(A.G.A.) forecasts a 3.4-percent increase in natural gas use for 1995, to 22.5 quadrillion British thermal units (quads) from 21.7 quads in 1994. "Such an increase would continue an eight-year trend that has seen natural gas consumption rise nearly 30 percent since 1986," Michael Baly, A.G.A. president, noted in a presentation to New York securities analysts.
Southern California Edison
Southern California Edison (SCE) has asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to halt the state's Biennial Resource Plan Update energy auction (BRPU). SCE charges that the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) violated the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act (PURPA) and FERC regulations by reinstating the auction late last year.
SCE believes that the auction, which requires California utilities to enter purchased-power contracts, could increase its potential stranded costs by up to $4 billion (in nominal dollars).
Citing credit uncertainties stemming from impending deregulation, Moody's Investors Service has posted negative ratings outlooks for the U.S. electric, telecommunications, and natural gas industries (with the exception of the pipeline segment). Moody's acknowledges, however, that the impact of deregulation will depend on market maturity, relative cost structure, degree of integration, and regulatory flexibility.
The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has decided to adopt a "wait and see" approach in general rate proceedings for utilities affected by its generic industry restructuring case. Southern California Edison Co. asked the CPUC to postpone ruling on marginal cost, rate design, and cost-allocation issues in its 1995 general rate case until it issues a policy order in the restructuring proceeding.
The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has modified its policies on incentive mechanisms for utility demand-side management (DSM) efforts, while adopting new shareholder incentives for Pacific Gas & Electric Co., San Diego Gas & Electric Co., Southern California Edison Co., and Southern California Gas Co.
It was far from common just two years ago to identify an electric utility with a senior executive responsible for proactive marketing activities. Today, such people are relatively easy to find. Often they report directly to the CEO.
The waves of utility downsizings and corporate reorganizations have brought the realization that electricity will need to be sold, serviced, and strategically marketed to customers large and small.
H.J. "Jim" Mellen, Jr. was named CEO of MDU Resources Group Inc. He will retain his current position as president. Mellen replaced John A. Schuchart, who will continue as chairman of the board.
Robert Anderson, Montana Public Service Commission member, was elected 104th president of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners. Edward H. Salmon, member of the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities, was elected first v.p.
By the end of 1996, the 400,000 urban customers of Kansas City Power & Light Co. (KCPL) will enter a new age of technology.
A real-time wireless network will bounce readings from small transmitters installed in the existing meters of every home and business in the greater Kansas City metropolitan area back to computers at the utility's customer services office.
We begin the new year with a recap of the major rulings issued last year by state public utility commissions (PUCs).
Electricity took center stage as state commissioners began in earnest to examine rising competition in the power generation market. The seemingly endless number of privately sponsored seminars, conferences, and reports on the issue might suggest that regulators are following rather than leading on policy.
Vikram S. Budhraja
Vice President of Planning and Technology
Southern California Edison Co.
The transition to a competitive generation marketplace is underway. Customers want choices, flexibility, and competitive prices. Producers want open nondiscriminatory access to markets. Regulators want a smooth transition to the new system based on competitive efficiency, not cost-avoidance or cost-shifting among customer groups. And policymakers want a system that protects consumers without sacrificing environmental and energy policy objectives.