Across the Nation
Residential Rates a Priority for Texas Senator
In an interview with the Austin American Statesman, Republican Senator David Silbey said that
unless deregulation cuts residential rates
by 15 to 20 percent, there’s no need to
open the state’s electric utility industry
to competition. Silbey is chairman of the
Senate of Economic Development Committee
and the Texas Senate Interim Committee. It
is likely that his opinions will influence
the 31-member Senate, where GOP currently
has a 17-majority vote.
Clinton Calls For Customer Choice
The White House offered its plan to let consumers
choose their electricity providers by Jan.
1, 2003. With a number of states already
implementing and developing restructuring
legislation, the White House proposal would
let states opt out of the federal plan. The
plan calls for more use of renewable energy
sources, a $3 billion per year fund for public
benefits programs, consumer information on
environmental impacts, prices of power sources,
broader controls over power plant smog-forming
nitrogen oxide emissions, and recovery of
"reasonable" stranded costs.
Competition in the Constitution State
An electric deregulation bill was passed
in both houses and now awaits the signature
of Gov. John Rowland. After four hours of
debate, the chamber approved the measure
by a vote of 126-17. That same day, the senate
approved the measure by 27-7. If enacted,
the legislation would deregulate the state’s
electric industry – starting in
about 20 months – by giving 35
percent of the customers in the most populous
areas direct access on Jan. 1, 2000. The
balance of the state’s customers would be
allowed to choose six months later. The bill,
which promises a rate cut of 10 percent,
allows utilities to recover their stranded
costs. However, the value of their assets
must be determined by putting them up for
sale to learn their true market value.
New York's Retail Choice Pilot
Con Edison announced that 36,862 customers
have registered for "Retail Choice,"
New York’s pilot program. In just 15 days,
356 of the 500 megawatts available for the
program’s first phase have been pre-empted.
Retail Choice is giving customers the option
to choose from 20 energy services companies
registered with the New York Public Service
Commission. The program begins June 1, 1998
and runs through March 31, 1999.
Conclusions From California
In a recent survey conducted by The Second Opinion, an Atlanta-based marketing research firm, California’s large commercial and industrial end-users, small and medium-size businesses, and residential customers were asked questions about deregulation and marketing. Phase I research showed:
The second part of the research will be conducted
this fall and will provide insight into how
customers and providers change after the
market actually opens.
Houston Industries’ Major Accounts Group
has been selected by Advantica Restaurant
Group for an exclusive energy service agreement
involving more than 500 restaurants throughout
California. The contract was set to begin
on March 1, and includes natural gas, electricity
and energy services.
Copyright (c) 1999 Reliant Energy HL&P