I'm sure numerous celebrations occurred.
Some were more fun
Now, where did I leave my life? Anyone seen it?
First, I offer this article from WSJ* (I admit it, the world has been revolving even though I paid it little attention). It's finally been recognized that utilities may be investing in infrastructure as a cash cow. Ya think?
The way the regulated rate world works is that the more they invest, the more $$ they make. Although utilities have a built in O&M component in most stated rates, if they don't spend it all, they can use the money for something else, such as increasing shareholder dividends. And they did. But, as less power is sold, profits go down and the utility must turn to other profit centers, such as increased capital spending on long-neglected maintenance, or new transmission lines. And rates go up.
And they wonder why we drink...
*If you can't read the article, google the headline "Utilities' Profit Recipe: Spend More" and you should be able to access it directly.