Public Utilities

Public Utilities

Management Challenges for the 21st Century

David E. McNabb

An introduction to the current issues and challenges facing managers and administrators in the investor and publicly owned utility industry, this engaging volume addresses management concerns in three sectors of the utility industry: electric power, natural gas, and water and wastewater systems. Beginning with a brief overview of the historical development of the industry, the author looks at policy issues and discusses management ethics. He then examines a number of the major challenges in these organizational functions: management and leadership, planning, marketing, accounting and finance, information technology, governance, and human resources. In the final section of the volume he looks at issues specific to each of the three industry sectors.

Glossary and useful terms

David E. McNabb

Subjects: economics and finance, industrial organisation


The following is a list of phrases, acronyms and terminology which frequently appear in the utilities industries and associated literature. A number of them, but not all, are used in this volume. It is provided to help the reader build on and extend the discussion in the text. (Sources: A majority of these terms and definitions were supplied by and are used here with permission.) acid rain Acid rain is precipitation containing harmful amounts of nitric and sulfuric acids formed primarily by nitrogen oxides and sulfur oxides released into the atmosphere when fossil fuels are burned. acre-foot of water The amount of water needed to cover one acre of land to a depth of one foot (325 851 gallons). active solar energy Solar radiation used to provide space heating, water heating, or produce electricity. actual peak load reductions The actual reduction in annual peak load (measured in kilowatts) achieved by customers who participate in a utility demand-side management (DSM) program. It can be used as a measure of the effectiveness of the DSM program. aggregator An entity that negotiates the purchase of energy in bulk for a group of consumers, and tries to negotiate lower prices. The group of consumers is called a buying group. allowance for funds used during construction (AFUDC) An accounting noncash item indicating the estimated composite interest costs of debt and a return on equity funds used to finance utility plant construction. The allowance is capitalized in the property accounts and included in...

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