Policy & Regulation

News and analysis concerning policy & regulation in the energy sector, including regulatory changes, bills, laws, utility compliance issues and shifts in government structure and policy. This includes project finance, energy sector surveys and reports on energy market trends, business risks and opportunities, together with information on cross border transmission and distribution.

Australian Power & Gas acquires more customers

[img:australia-flag_0.gif| ]Melbourne, Australia --- (METERING.COM) --- August 7, 2007 – Australian Power & Gas Company Limited, which holds a full suite of gas and electricity retail licences in Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland and has been approved to operate by NEMMCO, the National Electricity Market Management Company, has acquired an additional 15,000 Victorian residential customers from a distressed sale. This brings the total customer account base to approximately 45,000 since commencement of sales in February 2007.

Initiatives to help vulnerable customers in U.K.

[img:ofgem-logo.thumbnail_0.gif| ]London, U.K. --- (METERING.COM) --- August 7, 2007 - All six of the big energy suppliers in the U.K. have an extensive range of programmes in place to support vulnerable or fuel poor consumers – and most consumers say they would prefer to take some sort of positive action if they were having difficulty paying their bills.

These are among the main conclusions from two new surveys from the energy regulator Ofgem, on supplier initiatives to help vulnerable customers and on consumer awareness of supplier social responsibility initiatives.

Ofgem says in its review of initiatives to help vulnerable customers that the different suppliers have taken different approaches:

Harsher measures to be taken against power thieves

[img:chairman.thumbnail.jpg|Berjinder Singh,
Chairman, Delhi
Electricity Regulatory
]New Delhi, India --- (METERING.COM) --- August 6, 2007 – The Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) is making changes to existing laws covering theft of revenue, after the passing of the recent amendments to the 2003 Electricity Act.

The changes that will be made to the Delhi Supply Code and Performance Standards Regulations include a provision that distribution companies may disconnect electricity supply immediately whenever it appears that customers are stealing power. Up until now distribution companies had first to replace the existing meter with a new meter whenever it suspected that theft was occurring, and a court order had to be obtained before a customer could be disconnected. Once the new laws have been promulgated, distribution companies will be allowed to disconnect customers straight away, although they will still be required to report the theft to the police within 24 hours of disconnection.

Utility pilots load curtailment solution

[img:Jacob_Maroga.thumbnail.gif|Jacob Maroga,
Executive, Eskom
]Johannesburg, South Africa --- (METERING.COM) --- August 3, 2007 – South African utility Eskom is piloting a load curtailment solution as one of the strategies to mitigate the impact of blackouts caused by supply shortages. The power crisis facing South Africa as a result of unprecedented load growth has resulted in power outages becoming more and more frequent, and voluntary customer load curtailment initiatives will help address the problem.

While Eskom has had interruptible load agreements in place with selected large customer groups for many years, there is now a need to scale up these programs. Enerweb, a utility-focused specialist IT solutions provider, had already implemented the demand market participation (DMP) program, where over 600 MW of load curtailment had been achieved with the cooperation of a handful of Eskom’s largest customers, but needed to find a product which could manage hundreds of customers. Itron Inc.’s Enerweb solution was chosen as the means to achieve Eskom’s curtailment objectives and is in the process of being implemented.

The idea is for any customer with flexible load (including a standby generator) ultimately to be able to participate in the program. Eskom will financially compensate customers for the kWhs removed from the network, provided that these customers have an appropriate meter enabling automated reading. The first customers are currently being piloted.   

The utility benefits of the solution include:


New gas meter design lowers cost of construction

[img:cambridge.thumbnail.jpg| ]Cambridge, U.K. --- (METERING.COM) --- August 2, 2007 – Cambridge Consultants, a company that develops breakthrough products, creates and licenses intellectual property, and provides business consultancy in technology-critical issues for clients worldwide, is playing a key role in a project designed to improve the economics of the national Quantum gas prepayment scheme, which currently serves almost one in six gas users in the UK.

British Gas launches greenest energy tariff

[img:british%20gas%20logo.thumbnail.gif| ]Windsor, U.K. --- (METERING.COM) --- August 1, 2007 – British Gas has launched two new green energy tariffs – Zero Carbon, which will be the greenest tariff available on the domestic market, and Future Energy. The tariffs were available from July 31, and were introduced in response to the increasing demand for green energy products.

European MID accredits meters

[img:Logo_Sensus.thumbnail.jpg| ]Brussels, Belgium --- (METERING.COM) --- July 31, 2007 – The European Measuring Instruments Directive (MID) which was adopted by EU member states late in 2006, has accredited the water and heat meters manufactured by Sensus Metering Systems. This makes Sensus one of the first manufacturers to achieve accreditation under the MID. The company has received certification covering its processes in Germany and is now on track to achieve MID approval for all its European facilities.

Hunt and Cellnet continue business integration

[img:David%20slump_0.jpg|David Slump,
Hunt Technologies
]Atlanta, GA and Pequot Lakes, MN, U.S.A. --- (METERING.COM) --- July 30, 2007 – This summer Hunt Technologies and Cellnet are combining their business operations in a move that will enable customers of both companies to receive the broadest range of advanced metering solutions and support available for electric, gas and water utilities. The resulting new company brings together the experience gained from deploying 20 million advanced metering endpoints using multiple technology options including PLC, RF and RF mesh networks, and the resources and support of more than 700 employees.

Higher prices and storms take a toll on electric utility customer...

[img:JD%20powers%20logo.thumbnail.gif| ]Westlake Village, CA, U.S.A. --- (METERING.COM) --- July 27, 2007 – As electricity prices increase for a fifth consecutive year, and many customers report experiencing an increase in the duration of power outages, overall customer satisfaction falls slightly among residential customers served by the nation’s 76 largest electric utilities, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2007 Electric Utility Residential Customer Satisfaction StudySM released today. J.D. Power is a global marketing information services firm.

Electricity customers want competitive market

Martin O'Malley,
] Harrisburg, PA, U.S.A. --- (METERING.COM) --- July 26, 2007 – A survey conducted by the Retail Energy Supply Association, a diverse group of retail energy suppliers who share the common vision that competitive retail energy markets deliver a more efficient, customer-oriented outcome than regulated utility structure, has revealed that almost three-quarters of the residential electricity customers polled in Maryland prefer being able to choose from a variety of suppliers. The survey was conducted in April this year among 220 residential electricity decision-makers from Maryland’s four investor-owned utilities – Allegheny Power, Baltimore Gas and Electric, Delmarva Power & Light and Potomac Electric Power Company.

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