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ELP Volume 78 Issue 7
Many forms of instrumentation are utilized in the operation and maintenance of the modern utility. Information is knowledge and knowledge enables us to predict and control the processes and events that shape customer satisfaction and operating costs. Instrumentation continues to become less expensive and more capable.
The honeymoon's over. Customers in the Northeast and in California have recently been stung by broken promises when their chosen energy service providers (ESPs) ditched them. As is so often the case in relationships gone sour, the main point of contention was money. The downward spiral of the ESPs' ardor was inversely related to the upward spiking of wholesale power costs.
Reliability-a topic of discussion in industry media, conferences and increasingly, even in the general public media. Generation, transmission and distribution are variously targeted as culprits or saviors, depending on the context of the debate-a debate not likely to be completed any time soon.
Exceeding its targeted growth rate in 1999, DTE Energy isn't complacently resting on its laurels. Its sights are set on successfully pushing into the future-striving to be one of the major energy players in the Great Lakes region.
In an unprecedented arrangement, the Public Utility Commission (PUC) of Texas has appointed an investment banker-advisor to oversee the issuance of almost $2 billion of transition bonds by the three largest Texas utility companies-Reliant Energy, Central Power and Light Co. and TXU Electric Co. As a result, ratepayers stand to save at least $310 million.
The independent power (IPP) industry faces the highest dimension of political risk, regulatory uncertainty and market challenges over the next five years. A number of key market issues (driven by patterns of regulatory change) could impact the long-term health and performance of the industry. Originally the industry was spawned by the provision of strong regulatory and tax incentives to promote successful non-utility generation and development.
The University of Michigan Business School recently released findings from its study rating the quality of goods and services in the United States with its American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI), a national economic indicator of customer satisfaction.