Working Group to Explore Electric Distribution Issues

XENERGY is inviting electric utility thought-leaders to take part in an interactive study exploring the future of the electric distribution business as part of its “Crossed Wires: Scenarios for the Future of the Distribution Business.” This multi-company assessment of what lies ahead for regulated distribution companies will provide a framework for examining future risks and opportunities.

While the early years of industry restructuring have focused on designing wholesale markets and launching retail markets, the distribution function faces the most complex challenges. Challenges related to provider-of-last-resort obligations and reliability have tested the risk tolerance, operating performance, and financial strength of some venerable companies. Crossed Wires is designed as a meeting of the minds about the uncertainty distribution companies now face. Who would have been able to forecast the extreme upheaval of 2001’s energy markets, with the bankruptcy of the country’s largest utility and the collapse of the largest energy trading company and leading advocate of restructuring? According to Bruce Humphrey, XENERGY vice president, “Many more threats will be surfacing within the next few years that will have a major effect on the structure and earnings of distribution companies.

“Even functions such as service connections that have traditionally been routine now have implications for service pricing and financial performance,” Humphrey said. “It is not clear that all of the distribution strategies being pursued today will stand up well to the business and regulatory environment ahead.”

XENERGY is presenting Crossed Wires as a timely opportunity to interact with industry experts and peers to test ideas about the future of electric distribution. Bruce Humphrey and Ron Davis of XENERGY are leading the Crossed Wires effort. Those interested in learning more about Crossed Wires can contact Bruce Humphrey at (781) 273-5700.

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