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.

Wireless sensor networks boost utility market

[img:owLogo3.thumbnail.gif| ]San Diego, CA, U.S.A. --- (METERING.COM) --- November 8, 2007 - Driven by new regulation and the global energy crisis, in the United States advanced metering with embedded wireless sensor networks has grown from a few thousand units in 2004 to 1.5 million smart meters this year, according to a new survey by ON World.

The survey, which involved nearly 100 utilities, found that 73 percent are current AMR users or have pilots underway. Of these 44 percent use mobile radio and 48 percent use a fixed wireless networking technology for at least part of their AMR/AMI systems. Moreover nearly half of the electric utilities have demand response programs planned or pilots underway.

Over 250,000 customers receive their energy bills electronically

[img:consumers%20energy.thumbnail.jpg| ]Jackson, MI, U.S.A. --- (METERING.COM) --- November 8, 2007 – The number of Consumers Energy customers who choose to receive and pay their bill online has jumped to more than 250,000, up from 96,000 customers who made the switch to online billing two years ago.

“Online billing is free, safe and secure, plus it saves the customer almost $5 a year in postage,” said Consumers Energy’s senior business consultant Frank Lubis. “We fully expect to see continued strong growth in the number of customers who prefer the convenience and benefit of receiving their bill electronically. Customers tell us they like the online benefit of having one less piece of paper to deal with, as well as the ability to check out their bill or energy consumption whenever they choose.”

Helping customers understand energy usage

[img:decampli_small_0.thumbnail.jpg|David G. DeCampli,
President,
PPL Electric Utilities
]Allentown, PA, U.S.A. --- (METERING.COM) --- November 8, 2007 – PPL Electric Utilities is offering customers the opportunity to see how much energy they are using on a daily basis, through the company’s Energy Analyzer web page. The initiative forms part of PPL Electric Utilities’ e-power program, giving customers information about their energy usage so that they are able to understand their consumption patterns and – if necessary – change these patterns to save on costs.

Acquisition will allow expansion into Europe

[img:monica_0.jpg|Monica Eisinger,
CEO,
MIND
]Yokneam, Israel and Reading, UK --- (METERING.COM) --- November 8, 2007 – MIND CTI Ltd., a provider of convergent end-to-end billing and customer care product based solutions for tier 2 and tier 3 carriers worldwide, has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Omni Consulting Company Limited (Abacus Billing), a UK provider of managed services for customer care and billing solutions to telecommunications carriers and large resellers.

Increase in rates needed to continue system improvements

[img:scott.thumbnail.jpg|Scott A. Cisel,
President & CEO,
Ameren Illinois
]Peoria, Springfield and Decatur, IL, U.S.A. --- (METERING.COM) --- November 5, 2007 – The Ameren Illinois utilities (AmerenCILCO, AmerenCIPS and AmerenIP) have asked the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) to approve new electric and natural gas delivery service rates that will allow the companies to recover present and ongoing costs and continue making infrastructure investments.

Ireland’s single electricity market goes live

[img:AIP%20logo_0.gif| ]Dublin, Ireland/Belfast, Northern Ireland --- (METERING.COM) --- November 2, 2007 - Ireland’s energy regulators, the Commission for Energy Regulation (CER) and the Northern Ireland Authority for Utility Regulation (NIAUR), have announced that the island’s Single Electricity Market (SEM) went live at 00h00 on November 1, 2007.

From that point on, all SEM license and contractual arrangements that have been developed over the past months take full effect.

British Gas responds to energywatch criticism

[img:Phil%20Bentley_0.jpg|Phil Bentley,
Managing Director,
British Gas
]London, U.K. --- (METERING.COM) --- November 2, 2007 – British Gas has hit back at criticism voiced by watchdog energywatch about customer service levels and accused it of failing to recognize the improvements in the performance of British Gas. energywatch’s comments were reported on Metering.com on October 29th.

Failure to communicate changes in tariffs impacts customer satisfaction

[img:j.d_0.jpg| ]London, U.K. --- (METERING.COM) --- November 1, 2007 – The J.D. Power and Associates 2007 UK Electricity and Gas Supplier Customer Satisfaction Study released today reveals that failure to communicate changes in pricing tariffs to consumers impacts customer satisfaction.

In the past year, the average annual domestic gas bill has decreased by 9 per cent-from £510.60 ($1020) in 2006 to £466.44 ($932) in 2007, while electricity bills for the same period have increased by 19 per cent-from £453.24 ($906) in 2006 to £540.84 ($1080) in 2007.

HECO improves customer satisfaction

[img:HEC_0.jpg| ]Oahu, HI, U.S.A. --- (METERING.COM) --- November 1, 2007 – The Hawaiian Electric Company is involved in a continuing program to enhance customer satisfaction – assisted by Oracle’s® Utilities Network Management System and Utilities Mobile Workforce Management. The utility is focused on its response to power outages on the island of Oahu, and says that with Oracle Utilities applications, it can improve the information it delivers to our customers.

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