rates haven't decreased year-over-year since 2002 (US average). But the Energy Department forecasts a decrease in 2016.

The forecast was in the Short-Term Energy Outlook that came out last week. 

It does project that rates will increase in 2017. The agency expects natural gas prices to rebound and rise in 2017, driving electric rates up with them. 

The decrease in residential rates this year will be only the fifth time that the year-over year US average has fallen since 1990. Three of the five times were in the late 1990's.

Electric Rates Drop 3% While CPI Rises 1%

Yesterday’s CPI showed electric rates dropped dramatically in February year-over-year

Did you hear about March 16's Labor Dept. report of the Consumer Price Index? The CPI rose one percent in February 2016, from February 2015. So?

You may not have heard much about the numbers behind the CPI report. You may not have heard that the average price American consumers pay for electric utility service (electric rates) dropped three percent. 

And what consumers pay for natural gas utility service dropped ten percent. This is big news. Electric and gas utility service is becoming cheaper before our eyes. 

Regions, Cities Where Electricity's On Sale

Consumers in some cities paying 10 to 20% less than last year

In the northeast, consumers paid 8.6 percent less for electricity in February than they did a year ago, in February 2015. That's almost a 10 percent price cut. 

In the south, consumers paid 3.8 percent less than a year ago. That's a sizable cut too, though not as extraordinary as what northeasterners have enjoyed.

In the Midwest, consumers paid 0.5 percent more than they did a year ago. Roughly equal to increase in the overall consumer price index for the region. There, the dramatic fall in natural gas prices had less of a benefit. 

Upcoming April 2016 issue contents

76 pages, 16 features & columns, 19 authors, ducks, baseball, virtual reality, 3 cartoons, and a crossword puzzle.

With features by Bill Spence, with Steve Mitnick; Nancy Ryan and Lucy McKenzie; Brendan Collins; Larry Kellerman; Charles Cicchetti; Nicholas Giannasca; Colin Fraser; Roy Palk; and Sam Flaim and Loren Toole.