New York Public Service Commission

Ratepayers to Find Emissions Allowance Pool

The New York Public Service Commission has authorized Niagara Mohawk Power Corp., to set up an emissions reduction credit pool to assist economic development efforts in the state.

It also approved the utility's plan to fund the pool with more than $700,000 of existing deferred credits owed to ratepayers from previous sales of sulfur-dioxide allowances.

The company plans to sell the credits at market value and as part of special discount electric service tariff offerings.

N.Y. Fills "Vacuum" Asserts Wheeling Authority

The New York Public Service Commission has asserted authority to mandate direct-access pilot programs to give supply choice to energy consumers, noting that state authority is crucial to filling a regulatory "vacuum," since the Federal Power Act withholds authority from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to mandate retail wheeling.

The case involved a pilot program developed by Dairylea Cooperative Inc.

CalEnergy Halts Hostile Takeoveer Attempt

CalEnergy Company Inc. subsidiary CE Electric Inc. in mid-July appeared poised to take over New York State Electric & Gas Corp. But NYSEG fought the hostile takeover and won.

Although NYSEG had asked the New York Public Service Commission and the Federal District Court for the Southern District of New York to intervene, in the end, CalEnergy cited "lack of shareholder support" as its reason for terminating its bid.

A takeover attempt. CalEnergy Company Inc.

N.Y. Restructures Gas Rates to Lure Competitive Supplies

The New York Public Service Commission has directed Consolidated Edison Co. to modify its gas transportation rates to more accurately reflect costs.

The commission said that the tariff revisions mark a "major step" for a service territory where competition between the utility and gas marketers had not yet developed.

DOJ Sues Utility for Threats, Bribes

The U.S. Department of Justice is suing Rochester Gas & Electric Co. for allegedly threatening and attempting to bribe the University of Rochester and for its anti-competitive power supply contract with the school.

The Justice Department called the suit an "effort to loosen the stranglehold" the utility has over the university providing electricity to Rochester.

The lawsuit, filed June 24 in U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York, claims that Rochester Gas & Electric tried to coerce the university into abandoning plans to build a cogeneration plant.

Orange & Rockland Restructuring Needs PSC Help

Orange and Rockland Utilities has expressed "extreme disappointment" with a preliminary decision issued by a judge at the New York Public Service Commission that concerns O&R's proposed electric restructuring settlement. (See, Case 96-E-0900, Opinion No. 96-12.)

On July 2, Administrative Law Judge Stewart C. Boschwitz ruled that unwillingness by O&R to divest its generation company would create potential anti-competitive situations and could hurt ratepayers.

N.Y. Would Reimburse Bypassed QFs

The New York Public Service Commission has set up procedures to reimburse qualifying cogeneration and small power production facilities if any of the state's seven investor-owned electric utilities should curtail purchases of power from the QFs. The Independent Power Producers of New York Inc. blasted the decision.

The PSC said it will review QF requests for reimbursement if a utility is alleged to have curtailed purchases unfairly.

N.Y. Proposes ESCO Rules, Tables Enron Plan

Finding it "too early" to consider proposals by Enron and Wheeled Electric Power to assign the state's electric utility customers to retail competitive energy service companies, the New York Public Service Commission nevertheless has mapped out a proposal to introduce competition in retail energy markets through a state-established retail provider of last resort.

The commission also would like to make information readily available to allow consumers to make informed choices. The proposed policy would permit adequate oversight of the market to ensure its fair operation (Opinion No.

States Set Rates for LEC Interconnection Services

Signaling victory over one of the more complex issues in the move to competition in the local telephone market, regulators in Connecticut and New York have adopted rate plans for unbundled interconnection services offered by incumbent local exchange carriers.

Both states also recently approved the wholesale discount rate that the LECs must apply to existing services when offering them for resale by competitive companies. See Re AT&T Communications of New York, Inc., 173 PUR4th 274 (N.Y.P.S.C. 1996); Re So. New England Tel. Co., Docket No. 95-06-17, March 25, 1997 (Conn.D.P.U.C.).

New York Asks FERC for ISO, PX, Council

New York state's electric utilities in a joint filing at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission have called for creation of an independent system operator, a power exchange and a reliability council, termed the "New York State Reliability Council."

The proposal stems from a collaborative process and is intended to complete the transition to full compliance with FERC Order 888. It includes numerous provisions:

• New York ISO. Would control state's bulk power transmission facilities;

• Transmission Pricing.