Illinois has yet to face the issue, but when it does, it may find the road blocked by jurisdictional rules at the FERC. According to estimates by Moody's Investor Service, the state of Illinois would face stranded costs of nearly $6 billion if it should mandate retail wheeling to allow the state's electric utility customers to choose their own supply of electricity.
Fortnightly Magazine - January 15 1997
By reversing a ruling by a federal district court judge, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has effectively reinstated an antitrust suit by a natural gas marketer against Washington Natural Gas Co., a natural gas local distribution company (LDC), charging the LDC with "off-tariff" pricing and other practices designed to favor commodity sales over transport-only customers who buy their own gas directly, such as from marketers.
In reinstating the complaint, the appeals court denied any "state action immunity" against antitrust claims.
More than just software, prepaid billing remakes the business.
It revamps operations and changes the customer relationship.
There are no technical impediments that stand in the way for prepayment meters in North America. Whatever roadblocks do exist lie more with the state legislatures and with the culture of gas utilities and consumers."
Those comments come from Janet Penz, product manager (diaphragm meters) for Schlumberger Industries, speaking from her new Canadian office in Mississaugua, Ontario.
The Michigan Public Service Commission (PSC) has approved a comprehensive settlement in a series of closely watched cases in which Consumers Power Co. had proposed to realign electric rates and cost recovery to anticipate retail competition in electricity.
Among other points, the settlement allows Consumers Power to implement a "direct access" tariff to meet anticipated competition for its largest customers.
On Monday, January 6, the Board of Trustees of the North American Electric Reliability Council (NERC) voted unanimously to require mandatory compliance from its regional and affiliate councils with all reliability "policies" adopted by NERC. Previously, the regional councils (MAPP, ERCOT, ECAR, etc.) were only required to give their "best efforts" to comply.
As the board explains, "Compliance with NERC rules needs to be insured, but peer pressure will not be sufficient."
This new vote stems from "A Call to Action," mailed out on October 28 by Richard J.
Despite an acknowledged drop in rates (down 11 percent in real terms over the last ten years) the Vermont Public Service Board has proposed to restructure the state's electric utility industry. The proposal would follow along the same lines envisioned by many other states (em i.e., competition and choice in the generation sector, with regulated monopolies for transmission and distribution services, plus recovery of "legitimate" stranded costs.
Beginning in 1998, retail customers could choose among competitive suppliers.
American National Power announced three executive changes: Joseph E. Cofelice, senior v.p., was given the added post of COO; Jim Murray, senior v.p., was given additional duties of CFO; and David L. Coke, director-asset optimization, was promoted to operations v.p.
Peter W. Delaney, a cost-cutting commissioner in the New York Office of General Services, was appointed senior v.p.-business services at the New York Power Authority. The Authority also promoted Gerard V. Loughran, a principal attorney, to v.p.-human resources.
The Institute of Gas Technology (IGT) elected Roger A.
While approving the transfer of certain water utility assets and certificates between two utility companies, the Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) has decided against applying a negative acquisition adjustment to rate base in setting rates for the acquiring utility, even though the buyer paid "substantially less" than original cost for the facilities ($545,000 versus $2.845 million).
The PSC ruled that without extraordinary circumstances, its policy requires that a purchase of utility assets at a premium or discount should not affect the rate base calculation.
Wholesale power transactions continue to grow. During 1995, utilities spent more than $58 billion on bulk power and, for the first time, investor-owned utilities spent more for electricity ($30 billion) than for fuel ($29 billion) to generate it. The reasons for the expansion can be traced to more aggressive marketing strategies by electric utilities, an increasingly competitive group of independent power providers, and the presence of power marketers as a formidable and growing group of power traders.
Expansion in wholesale markets is hardly new.
In two recent actions concerning natural gas marketers and brokers, the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) has proposed new policy to define its authority over marketing by the state's local distribution companies (LDCs) and their affiliates, plus a new rule requiring LDCs to set tariffed guidelines to ensure that marketers and brokers possess the financial and technical fitness necessary "to meet their contractual obligations" in transporting gas through LDC systems.
It stressed that it would not permit unreasonable discrimination in retail offerings (em whether by the LDC