The Ohio Steel Commission is urging the Ohio Public Utilities Commission (PUC) to refuse confidential treatment to discounted rate agreements between electric companies and their customers, arguing that such treatment denies energy users access to information that would help them negotiate competitive rates. The 16-member Steel Commission's request responds to the PUC's decision to keep the terms of a contract between Cleveland Electric Illuminating Co. and American Steel & Wire Corp.
Cleveland Electric Illuminating Co. (CEI) customers will soon be able to earn "frequent flyer" points for using electricity or replacing gas appliances with electric ones. Under the program, planned for Spring 1997, customers receive one point for every kilowatt-hour they use each month. Points can be redeemed for electric appliances, such as night lights, air purifiers, and electric grills.
Two StrategiesThe question is whether to own or lease,
but each route offers its own advantages.
With deregulation nipping at their heels, utilities are looking for ways to gain and maintain
customers. Aggressive utilities are seeking new customers outside of their service territories and offering competitive prices, new products, and new services.
What to Do With All that CASH?Seeing no need to build, utility managers are looking
to invest. Can they be trusted
with stockholder money?With little of the fanfare that surrounds the debate on utility competition, robust cash flows and declining capital outlays have created forces that will reshape the industry no matter how competitive restructuring unfolds. Cash generation already exceeds investment in core utility activities, and the differential will grow sharply over the next several years.
in energy service companies to boost earnings beyond the normal growth rate?Going on the "defensive-offensive."
In the early 1990s, flush with utility money from its corporate parent, Entergy Systems and Service, Inc. began expanding to provide competitive energy services.
The Idaho Public Utilities Commission has authorized Intermountain Gas Co., a local distribution company (LDC), to implement a new interruptible-distribution transportation service for large-volume industrial customers, including a charge designed to minimize stranded costs associated with migration of customers from sales tariffs.
Eleven members of the U.S. House of Representatives have written to Chair Elizabeth A. Moler asking the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to address competitive issues arising from the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act (PURPA).
Professor Peter Navarro, who teaches economics and public policy at the University of California at Irvine, writes in the Harvard Business Review (January-February 1996) that "[t]he deregulation of the electric utility industry represents an important opportunity to enhance the country's competitiveness and improve the standard of living for its citizens. ...
Power Markets Development Co., a subsidiary of PP&L Resources, Inc., is negotiating to acquire a minority interest in British electric distribution company South Western Electricity Board (SWEB). It has submitted a proposal to purchase an interest in Southern Investments-UK, the holding company for SWEB, from Southern Electric International (SEI), which acquired SWEB last fall. Should the purchase go through, SEI intends to maintain majority ownership and management control of SWEB. t
Lori A. Burkhart is an associate legal editor of PUBLIC UTILITIES FORTNIGHTLY.
A special report
power pools, ISOs,
and the fallout from FERC Order 888."WHAT IS NEW IN THE INDUSTRY IS
not the conclusion that coordination in operations is needed to avoid chaos.