Today in Fortnightly

10 Most Influential in Utilities Since 1990

Amory Lovins, Bill Hogan, Alfred Kahn, Gina McCarthy, etc.

It's January 1, 1990. Electric utilities are vertically integrated. The '92 Act is two years off. RTOs and ESCOs are unheard of.

Coal dominates the generation mix. Control technologies for emissions of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides are slowly evolving. As are gas combined-cycle technologies. Gas is drilled for vertically. 

The Clean Air Act is surprisingly amended later in the year. Few are wary of climate change, aka global warming. 

No Consumer Advocates! 50 Years Ago

PUF editorial in 1966 shows what a dramatically different culture it was then.

Check out this editorial from 50 years ago, in the April 14, 1966 issue of Public Utilities Fortnightly. In this criticism of the notion of a utility consumer advocate, the rhetoric reveals a gigantic gulf between American society of then and of now.

Your Nominations: Most Influential in Utilities Since 1990

Ted Craver, Phil Harris, Terry Boston, Pat Wood, The Governator, Nora Brownell, Gordon van Welie, etc.

Since January 1, 1990, 26 years ago, much has changed and much is changing. Who drove the changes? Who have been the 10 most influential leaders that shaped our world of utilities? On Tuesday, I asked who you would name? You flooded my inbox with nominations. First, to recap, here are 20 names I put out there:  

Amid Solar Storm, EIA Defends Itself

Energy Dept.’s EIA shines light on accusations its numbers are anti-solar.

This storm has been brewing for awhile. The Energy Department's Energy Information Administration, EIA, is supposedly anti-solar. Indeed, it's anti-renewables. 

Even though EIA is chartered to be - and has been - consistently unbiased, as the energy policy debates of the day have swirled around. Even though EIA is an agency of the Obama administration, not known to be anti-renewables. 

5.6% Lower Residential Electric Bills in January

And excluding California, Americans everywhere else paid 6.5% less for electricity compared to year ago.

Just before the weekend, the Energy Department reported on January 2016.  We crunched the numbers over the weekend. 

American households paid 5.6 percent less for electricity this January.  Compared to the prior January.

Electric bills in some states shrunk substantially.  

Residential bills in the northeast dwindled.  

People living in New York, Massachusetts, Delaware, New Hampshire, Connecticut, and New Jersey did really well.  Their bills dropped 20.1 percent, 16.6 percent, 15.7 percent, 14.8 percent, 13.9 percent, and 12.3 percent.  

April 2016 Issue of PUF

Here’s an antipasto of the April issue.

With quotes by PPL CEO Bill Spence, Nancy Ryan and Lucy McKenzie, Brendan Collins, Larry Kellerman, Charles Cicchetti, Steve Huntoon, Shawn DuBravac and Steve Mitnick.

Commerce Dept.: Mini-Era of Cheap Electricity Continues

For 12 months in a row, electric bills have been 1.5% or less of personal expenditures.

Good news again this week. The Commerce Department announced February's numbers that build up to the nation's Gross Domestic Product, the GDP. Buried in the numbers, electric bills were just 1.44 percent of personal consumption expenditures. 

Over two-thirds of the GDP is spent by and for individuals and families. These personal expenditures amount to around twelve and a half trillion dollars per annum. 

Robert Redford, aka Sundance Kid, in PUF

PUF Editor’s article in a 1991 issue talks Redford.

Robert Redford, aka the Sundance Kid, in Public Utilities Fortnightly? That's right. The February 1, 1991 issue of PUF.

PUF's Editor-in-Chief at the time, Cheryl Romo, wrote about a conference she attended, hosted by the Institute for Resource Management. Aside from starring in everything from The Sting to Indecent Proposal to The Natural to A River Runs Through It, Redford had founded IRM in the early eighties.

Clean Power Puzzle: April 2016 crossword puzzle answers

Spoiler alert! Answers to this month’s crossword puzzle, Clean Power Puzzle, on page 27 in April 2016's Public Utilities Fortnightly.


1. reliable critic: nerc

2. more with building block four: efficiency

6. assessment: ea

7. incentive program: ceip

8. more with building block three: renewables

10. skeptical judges: supreme

14. more with building block two: gas

15. not changing the ___: climate

Who's Up-and-Coming in Utility Regulation and Policy?

Nominate the most promising of the next generation of leaders in our business.

You all really got into my March 22nd column on the ten most influential in our business since 1990. I received a flood of e-mails from you. 

You wanted to add this FERC chairman or that utility executive, this RTO founder or that thought leader. Or subtract someone that was on my initial list.

The column two days later summarized your comments. Did that put an end to the matter? No way. It only egged you on. Another flood of e-mails came in. There was even an organized write-in campaign, it was leaked to me, for a certain RTO founder.