Near-term vision for advanced distribution management.
Planning ahead in a low-cost gas market.
IIt’s ironic that in today’s market, as the cost of hedging against commodity price increases has declined, support for utility hedging programs has sunk to a historic low. The ideal time to hedge is when prices are low and markets are relatively calm, because that’s when hedging costs and risks are the lowest. Conversely, waiting until prices rise and markets become volatile will expose customers to higher costs. Convincing regulators to approve hedging programs now will require a collaborative approach to educating and enlisting support from stakeholders.
How to measure hedging effectiveness and regulatory policy.
Hedging programs promise protection against energy-market price spikes, and they can be important to the regulatory goal of sustainable, lowest long-term service cost. But how much price protection is enough in natural-gas markets? What is the most efficient use of risk capital when hedging energy supplies?
How enterprise risk management practices impact the Standard & Poor’s rating process.
About a year ago, Standard & Poor’s expanded the methodology used to review and assess the enterprise risk management practices of U.S. energy firms with trading desks. The methodology, known as the PIM framework, focuses on the three aspects of policies, infrastructure, and methodology, and produces a comprehensive evaluation of a firm’s risk management. The importance of each of these aspects in a company’s risk culture, and our opinion of its risk management quality, will depend on that company’s size, complexity, and range of risk.
How trading hazards affect enterprise risk management at utilities.
Over the past 15 years, trading’s role at utility companies has evolved substantially from ensuring sufficient power and fuel supplies for ratepayers to taking large, open, and speculative positions and maximizing asset value. Along with that evolution come a host of new business and financial risks for utilities.
A new set of skills and expertise will be necessary to deal with the risks created by new government mandates, new market developments, and new energy technologies.
Experts say a new set of skills and expertise will be necessary to manage the risk created by new government mandates, new market developments, and new energy technologies.
Companies should adopt a far more robust metric.
Market risk remains one of the most significant issues for gas and power merchants. The SEC requires disclosure of market risks in a company’s annual filings. However, the allowable metrics fail to communicate the type of information an investor actually can use to gain an understanding of the market risk embedded in a company’s business.
Eleven questions to ask senior managers about their risk-management objectives.
It is almost impossible to design an effective hedge program without first determining the exact objectives a company wants to achieve. Although this sounds obvious, it rarely is. Management usually can agree that the firm should hedge to reduce risk, but “risk” is too vague a term to justify hedging on its own.
A short list of questions that every board member and senior manager should be able to answer.
A pseudonymous executive tells why the CCRO's recommendations don't pass muster.
The latest splash from the Committee of Chief Risk Officers1 (CCRO)-a new white paper regarding capital adequacy for energy companies2-makes barely a ripple. While an improvement over the CCRO's previous efforts,3 the capital adequacy recommendations do not provide adequate standards that can be implemented consistently by energy companies.