BC Hydro

Rate Case Analytics

Hard numbers support operating- and capital-cost claims for gen plants.

It’s been a long time since many electric utilities have had to ask their rate commissions for the amounts of money they’re asking for today. States with deregulation programs either have frozen rates or reduced them over the last decade, in the hopes that competition would naturally lower prices to consumers. Now those programs are ending and their success is questionable. Utilities in more regulated states haven’t faced since the 1970s new build programs like the ones currently contemplated.

Inclining Toward Efficiency

Is electricity price-elastic enough for rate designs to matter?

Contrary to conventional wisdom, electricity demand isn’t immune to price elasticity, and rate designs can encourage conservation. In particular, inclining block rates coupled with dynamic pricing can cut electric use by as much as 20 percent.

CRM and Outsourcing: Inventing the Modern Utility

Developments in IT, outsourcing, customer information and customer relationship systems are challenging long-held notions on essential operations.

New developments in IT, outsourcing, customer information systems, and customer relationship management are challenging long held notions about utilities’ essential operations.

Business Process Outsourcing: Myth or Reality?



Business Process Outsourcing

The utility HR department is the new battleground.

Today information technology (IT) outsourcing contracts are being signed on an almost weekly basis and are rapidly extending into business process outsourcing (BPO) deals covering a whole range of areas-customer care, human resources (HR), finance and accounting, and procurement, to name a few.


New Oportunities:


New Oportunities:

Philip Carroll Jr. returned to ScottishPower as a non-executive director. According to the Comtex News Network, Carroll left ScottishPower earlier in 2003 to assist with the rebuilding of infrastructure in post-war Iraq.

Chesapeake Utilities hired Joe Steinmetz as its director of Internal Audit. Steinmetz served in the same position with Dover Downs Gaming & Entertainment Inc. and Dover Motorsports Inc. from 2001 to 2003 before being promoted to assisted controller.

The IT Outsourcing Question

The pros and cons of outsourcing utilities' IT functions.

The pros and cons of outsourcing utilities' IT functions.

Utility companies have a lot to think about these days. Whether or not to outsource information technologies (IT) is part of the equation being calculated in the present economy. While some managers feel anxiety at turning over important company functions to outsiders, others see it as an opportunity to free up IT staff for other work. And keeping up with ever-changing technology is a daunting task.

News Digest


News Digest


Washington Briefs

FERC Gives Guidance To Foreign Affiliates. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Jan. 15 denied a petition by British Columbia Power Exchange Corp. (Powerex), the power marketing affiliate of British Columbia Hydro and Canada-utility Power Authority (BC Hydro) to sell power at market-based rates.

The order marked the first time the FERC showed how it will apply Order 888's open-access requirements to foreign utility affiliates (Docket No. ER97-556-000).

"I look forward to Powerex taking another run at this issue," says Commissioner James Hoecker.


Prospects look good for cheaper, independent electrical power in Ontario. The market is forcing an end to the current impasse on energy policy. Reforms are apt to include "wholesale access," which should arrive in the province before the year is out. Otherwise, Ontario may lose jobs to neighboring provinces and states.