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Sale of stranded costs in California

California electric utilities are to sell $6 billion in "stranded-cost" bonds backed by electricity bills, says state deputy treasurer Steve Spears. PG&E, Edison International and Enova Corp are following the example of Peco Energy Co of Philadelphia which also decided to cover its stranded costs -- the cost of projects which can no longer be recovered once utilities move into competitive markets -- by selling securities. The idea is that utilities cover such costs quickly, easing their transition to an unregulated market, since the principal and interest payments are covered by electric bills. Enova is the parent of San Diego Gas & Electric, while Edition International owns Southern California Edison.

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