Can natural gas supply keep up with demand for power?
Things are looking up for the energy industry, but tough issues remain. Regulators-forced to grapple with the mismatch between volatile natural-gas prices and years of building gas-fired power plants-have learned a thing or two. They now insist on new rate schemes and risk-management methods while promoting the use of liquefied natural gas.
After the Shakeout: Another Look at the Georgia Gas Market
How Colorado's settlement in the Xcel merger builds a case for treating needy ratepayers as a separate class entitled to merger benefits.
Why utilities haven't scored at e-commerce.
From what I hear, utilities would love to junk their call centers, whether or not they run them in-house. Call centers had their moment in the sun, but today the Internet makes them look feeble. Why hire a minimum-wage sales staff to take orders by phone when consumers will gladly input their own bids at the click of a mouse? You can't trim transaction costs any closer than that.
Weighing the outlook for new plant investment in gas-fired power and related infrastructure.
The jury is still out on the type and size of additional energy infrastructure desirable in the Northeast United States, but enough data is in to make a few guarded observations.
The situation is fluid.
ENERGY SERVICE PROVIDERS ARE LISTED BY THE DOZENS on public utility commission Web sites, often with direct links to the companies themselves. Even so, picking out 10 to watch for their commercial and industrial activity isn't an easy task.
There's no reliable volume data. There's no organization rating the services each of these vendors offers. The ESPs themselves are either reticent about disclosing data or overly boastful. There's no ready apples-to-apples comparison of ESPs available for prospective C&I customers. Still, who is who among ESPs is a legitimate question.
How a sample electric company could reduce risk of loss by upgrading performance to industry benchmarks. Competition in electric generation will expose utility costs that exceed those of alternative suppliers. Roughly speaking, these above-market ("transition") costs should track the difference between the new market price and the embedded cost set by traditional cost-of-service regulation.
The problem has attracted no shortage of proposals.
The Oregon Public Utility Commission has authorized Portland General Electric Co. to expand market-based (discounted) pricing options for commercial and industrial (C&I) customers, by lowering the minimum load threshold from 10 to 5 megawatts.
Pricing under the new tariff is based on either 1) an annual fixed-price quote set at the beginning of the contract year and reflecting the market price of power delivery to the utility's service territory; or 2) the daily nonfirm price at the California-Oregon Border, plus 1 mill per kilowatt-hour.
The New York Public Service Commission (PSC) has granted a series of waivers from its existing ban against the submetering of gas service to commercial and industrial (C&I) customers in the state. The waivers will allow GCT Venture, Ltd. to submeter gas service to approximately 25 food vendors renting facilities and space within the real estate firm's proposed redevelopment of the grand Central terminal in New York City.
The PSC observed that gas submetering was prohibited because of safety considerations, especially in cases of residential service.