Service-quality improvements need to be thought through in advance and managed.
Customer information systems (CIS) are almost never justified and implemented to realize dramatic gains in quality of service. Revenue improvements? Yes. Rates management flexibility? You bet. Delinquency and write-off improvements? Sure. Statutory pressure, including introduction of deregulation? Maybe not as often these days, but still true. Technology consistency, supportability, and application integration? Absolutely.
Fortnightly Magazine - June 2004
The U.S. faces a near doubling of population this century. Will there be enough power for the people?
On this the 75th anniversary of its publication, -a journal that has sought out the truth through its investigation and understanding, been a place for knowledge and scholarship, and been a medium for intellectual discourse within the energy industry-looks out to the future.
In 2004, the quintessential question remains what it was 75 years ago: How will the energy industry meet the demands of tomorrow?
Southern Co. chose Francis S. Blake to stand for election to its board of directors. Blake is an executive vice president at The Home Depot. Blake's election would bring the board to 11 members.
Mirant announced that M. Michele Burns is the company's new CFO and executive vice president, charged with leading the company's financial restructuring. Burns previously has been executive vice president for Delta Air Lines Inc. and a partner with Arthur Anderson LLP.
A look at issues that could keep energy executives up at night.
The most common strategic issue depriving utility executives of sleep is the looming clash of investor expectations for steady growth in earnings compared with what utilities can deliver given slow growth in customers and demand. While many dream of assured regulated rates of return, the reality for most utilities is that the 1.5 percent retail growth experienced between 2002 and 2003 will prove unsatisfactory for earnings.
Grid reliability is one giant step in mainstreaming the technology.
Wind power is coming of age in the United States. During the past five years, installations have grown by an average 28 percent yearly. Gleaming, high-tech wind turbines now are interconnected to the bulk power grid in some 30 states.
CPUC questioned historic oversight authority.
To guarantee the continued growth of liquefied natural gas (LNG) importation and use in the United States, the energy industry needs to pay close attention to govern the regulation, siting, and operation of LNG import terminals-issues traditionally overseen by the federal government.
Business & Money
Investors are asking utilities questions about environmental and social risks. Answers can be a challenge.
When the tech-stock bubble burst in 2001, investors were outraged to learn that many stock analysts were being paid to over-hype stocks. The following year, Enron's ugly public death revealed the presence of a virulent infection in governance of many large and respected companies.
Let's look back over the past few years-what we got right and where we went wrong.
Do you recall how you felt at your last class reunion? Well, that's exactly what an editor feels when asked to reminisce in public about days gone by at the magazine to which he gave his best years.
For Public Utilities Fortnightly's 75th Anniversary CEO issue, the magazine looked to the horizon and asked these new captains about the planned course for their companies, and for an entire industry.
How will the industry change in the future?
The utility industry of the future can be best characterized by three words: scale, synergies, and automation. Company leaders and the broader workforce will be touched by these three forces for change. We can already see glimpses of the future around us today. In response to the sweep of deregulation, many power companies no longer generate power. They have divested themselves of their generating plants, ceding that ground to independent producers to concentrate on distribution.