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Behind the meter: Duquesne Light and Peoples duke it out over utility rates, regulators and more

By District Energy posted 06-05-2018 00:00


Anya Litvak, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette


Last month, when California regulators decreed that every new house built in that state shall be topped with solar panels, David Fisfis took notice.

“In theory, Duquesne Light would like to be in support of [something like] that,” said the utility’s vice president of rates and regulatory affairs. “But there’s a business case.”

A business case means that what is good for consumers and the planet isn’t necessarily what is good for the utility whose revenue still largely depends on how much electricity flows through its wires.

It’s been about two decades since Pennsylvania overhauled its electric power industry, compelling utilities such as Duquesne Light to shed their power plants and transition into a strictly poles-and-wires service. And it’s been 10 years since the state formally decided that everyone should use less electricity, requiring utilities to reduce demand and setting penalties for those that fail.

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