A state-by-state look at retail competition.
Rochester Gas & Electric
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.
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.
Do mergers and "critical mass" really make a difference? The answer, it seems, is yes.
To become more competitive, U.S. electric utilities have embarked on a quest in recent years to improve operational efficiency and factor productivity. The question is: Are utilities making progress? And, which companies have gained a competitive edge? Which have not?
Industry analysts have long argued that given the structure of the markets they serve and their cost-based, rate-setting procedures, electric utilities tend toward monopolistic behavior.
The New York Public Service Commission on Feb. 12 pushed toward competition by approving a multi-utility pilot program for electric retail access for commercial farms and food processors, and by allowing utilities to use their flexible-rate programs to compete against economic-development power offered by the New York Power Authority (Docket 97012/94EO385).
The Dairylea farming cooperative had asked the commission to approve a pilot open to commercial farms and food processors, except those that already have flexible rate contracts. The PSC agreed.
American National Power announced three executive changes: Joseph E. Cofelice, senior v.p., was given the added post of COO; Jim Murray, senior v.p., was given additional duties of CFO; and David L. Coke, director-asset optimization, was promoted to operations v.p.
Peter W. Delaney, a cost-cutting commissioner in the New York Office of General Services, was appointed senior v.p.-business services at the New York Power Authority. The Authority also promoted Gerard V. Loughran, a principal attorney, to v.p.-human resources.
The Institute of Gas Technology (IGT) elected Roger A.
In two recent rulings, the New York Public Service Commission (PSC) has authorized electric utilities to call upon ratepayers to help cover losses from rate discounts and write off sunk investment in nuclear power plants. Ratepayer contributions in each case will come through incentive clauses by which revenues or losses are shared on an 80-20 basis between customers and company stockholders.
Rate Discounts. In one case, the PSC allowed Niagara Mohawk Power Corp.
SCANA Corp. promoted William B. Timmerman, president, to COO. John L. Skolds, senior v.p. of generation at SCANA subsidiary South Carolina Electric & Gas, became president and COO. Skolds replaces Bruce D. Kenyon, who left the company to become president of Northeast Nuclear Energy Co.
James T. Egler was promoted from president of Equitable Resources Inc.'s marketing division to CEO of Equitable Gas Co., a regulated subsidiary.
Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Corp. promoted Bob Bahnick to v.p., operations & engineering.
Richard D. Spencer, lately of General Electric Corp., has been hired by Equitable Resources, Inc. as v.p. and chief information officer. He was technology programs manager at GE.
Commonwealth Edison Co. has formed a new nuclear division management team. Thomas J. Maiman, senior v.p., is the top executive. He moves from the company's fossil division. Michael J. Wallace, another senior v.p., will market the utility on strategic nuclear business issues.
Nancy Schultz was promoted to engineering and construction services director at Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Corp. She joined Transco in 1982.
Columbia Energy Services has hired Greg Davis at its Pittsburgh office. He previously worked for the Natural Gas Clearinghouse and Exxon Corp.
James S. Thomson has joined Consolidated Natural Gas Co. as president of its new subsidiary, CNG International Corp. He last worked at Edison International's Mission Energy Co.
Westinghouse Electric Corp. has promoted Randy H.