With their merger finally approved by Oregon regulators, Enron Corporation and Portland General Electric (PGE) are now working on positioning themselves for customer choice for the area's electricity consumers. The agreement between the two companies closed on July 1 after months of wrangling during which Oregon Public Utilities Commission (OPUC) won a revision of the terms of the merger with Enron of Houston, which bought wind company Zond. PGE, based in Portland, is one of the main utilities in the wind rich Pacific Northwest region. The matter had also been closely watched by consumer groups and regulators because it has been unclear how electricity deregulation will affect small customers. About four months ago, on April 29, Enron and PGE announced they had reached an agreement with state regulators on their proposed merger. The terms included $141 million worth of guaranteed customer benefits and a rate decrease to retail electricity customers, a concession won by the OPUC within weeks of Enron having publicly said the amount was unacceptable. Enron had instead offered $61 million in cost savings and rate reductions to meet the statutory burden for approval. Enron acquired Zond -- now known as Enron Wind Corp -- in January.
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