PUF's Where's Energy

Santa Fe Grill

Thirty-four of the nation’s two hundred and three state utility Commissioners. All part of the Commissioners’ Grill, the extraordinary two-and-a-half-hour session that concludes the conference. Current Issues 2023 that is, New Mexico State University’s Center for Public Utilities annual meeting next month in Santa Fe.

Anyone who has ever attended this NMSU event over the years knows there’s nothing like it. Over serious and light-hearted conversations too about utility regulation, you really get to know your colleagues in the service of the public interest.

On the Front Line in Ukraine

Ukraine’s energy security was the topic of the first 2023 online talk by DTEK CEO Maxim Timchenko, on January 25. And Public Utilities Fortnightly’s Editor-in-Chief Lori Burkhart covered it.

DTEK is the largest private investor in Ukraine’s energy sector. As of this discussion, one hundred thirty-three of DTEK’s employees have died, twenty-four are missing, four are in captivity, and three hundred twenty-two have been wounded. Despite that heavy toll, Timchenko is determined to keep the lights on, and looks ahead to rebuilding Ukraine’s energy future.

December PPI Data

December’s Producer Price Index report was released last week. The good news in the natural gas commodity markets is now translating to good news for the electric utility industry.

The key indicator is the price trend in natural gas purchases by electric power producers. That price was down 12.4 percent in December year-over-year.

Why does that matter? Because last June that price was up 98.2 percent year-over-year. As recently as September that price was up 40.7 percent year-over-year.

Lowest Income's Electric Bills

In 2021, the average income before taxes of the lowest income households in the U.S. (the lowest quintile) was only one-seventeenth of the income before taxes of the highest income households (the highest quintile). One-seventeenth. That is indeed a very small fraction.

Even after taxes, the average income for the lowest income households was only one-twelfth of the average for the highest income households. One-twelfth. That’s still a very small fraction.