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‘Power’s’ Tagged Posts

Small electrical techniques problem Alabama Energy’s income, request refunds

Teams representing small electrical utilities in Alabama and Mississippi have filed a proper grievance alleging that the Southern Firm and A...

 

Teams representing small electrical utilities in Alabama and Mississippi have filed a proper grievance alleging that the Southern Firm and Alabama Energy are making an excessive amount of revenue for delivering energy to rural areas of each states.

The smaller utilities argue that Southern Firm’s returns ought to be lowered and refunds issued to the roughly 570,000 prospects they serve.

The Alabama Municipal Electrical Authority together with Cooperative Power filed the grievance with the Federal Power Regulatory Fee towards Alabama Energy, Georgia Energy, Gulf Energy, Mississippi Energy and mother or father group Southern Firm.

The AMEA has 11 member teams, that are the municipal electrical utilities in Alexander Metropolis, Daphne/Foley (Riviera Utilities), Dothan, Fairhope, LaFayette, Lanett, Luverne, Opelika, Piedmont, Sylacauga and Tuskegee.

The grievance argues that the corporate’s 11.25 % return on fairness for transmitting electrical energy to the distribution firms is “unjust and unreasonable,” though it was permitted by the FERC in 2003.

Electrical charges for particular person prospects of Alabama Energy are set by the Alabama Public Service Fee, however wholesale energy charges from massive producers to smaller electrical energy suppliers are set by the FERC, which determines how a lot revenue energy suppliers are allowed to make on their investments.

The AMEA submitted testimony from Breandan T. Mac Mathuna, a monetary and regulatory analyst for an power coverage agency in Atlanta, stating that an eight.65 % return is extra in keeping with present business developments. In his testimony, Mac Mathuna detailed a “Discounted Money Stream (DCF)” mannequin examine he carried out backing the decrease return charge.

The complainants estimate of their submitting that the distinction between 11.25 % and eight.65 % may save them a complete of $ 266.5 million per yr, or roughly $ 464 per buyer of the complaining utilities.

Southern Firm filed a proper reply to the grievance on behalf of the respondents, arguing that the evaluation carried out by Mac Mathuna was “flawed and poor,” contained errors, and that the prevailing settlement was inside the regular and acceptable vary of utility transmission agreements. 

Southern additionally argued that the complainants had not met authorized obstacles required to show that the returns have grow to be unreasonable since they had been beforehand permitted by the Fee.

“The DCF examine proof relied upon by Complainants incorporates critical errors and omissions and fails to fulfill basic and long-standing ratemaking ideas,” Southern Firm stated in its response. “Amongst different issues, Complainants’ witness, Mr. Mac Mathuna’s, DCF examine incorporates a flawed proxy group, calculates adjusted dividend yield incorrectly and makes use of stale and incorrect knowledge.

“Collectively, these flaws and incorrect assumptions represent a failure of proof.”

Southern Firm requested the Fee to dismiss the grievance.

In response to the nonprofit Power and Coverage Institute, the AMEA’s 11 member teams serve greater than 146,000 prospects in Alabama, whereas Cooperative Power represents 11 rural electrical utility firms in Mississippi with greater than 427,000 prospects. The most important swath of AMEA member group prospects is alongside the japanese shore of Cellular Bay, in Daphne, Foley, and Fairhope.

By means of a spokesman, Southern Firm declined to touch upon the proceedings past the formal response filed with FERC.

AMEA President and CEO Fred Clark stated it was towards the group’s coverage to remark about particular actions involving regulatory businesses, however spoke usually concerning the group’s operations.

“All the things AMEA does is attempting to mitigate the fee to its shoppers,” Clark stated. “We’re trying to find economical power. We’re looking to cut back our prices at each flip.”

Clark stated the AMEA was created by an act of the Alabama Legislature in 1981 to permit cities with their very own electrical techniques to band collectively for negotiating and different functions. He stated that transmission prices have been growing in recent times, and the group is attempting to keep away from growing charges to its prospects to cowl these prices. 

If FERC does discover for the complainants, it may ship shock waves all through the utility panorama of the Southeast. 

Southeastern utilities PowerSouth and Georgia Transmission filed motions to intervene within the case, as did the Mississippi Public Service Fee. Each utilities stated that they had a “direct and substantial curiosity” within the end result of the proceedings, however didn’t specific an opinion on the deserves of the case.

The preliminary grievance by AMEA and Southern Firm’s full response are embedded beneath.

AMEA Criticism 

Southern Firm Response