A settlement agreement filed with Indiana regulators preserves ProLiance's gas supply relationship with its utility affiliates, Vectren Energy Delivery and Citizens Gas & Coke Utility, through March 2011. The settlement, which was reached with the utilities, ProLiance and three consumer representatives, is subject to approval by the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC). Vectren Chairman Niel C. Ellerbrook said the agreement "provides for significant future savings for our customers and the recognition that ProLiance's Indiana-based business model remains beneficial to all parties." The utilities said that their customers have enjoyed a cumulative gas supply cost savings of more than $85 million due to ProLiance's portfolio management, which has been in place since Vectren and Citizens Gas formed the joint venture in 1996. The two utilities identified potential gas cost savings resulting from the joint management of their interstate supply portfolios and contracted with ProLiance to provide services to them at a reduced cost. The relationship includes the use of a gas cost incentive mechanism. In June 2002, the utilities, which serve nearly one million Indiana customers, the Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor (OUCC), the Citizens Action Coalition of Indiana, and an Industrial Customer Group entered into a settlement resolving outstanding issues related to ProLiance's supply services and providing that the company would remain the utilities' supplier through March 2007. The new settlement extends the term of the relationship four years.
Sempra Energy's San Diego Gas and Electric Co. utility announced last Tuesday its customers would receive $21 million from the settlement with Reliant Energy over issues outstanding from the state's 2000-2001 energy crisis. In addition, SDG&E said it expects to receive another $20 million at a later date. After its customers were the first to feel the heat of the wholesale power market meltdown in mid-2000, the Sempra utility was the first California party to file a complaint with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission later that year in the early months of the crisis. "California natural gas and electricity customers have since received several refunds as a result of state and federal investigations into the causes of the energy crisis," a SDG&E spokesperson said. SDG&E's original FERC filing contended that rates were unreasonable during the energy crisis, and since then, the SDG&E utility customers have received refund allocations of more than $165 million. As one of two major California Sempra Energy utilities, SDG&E serves a population of 3.3 million mostly in San Diego County and parts of the south end of Orange County. That includes service to 1.3 million electric meters, and more than 800,000 natural gas meters.
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