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ELP Volume 79 Issue 1
Most Californians worried about their electric bills didn't have sugar plum fairies dancing in their heads over the holiday season: They had hard cap vs. soft cap issues, deregulation vs. re-regulation debates, FERC mandates and statements by both Governor Gray Davis and Energy Secretary Bill Richardson-all of this still at the forefront months after the supposedly heat-induced power emergencies of last summer.
Deregulation is breaking up the old economy monopolies into a network of companies whose new business models require new systems and communication.
Customers are increasingly demanding choices-product choices, service choices, price choices and payment choices-that utilities, energy marketers and billing agents must provide if they are to succeed in the new energy economy. If they don't, their competitors will. It's that simple.
Electronic bill presentment and payment (EBPP) can be a valuable customer service tool for a utility or energy service company (ESCO). However, as with any new product or service, an electricity provider needs to have good customer service practices already in place to launch and maintain a successful EBPP program.
Although many implementation issues continue to divide Kyoto Protocol signatories, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions credit trading continues its evolution from a nascent, tentative market into a more sophisticated venue, with new trading platforms and new partnerships.
EL&P proudly names Xcel Energy Inc., Minneapolis, as its Utility of the Year award winner in 2000. Although a new name in the industry, Xcel is made up of companies familiar to EL&P's readers, including Northern States Power Co. (NSP), Southwestern Public Service, Public Service Company of Colorado and NRG Energy.
The march of change continues with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) initiatives governing regional transmission organ-izations (RTOs) and the filings by all affected public utilities with the FERC on October 16. (The existing independent system operators (ISOs) filed on January 15.)