Publications

    Alliance, The New England Energy. “A Review of Electricity Industry Restructuring in New England.” In, 2006.Abstract

    Excerpt from the Introduction:

     

    The New England states were among the first in the nation to restructure wholesale and retail electricity markets beginning in the late 1990s. In large part, the action was prompted by the burden of having the highest electricity costs in the country, which created hardships for residential consumers and handicapped many businesses from competing on a “level playing field” with companies located outside the region.2 Restructuring required most electric utilities to: sell their generating plants, allow consumers to choose among electricity suppliers and procure electricity for those consumers not choosing an electricity supplier – while remaining regulated and responsible for local distribution service. Wholesale restructuring involved creating a fair and reliable market for competition in generating electricity while ensuring equal access to transmission grids. Once established, the wholesale market caused electricity to become a commodity with prices set not by regulators, but by market rules and the balance between supply and demand.

    Committee, The Belmont Electricity Supply Study. “Retail Choice Study. Issues and Options for Electric Generation Service: A Report for Public Comment.” In, 2004.Abstract

    Excerpt from the Extecutive Summary:

    The Committee presents this study to the community for consideration and comment. The attached report and associated appendices and reference materials provide additional information and context. These materials are available at Belmont Municipal Lighting Department's (“BMLD”) offices, on BMLD’s web site, at the Town Clerk’s Office, and at the Belmont Library. The Committee invites any and all comments and specifically seeks input and comment on the following questions for its consideration in forming recommendations.

    1. Should the Town of Belmont pursue retail choice?

    2. If Belmont does pursue a retail choice approach, what benefits to the Town or consumers in the Town are most important to obtain in a retail choice program?

    3. If Belmont does pursue a retail choice approach, what timeframe should be considered?

    4. If Belmont does pursue a retail choice approach, what approach should be pursued?

    5. If Belmont does not pursue a retail choice approach, are there alternative power supply approaches or services, to be provided by BMLD, that are of interest?

    Rose, Kenneth. 2003 Performance Review of Electric Power Markets. Virginia State Corporation Commission, 2003.Abstract

    Excerpt from the Executive Summary:

    Overall, the electric supply industry’s struggles continue for a third year. The string of events began with the price run-ups in California and the West in 2000 and 2001, continued with Enron’s disclosures and collapse in late 2001, was followed by disclosures of accounting improprieties and data misreporting, and has continued with the “credit crunch” the industry still faces. As if this was not enough to contend with, as this report was being finalized, the most widespread electrical blackout in North American history occurred. While the cause has not been determined at this time, it has already sparked a debate about possible causes and solutions and has renewed interest in federal energy legislation that was already under consideration by the U.S. Congress.

    Alexander, Barbara. “Part One: An Analysis of Residential Energy Markets in Georgia, Massachusetts, Ohio, New York and Texas.” In, 2002.Abstract

    Excerpt from the Executive Summary:

    The five state programs examined in Part One include: Georgia’s natural gas competition program at Atlanta Gas Light Co., New York’s Consolidated Edison’s electric restructuring program, Massachusetts’ electric competition program (statewide), Ohio’s electric competition program (statewide), and Texas’ electric competition program (statewide). Part One analyzes the terms of service provided to residential customers through both Default Service and the offers made by competitive suppliers; the consumer protection programs and policies adopted by each state; the extent of the development of the retail market; and the scope and type of competitive suppliers who have sought to obtain residential customers.

    Rose, Kenneth, and Venkata Bujimalla. 2002 Review of Electric Power Markets, 2002.Abstract

    Excerpt from the Executive Summary:

    News of Enron’s accounting improprieties and subsequent collapse have been part of the continued eventful last two years for the electric supply industry. Shortly after the skyrocketing prices in California and the West of 2000 and 2001 had subsided, the Enron developments began to come to light in late 2001. This has lead to investigations by several federal agencies and revelations of improper trading and reporting practices of other energy companies. As a result of this and reduced demand for electricity, the industry has been hit by a “credit crunch” as investors have become more wary and has forced many energy companies to cut back on trading activities, sell assets, and reduce future investments in order to improve their balance sheets. In the face of all the industry turmoil, while many retail markets remain relatively inactive, particularly for smaller residential customers, overall market activity has increased from last year. Wholesale markets since California settled down, continue in general to function well from an operational standpoint, however, there continues to be strong evidence that significant market power is being exercised in all markets that have been examined.

    Brown, Matthew. Part Two: An Analysis of Opt-out Aggregation in Massachusetts and Ohio, 2002.Abstract

    Excerpt form the executive Summary:

    Half of the states in the U.S. have enacted laws to open their energy markets to competition since 1996. Yet, with only a couple of exceptions, these laws brought about the dramatic price reductions and competitive energy markets that many policymakers anticipated. Those exceptions are notable, however, and offer lessons about keeping electricity costs low while bringing the benefits of competition to a large number of small customers. Ohio and Massachusetts -- recently followed by Rhode Island -- enacted laws that allow a process known as optout aggregation. This is a public process that allows a municipality, county or other local branch of government to assemble the electric load of all or a part of the customers within its jurisdiction, and bid that load out to the best bidder. The citizens of the aggregating entity become part of the buying group unless they affirmatively “opt-out” by saying that they do not want to be part of the group. Opt-out aggregation is a low-cost way to pool the buying power of a large number of customers. Part Two of this study examined aggregation programs in Ohio and Massachusetts, which are the two states that have allowed opt-out aggregation and have programs in operation. The two case studies provide data that reflect significant savings and a high participation rate and also provide some conclusions and lessons learned.

    Brown, Ashley. “Honey, I Shrunk The Franchise!The Electricity Journal (1995).Abstract
    Detroit Edison's suit to halt the Michigan Commission's
    limited retail wheeling experiment could result in two
    ironies: (1) Edison may still be required to wheel power to
    retail customers, but at rates less likely to be fully
    compensatory, and (2) its generation will be more devalued
    than it would have been without the suit.