The difference between the pricing of transmission services for retail customers and the
pricing for wholesale customers could hardly be more striking.. Retail customers still pay
for transmission in exactly the same way that they have done for generations, namely through bundled retail rates. There are no unbundled retail transmission tariffs as such. Rates are based on the classic, time-honored methodology of cost of service regulation, namely capital investment minus depreciation times rate of return, plus expenses. The rate is then adjusted to account for customer class differences.
With one or two possible exceptions related to future transmission services, wholesale
customers generally pay, or at least have the option to choose to pay, an unbundled,
transmission-specific rate and then choose their supplier from the marketplace. The
transmission price will at least reflect the discrete costs of providing transmission-specific
services or, depending on the pricing system employed in the locality the service is being
rendered, may well be reflective of all costs actually being incurred on the system, including
congestion costs. In short, transmission-specific price signals are, with a few possible
exceptions, given solely to wholesale customers. They are not conveyed to retail customers
either directly or indirectly.
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.
to electric power transmission lines and pricing for such access. Somewhat surprisingly, since there has
been a common assumption that this is the domain of federal regulators, the author is able to point out
numerous bases for the exercise of jurisdiction by state regulators, by direct grants of authority, or indirectly
in the discharge of other responsibilities and duties.