WHETHER YOU CALL IT "DEREGULATION" OR "re-regulation," the promised move to competition does not mean less regulation - at least not any time soon.
New Jersey Board of Public Utilities
WITH DIRECT ACCESS SCHEDULED TO BEGIN ON Jan. 1, 1998, California regulators are moving quickly to set up their long-considered policies on electric restructuring. The restructuring actions touch nearly every aspect of electric regulation in the state from financing decisions and rate design to the sale of generating assets and monitoring new capital additions.
In addition, restructuring has affected ongoing regulatory activities such as the development of performance-based rate making plans and pricing and rate designs for large incumbent utilities.
Expressing concern about price volatility in the natural gas market, New Jersey, Virginia and Michigan regulators have directed local gas distribution companies to try fixed-price contracts and other hedging instruments. This would allay risk in wholesale gas supply portfolios and protect residential ratepayers from price swings common in the winter heating season, regulators said.
The growing popularity of fixed-price and other financial instruments to hedge against price spikes follows two winters of volatility noticed by regulators nationwide.
The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities has approved a pilot program for Jersey Central Power and Light Co. that will allow some of the utility's electric customers to choose a private energy supplier and then compare bills with and without retail competition.
JCP&L, an electric utility doing business as GPU Energy, serves more than 11,900 mostly residential customers in Monroe, N.J., the targeted town.
AT Washington Water Power, Bobby Schmidt was appointed director of the company, and Paul A. Redmond announced his retirement as chair and CEO. Redmond started with the company in 1965. Previously, Schmidt worked as an independent trader in Chicago.
MDU Resources Group Inc. has promoted Martin A. White from senior vice president, corporate development to president and CEO. White, who has been with the company since 1991, will replace retiring president H.J. Mellen Jr.
Robert L. Goocher was promoted to president of AGL Resources Service Co. from executive vice president and COO.
Over the summer, a handful of states approved gas pilot programs that will introduce choice of supplier to residential, and small commercial customers in preparation for the heating season. The decisions welcome the expansion of customer choice to smaller users, but pay careful attention to operational details such as who controls storage and upstream pipeline capacity to performance balancing services.
New Jersey. Finding greater than expected public interest, the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities has authorized New Jersey Natural Gas Co.
The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities has authorized Public Service Electric and Gas Co. to extend its existing economic development programs through July 1999.
The programs include construction and building credits for non-residential consumers who expand into newly leased or purchased vacant building space and increase their electric or gas energy use as a result. The program also includes an electric, off-peak employment service for non-residential customers that increase consumption of off-peak electricity as a result of increased employment levels.
Regulators in Pennsylvania and New Jersey have taken steps to address relationships between natural gas utilities, customers, marketers and brokers operating in their respective states, announcing policies to cover such topics as fitness requirements, marketing practices and consumer protection.
One question that continues to raise concern is price arbitrage by marketers during supply emergencies that might affect service to captive residential customers.
As it concluded its first review of an alternative rate plan for local telephone service, the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities approved a series of telecommunications network upgrades and associated network modernization program for Bell Atlantic-New Jersey.
The original rate plan, approved in 1993, had combined the promise of a modernized telephone infrastructure with rate deregulation for certain competitive services and a freeze on rates for residential phone service. (See, Re New Jersey Bell Tel.
State regulators in New Jersey, New York and California have recently approved mergers of local exchange and long-distance telephone carriers operating within those states that are part of larger interstate and international consolidations.
NYNEX/Bell Atlantic. The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities has approved the merger of two major local-exchange carrier holding companies, NYNEX Corp. and Bell Atlantic Corp.