Home Tags POWERGRID_INTERNATIONAL Volume 5 Issue 6
POWERGRID_INTERNATIONAL Volume 5 Issue 6
A visit to any utility these days is dominated by discussions, meetings and activities on how the utility can be more efficient, more effective and ultimately more competitive. When the utility is a municipal utility that provides all four major utility services-electric, gas, water and wastewater-the potential for inefficiencies expands significantly.
Interest in business-to-business e-commerce is exploding. Total sales using business-to-business e-commerce have soared from near zero only a few years ago to $114 billion today, according to Goldman, Sachs & Co., and current estimates are that more than 90 percent of U.S. businesses will do their purchasing via the Internet within the next three years.
Electric utilities are facing unprecedented change associated with industry deregulation. This change has led to new forms of competition. To generate additional revenue sources, utility companies are under pressure to divest themselves of certain assets, diversify into other businesses, form strategic alliances and merge with other utilities. Each path poses unique challenges.
Hydro-Quebec, one of eastern Canada's largest enterprises, is best known for generating and distributing power to more than 3.5 million customers across Quebec. With abundant hydropower reserves, the company also supplies power to nine municipal systems, one regional cooperative and 15 electric utilities in the northeastern United States and surrounding Canadian provinces.
Performance-based ratemaking (PBR) provides an opportunity for transmission owners in the new competitive era to maximize return on assets and increase shareholder value.