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History of Natural Gas in the US In early 1800s, they used manufactured gas to light the streets in the US By 1850, almost 300 separate gas companies In.

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Presentation on theme: "History of Natural Gas in the US In early 1800s, they used manufactured gas to light the streets in the US By 1850, almost 300 separate gas companies In."— Presentation transcript:

1 History of Natural Gas in the US In early 1800s, they used manufactured gas to light the streets in the US By 1850, almost 300 separate gas companies In the 1890s, pipelines from natural gas field in Texas and Oklahoma were built to Chicago and other cities, and natural gas was used to supplement manufactured gas supplies, eventually completely displacing it.

2 History of Electricity 1879 – San Francisco built and operated first generating station NYC built generating stations for public lamps Generating companies begin to grow and are not regulated Each generating company supplied it’s own lines 1886 – Westinghouse developed a system that uses alternating current

3 NYC

4 History of Natural Gas By 1900, almost 1,000 natural gas companies Technology developments for electricity use - Incandescent lamp system and AC transmission system, electricity was better for lighting. Gas companies began to sell furnaces, water heaters, ranges to compete with electricity Natural Gas industry consolidated

5 History of Natural Gas 1920s – regulation of local nat. gas distribution 1938 – Nat. Gas Act gave the FPC authority to regulate interstate transmission and sales After WWII, technology of pipeline transmission grew and industry grew 1954 – Court ruling that FPC should regulate the production and gathering of nat. gas. FPC had to now regulate thousands of producers FPC froze well-head prices Led to nat. gas supply crisis of the 1970s

6 History of Electricity Firms grow, economies of scale production, greater accessibility, mass consolidation of companies  creation of “holding companies”, which can avoid state regulations and rate setting – PUHCA (Pub. Util. Holding Co. Act) Essentially kills holding companies Creates Federal Power Commission (FPC) which regulates interstate transactions and sales Until 1973 (oil embargo) the electricity industry continues to grow in an uneventful manner

7 When and why regulate? Industry Y produces an unsafe product Industry X has significant power over the economy of the country. Prices are too high Prices are too low Prices are too high for some and too low for others Prices are unstable

8 Why regulate a public utility? Natural Monopoly Capital intensive Necessity Non-storable (demand fluctuates) Produced in favorable locations Involve direct connection with consumer

9 How to regulate? Estimate costs Break costs into a price structure Joint vs. common costs Types of consumers Time of use vs. peak-load pricing Make sure the firm covers costs Make sure the firm operates Charge customers

10 Regulatory Goals Simplicity and public acceptance Freedom from controversy Revenue sufficiency Revenue stability Stability of rates Fairness in apportionment of total costs Avoidance of undue rate discrimination Encouragement of efficiency

11 Energy in the 70s OPEC oil embargo – 1973 affected the electricity industry because it still had a lot of oil-fired generators Nat. gas industry price ceiling caused Stagnation of exploratory drilling Estimated reserves peaked in 1967 and declined Shortages developed Canadian imports replaced domestic supply Canadian prices increased rapidly

12 Energy in the 70s Addressing shortage concerns the US passed the following National Energy Legislation Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act (PURPA) – encourage conservation & mandate the purchase of electricity from qualifying facilities Powerplant and Industrial Fuel Use Act – encourage use of coal instead of nat. gas by utilities and industry National Energy Conservation Policy Act – promote energy conservation, energy efficiency Energy Tax Act – tax incentives for energy conservation, renewable energy, and low-MPG automobiles Natural Gas Policy Act – addressed the impact of price controls and deregulated nat. gas prices

13 Natural Gas Deregulation Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) implemented a series of new regulations that re-shaped the industry. Severed the connections in the producer field, interstate pipelines that transmitted the gas, and distribution & retail companies Prices fully deregulated as of Jan Still regulate transmission and distribution companies

14 Natural Gas Deregulation FERC Orders Made feasible for local distribution companies to switch nat. gas suppliers Implemented voluntary open access on U.S. pipeline companies Unbundled transportation from marketing activities and made pipeline-affiliated companies sell their nat. gas before entering into the transmission system ns/ngpipeline/ngpipelines_map.html

15 Electricity Industry – 80s & 90s Regulators became advocates of efficiency and the environment, rather than price setters Electricity costs affected by Utility building nuclear power OPEC embargo Had to purchase from qualifying facilities (co-generators and non- fossil fuel sources) Cost-effectiveness was goal, not cost/benefit Rate-payers were locked into contracts that did not reflect the actual cost of production

16 90s to the present Energy Policy Act (EPACT) 1992 Created wholesale suppliers who generate and sell power to utilities Supply of electricity grew Large industrial customers began looking for a way to bypass the utility company Electricity deregulation started in California in 94 Electricity turned the nat. gas into a baseload generating source. As a result, demand for nat. gas increases, creating price volatility in both markets.

17 Vertical Integration

18 Horizontal Integration

19 90s to the present Regulators put a cap on prices to help utilities capture the “stranded costs” of the investment in generating plants Shields customers from true costs Increases impacts when price cap is removed Deregulation among states has slowed The process of deregulating nat. gas and electricity continues to evolve Because transmission and distribution are still regulated (and probably will be for a long time), we still need to study and understand the concepts behind rate-regulation.

20 Next Time… Chapter 2 – The Natural Monopoly Definition Theory


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