Gas marketers said last week a preliminary unbundling ruling bythe Connecticut Department of Public Utility Control (DPUC) allowsthe state’s local distribution utilities to erect “insurmountablebarriers to entry” into the retail gas market and will snuff outwhat little competition exists today.
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Marketers Blast Connecticut LDC’s Unbundling Tariffs
The Connecticut retail gas market “will quickly turn into nomarket at all” if the state Department of Public Utility Control(DPUC) approves the August unbundling tariff filings made by thestate’s three local distribution companies, retail gas marketerssaid last week in a joint brief. The DPUC is expected to issue afirst phase unbundling order later this week that will address theissues presented by the marketers.
FERC Grants AGL Waiver from Capacity Release Rules
FERC ventured into unknown territory yesterday to help Georgia’slargest gas utility implement retail unbundling behind its citygateon Nov. 1 but avoid costs stranded by retail competition. In afour-to-one vote, the Commission granted Atlanta Gas Light alimited one-year waiver of certain federal regulations, allowing itto allocate, rather than release under the regulated competitivebidding procedure, 102,100 Dth/d of capacity on Southern NaturalGas to marketers taking over gas sales on its distribution system.
High Utility Demand Now, But Watch Out for Fall
Anyone who’s been outside just about anywhere in the countryknows summer came on early this year and came on strong. Electricutilities that usually don’t hit their demand peaks until July orAugust hit their high marks last month. And the heat likely won’tbe retreating in August.
Metrocall, Washington Gas in Deal
Metrocall Inc. of Alexandria, VA, announced it has entered intoa new two-year strategic marketing agreement with Washington Gas tooffer Metrocall pagers and services to the utility’s customer basein the Washington, D.C. and parts of Maryland.
Oklahoma’s Nickles Would Scrap Utility Franchises
Oklahoma’s Republican Sen. Don Nickles has introduced a wholenew approach to the electric restructuring debate, proposing a billthat would strip states of their authority to grant franchises toutilities and open local markets to competition.
Ohio PUC Gives Choice to 1.8 Million
The Public Utility Commission of Ohio made it possible yesterdayfor 1.8 million retail gas customers in more than 64 Ohio countiesto begin choosing gas suppliers this winter. PUCO approved a hugeexpansion of Columbia Gas of Ohio’s pilot program and extended thepilots of Cincinnati Gas & Electric and East Ohio Gas.
Pennsylvania Senate OKs New PUC Commissioner
The Pennsylvania Senate voted Wednesday to confirm Chester, PAMayor Aaron Wilson Jr. to the state Public Utility Commissionreplacing Commissioner John Hanger and effectively ending thatstate’s leadership toward substantive electric and natural gasderegulation. Only a handful of senators opposed the nomination.
TECO Expanding South Florida Distribution
TECO Energy gas utility Peoples Gas System, Florida’s largestretail gas distributor, announced plans to expand distributionservice to southwest Florida. Customers in the Lee County area,including Fort Myers and Cape Coral as well as Naples andsurrounding communities, will be able to buy natural gas for thefirst time.
CPUC Judge Recommends Approval of PE-Enova Merger
A California Public Utility Commission administrative law judgehas recommended approval of the proposed Pacific Enterprises-EnovaCorp. merger, citing potential savings of $288 million spread overfive years and divided equally between ratepayers and shareholders.