Right Question, Wrong Answer: How Consumers Are Benefitting, and Will Continue To Benefit, from Competitive Electricity Markets
14 Mar 2013
by John E. Shelk and Glen Thomas
We strongly reject assertions some have made that organized competitive markets are seriously flawed. In fact, competitive wholesale and retail power markets continue to deliver tangible benefits to consumers. These markets are generally working well but can be improved. That should be the focus of any dialogue over these issues.
lectricityPolicy.com recently published an article that asked the right question, “Have Restructured Wholesale Electricity Markets Benefitted Consumers?” Unfortunately, co-authors Elise Caplan of the American Public Power Association (APPA) and Stephen Brobeck of the Consumer Federation of America (CFA) wrongly conclude that the answer is “no.” In so doing, they ignore the realities of today’s wholesale and retail market. So, as Paul Harvey used to say, “And now the rest of the story.”
05 Mar 2013
by Scott Hempling
To deal with merger applications most efficiently, regulators should first adopt a considered position that addresses such issues as business activities, ownership relationships and consumer risks – and possess protective tools they are willing to use.
t is typical of utility mergers that the utility proposes and the regulator reacts. My recent essay explained that despite dozens of merger approvals, US regulation has no consistent vision for corporate couplings in our infrastructural industries. The prevailing principle is Hippocratic: “First do no harm” — i.e., merge if you wish, but don't raise rates, don't reduce competition, and don't degrade service.
03 Feb 2013
by Scott Hempling
Only by articulating their own vision of a merger—of excellent performance and corporate and market structures most likely to produce that excellence—can regulators ensure that a merger is likely to produce a result that is in the public interest.
adison Gas & Electric serves the Madison, Wisconsin area. It is the sole utility subsidiary of the publicly traded holding company MGE Energy. MGE’s regulated utility business represents nearly 99% of the holding company’s business: whether measured in assets, liabilities, revenues, expenses or operations. And the 1% in unregulated business is all performed for energy customers in and around Madison.
18 Feb 2013
by Leah Y. Parks
Professor Mark Jacobson’s research shows that interconnected systems of wind, solar, and water power can transition the world from an inadequate and unsustainable energy future to one in which everything is powered by electricity and the ravages of climate change are avoided. Timely action is required.
he challenges facing providers of electricity – a service essential to life as we know it –– are many. Electricity suppliers in the US and around the world must attempt to meet our growing needs for energy in the face of obstacles that cannot fully be known today.
Transactional Signals, Customer Engagement, and the Path Toward a Smarter, More Efficient Power Grid
03 Feb 2013
by Carl Imhoff
Smart grid demonstration projects underway in the Pacific Northwest and elsewhere will show the nation the way to a more efficient, economic, durable, and environmentally sound power grid for the 21st century. A transactive, regional signal may be a key element.
he nation is poised at an important moment in the transformation of its electric power system.
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